How’s your January going, my rebels? Did you reject making New Year’s resolutions from the get go? How do you feel now when you see someone’s progress post? Do you feel left behind or like you’re missing out? Do you feel silly for feeling that because you know you decided not to participate? I get that.

I regularly tell myself I’m not going to feel bad about something and proceed to feel guilty. I’m going to let the dishes sit in the sink and not even feel bad about it. But I feel do bad. I’m going to watch another episode and not worry about sleep. But I do worry. We’re fickle folks and if we’ve been taught to feel guilty about everything and second guess everything, we won’t always avoid the self-doubt lava.

Their solution to doing too much is to do more.

But you weren’t wrong. There are legitimate reasons not to begin new challenges in January. One is, we’re tired after the holidays. No matter how desperately busy someone is, holidays add tasks and events. There’s no PSA announcing we won’t be cleaning our houses in December so we’ll have time for wrapping and baking. We just push harder, stay up later and fall face first into January.

In a total jerk move, marketing chooses this moment to say you need to up your game. Spending slows after Christmas, so they task us with buying organizers and getting our new stuff managed! Also, start exercising because isn’t that what took a back seat in December? Their solution to doing too much is to do more. Even if the holidays didn’t wear you out, winter causes energy levels to sag along with our mood. Very few people are feeling fresh just because the calendar flipped.

For the majority of us, it’s not wise to take on extra challenges in January. If you sensed that and your gut said no thanks when people asked about your goals for 2022, you did okay. Prudence is considering when to push ahead and when to quit, even if that’s before you start. It means considering the future and which path will take us to our truest good. This is wisdom. So if you are in a season of rest, rest. If you are in a season of things-are-already-crazy-around-here, keep surviving.

The voices that push and prod are not necessarily ones we should listen to. Listen past the shouted challenges, beyond the aggressive agendas and hear your Shephard talking. She may want you to know it’s good to rest in green pastures sometimes. She may even tell you she’ll help you slay your giants in June.

Psalm 23