By Taylor Lazenby
In just under a week, millions of people across the United States will have committed themselves to a New Year’s Resolution. Whether the goal be to lose weight, grow closer to God, or spend more time with family, most people have some sort of idea or goal that they want to commit themselves to for the year 2019.
But what exactly is a resolution? What does it mean to be resolved to accomplish something?
According to Google Dictionary, a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something”. Therefore, being resolved to accomplish a certain task would mean that there is an inner commitment to make decision after decision to accomplish a certain goal.
Do you want to lose weight? Then, decision after decision must be made to continually eat healthy and exercise. Do you want to make better grades? Then, decision after decision must be made to continually hit the books and study rather than playing video games or binging on the newest Netflix original TV show.
However, instead of focusing on one of the traditional goals that many set for themselves allow me to offer to you three (original) ideas for a New Year’s Resolution
Limit Screen Time
While this idea may not be completely original for 2019, it is most certainly needed. According to Market Watch, the average American spends about three hours and 48 minutes a day on their computer, smart phone, or tablet. Even more appalling?
“ American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. “
Those statistics are staggering. In a world ruled by instant communication, telecommunication relationships, and apps to suit your every pleasure, more human interaction is needed. Research has repeatedly shown that despite the connectedness of people to one another in ways that have been unprecedented in the history of humanity, in general people feel more isolated than ever before. 
Don’t add to the statistic. Be involved with those around you. There is no need for you to sit on the couch at home with Netflix playing Moana for your children while you surf the internet for hours.
At the end of your time on Earth, each person must give an account of their lives to the one true God. It would be a shame to tell your creator that you wasted millions of hours staring at a phone.
Learn a New Language
A more original idea for a resolution would be to learn a new language.
According to studies done by the United States Foreign Service Institute, leaning a new language takes 480 hours of study and practice to become conversationally fluent. To have a basic understanding of a language would take less time.
Let’s do the math. If you spent roughly and hour and a half a day learning a new language over the course of 2019, you could become conversationally fluent in a group one language (French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swahili). That would equal you getting up and learning 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes at night. Dare I say that this endeavor seems… reasonable?
Imagine being able to share the Gospel in a second language. Or at the very least being able to engage others of a different language at a minimal degree. In a country that is becoming more ethnically diverse by the day, is there a better way in which Christians can “love our neighbor” than by learning the language of our neighbors? (Mark 12:31)
Memorize a Large Chunk of Scripture
Lastly, in 2019 memorize a large chunk of Scripture. Passages such as the Sermon on the Mount, Romans 8, and 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 could be a place to start. As Christianity has become more and more “Americanized”, where any person can pick up and google a verse, the spiritual discipline of memorizing scripture has fallen by the wayside.
After all, the Bible itself commands us to memorize it. Psalm 119:11 states that we should follow the example of King David and “Store your word up in our hearts so that we may not sin against you”. Likewise, Ephesians 6:17 makes clear that the only offensive weapon we have is the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.
How are we to pursue the holiness and righteousness of God if we do not know the Word? How are we to cast ourselves upon the promises of God when suffering comes our way if we know not the promises? How are we to engage false teachings and speak truth to others if we do not know the truth which we are commanded to speak?
Memorizing the Sermon on the Mount, Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 would give any Christian a good basis on which to stand to engage others and the evil that is present in the world. The promises within these scriptures are enough to strengthen the soul, arm the mind, and purify the heart.
Would you consider, commit, and resolve before God to accomplish one of these outside-the-box goals for 2019? In doing so, you will enjoy God more deeply, love your neighbor more genuinely, and find greater joy than ever before.