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COLUMN: Count the cost first

Published 11:59am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It’s that time again. New Year’s Day brings the time-honored tradition of making New Year’s resolutions.

If you look up the word “resolution in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary dictionary, the definition is “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.”

Of course, the other definition of resolution is “the ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail.” That definition is one that we understand much more than the previous.

Actually, the Urban Dictionary has a more appropriate definition of New Year’s Resolution:

“An assessment of, and often delusional attempt to correct, one’s shortcomings. Typically made on a day that is arbitrary except that it begins a New Year on the standard Gregorian Calendar. Given the arbitrary nature of the date and the sudden change of lifestyle demanded by most resolutions, it should not be surprising that most resolutions are abandoned by the start of the next year. Fortunately, the next New Year gives a person the opportunity to make the same resolution again.”

I think most of us live by that definition more so than actually finding a way to resolve some lifestyle issues in our daily life.

The hardest thing to do is to change your lifestyle when it’s not necessarily an emergency. I know I typically work better with a deadline system. That’s the reason why I am in the newspaper business.

When you have a deadline, it tends to make sure that you get things done. When a deadline isn’t looming, then there is a greater chance to procrastinate than when you have an urgent deadline.

We all make these wonderful resolutions to get fit or get healthy, but many times we don’t take action until the doctor says you have to change or you’re going to face a major illness.

It’s not until then that we actually take some action.

The greatest achievement is making a change for the better when you don’t have to make it right then.

But before we make any change, you have to count the cost. As Jesus said about becoming a follower of Christ.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’” Luke 14-28-30.

So if we don’t really consider everything that it will cost us to make a change in our life before we make the attempt, we won’t know whether or not we will be able to overcome it. Thus, we’re less likely to become successful.

Let’s save ourselves from the ridicule of making unrealistic resolutions by counting the cost first.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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