Mark Breta

Happy No Year!

It’s that time of year where most people need to do a reality check. It’s the time of year when you know you’re on the good path to following through on that “New Year’s resolution” – or that you realize it ain’t gonna happen.

Statistics say that 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually follow through and achieve their goal. Am I a part of that statistic? Yes… and no.

In 2013, I decided I wanted to avoid eating at a particular fast food establishment. Though opinions will vary, there is nothing necessarily wrong with this restaurant – but I know that I would abuse (and have abused) my choice in what I eat there.

I didn’t make a deliberate decision on December 31 or January 1. By late January, I realized I hadn’t made the almost-routine visit to that drive-thru, so I thought I’d see if I could avoid it for a longer period of time. By summertime, I had felt good about my achievement so far – and it seemed to be an easy task.

Sidebar confession: I did put myself in temptation’s way. Even though I didn’t order any food, I still stopped there often for the morning cup of caffeine. (Come on! It’s like a pot of coffee at the end of the golden arches. Is that the saying?)

In the fall, I had no cravings for my favorite sandwich. And by winter, I was excited to be close to the finish.

I visited my brother and sister-in-law who live near the eastern coast over the holidays. We talked about this unlabeled goal – this non-resolution – that I never really thought about as a big deal. I didn’t put up motivating Post-it® notes. I didn’t tick off days on a calendar. I didn’t set up any milestones to achieve. But we did discuss if a celebration was in order.

And on January 1, 2014, we treated the whole family to one lunch meal at this place. I got to eat my favorite sandwich. We all had some a share of the unbeatable French fries. The kids got a taste of the little nuggets of chicken. It was a good day. 🙂

It’s now about a month into this year, and I haven’t had a hankering for it since then.

It was one “small” goal. Sure, I ate at other fast food joints, but on a rare occasion. Am I any healthier because of this? Maybe, maybe not. But I know I can set a goal that works into my everyday life and see how far I’ve come.

What’s next? I’ve always wanted to read through the Bible in a year. I want to write a new song, maybe one a month. I want to get back to the gym. I don’t have to wait until next January 1. I can start now… and work it into my everyday routine.

Is there anything you’ve wanted to do – and just need to quit thinking about it and do it?


Mark Breta is a radio producer/announcer, musician and foodie. He has been with Moody Radio since 2007 and has worked with many of its programs. He has led worship at conferences and events, and more recently, at Chicago area churches in Arlington Heights and Oak Park. His now once-a-year craving is the double cheeseburger.

This blog entry is also featured on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection blog.

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