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Groundhog Day
Photo: Bruce Macqueen
Well, February is at hand. Already. Those New Year’s resolutions you made? History. The gym was too crowded. You quit smoking, though—for two whole weeks. As for that diet? Well—you were good for almost three weeks.

It was pretty much the same story last year, too. So what to do?

Here is a suggestion. With February we start a brand, new month. It is time to make your Groundhog Day resolutions. They can be the same as your New Year’s resolutions, true, but these are new ones—Groundhog Day resolutions.

Why not? You recycled last year’s unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions for this year’s. Recycling them for your Groundhog Day resolutions is fair game. Even better, you do not have to stick to these new resolutions for the rest of the year—just longer than you stuck to your New Year’s resolutions. Maybe a day or two longer. A whole week longer if you are really tough. 

You can do that, can’t you? Just try again. The gyms will not be as crowded, because few people make Groundhog Day resolutions. If you could stop smoking for two weeks, how hard is it going to be to give it up for a few days longer?

So what? You stop smoking for three weeks instead of two. Diet an extra week. Work out an extra week. What does that get you come December?

Doing the Right Thing

It means you did the right thing for almost a month this time. If you can last almost a month, maybe next time you try you can last a whole month.

Next time?

Well, yes. You see when February ends, March begins. And March 1st is the day the Peace Corps was founded. If you like music, it is the day Frederic Chopin was born. Time to make Peace Corps resolutions. Or make Chopin’s birthday resolutions. Or pick something. It does not matter what you pick so long as you have something to focus on.

Recycle your unsuccessful Groundhog Day resolutions. Set out to stick to them just a little bit longer than you did last time. But try again. And again.

Do April Fool’s Day resolutions on April 1, May Day resolutions on May 1, resolutions to celebrate the Glorious First day of June, and Independence Day resolutions in July. When you stumble, pick yourself up and go forward from there. If you stumble again? Pick yourself up again. Just get up one more time than you fall.

God knows we aren't perfect. He knows we will fall. That is why He allows us to repent, and why He forgives us our trespasses. What He expects of us is for us to rely on Him to perfect us, day by day, despite our flaws.

So, Happy Groundhog Day. Today, dust yourself off and pray to do a little better.  At the end of the year, you will be amazed at the progress.

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Mark Lardas. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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