New Year’s Eve morning feels a bit like New Year’s Day, since we attended a “New Year’s Eve EVE” party last night. My family slumbers on at 9:30 a.m. as I sip coffee and reflect.

The turn of the calendar page means I will exercise more and organize my office and try to eat less chocolate and resolve to dust the furniture regularly. Or so I say.

Resolutions are a plan for change, but most are abandoned by February, for various reasons. It’s not that we don’t need to change, it’s that we choose to try to change the wrong things, and use the wrong methods.

My plan for self-improvement might not match God’s plans for transformation. He is in the business of changing lives, of outright miraculous transformation. So the question for this window of time, the turning of the year, is not, how can I do some self-improvement to impress God (and other people), but this: how can I listen to the whisper of God, and stay focused on him? How can I respond to that voice in a way that will evoke change—the kind that transforms my heart, slow and sure?

At the party last night, as often occurs, I found it difficult to hear conversation because of the level of background noise. I know, at age 48, my hearing is compromised—when I am in a crowded room trying to hold a conversation I’m aware of my handicap. I lean in, cup my hand discreetly behind my ear, strain to listen.

Could it be that our life, even in the pain and stress of it, is like a crowded party, with countless conversations swirling? Could it be that we try to listen to God in the midst of noise and distractions? And then complain he’s hard to hear? Today, think about the noise level in your life—not just auditory distractions, but the noise of being too busy, of trying to please too many people. Perhaps, like me, there’s also an inner hum of my own complaining, an annoying buzz of my own making. Perhaps the thing we need to resolve is to take just a few minutes each day to be quiet, to pull away from the distractions so that we can hear the voice of love that will transform us.

I want to start a revolution against resolutions, which in the end only defeat us when we can’t keep them.

What do you need to do to get away from the distractions so that you can really listen to God?