“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
We all do it.
We SAY we are going to do things differently THIS year. We have a bag full of resolutions that we intend to start the new year with. Then, one by one, they fall away and reveal the same old person we have been forever.
So, take a moment. Really reflect on your core person. This is what you are trying to change and make into something you think is better. However, change is hard and most people HATE it.
Why are you doing it, again?
Let’s take a closer look at your motivations. WHY do you want to change something? You need a reason that is going to keep you motivated for the rest of your life, not just for this year. Because real change requires real sacrifice and real work. And real change, not a resolution, is what you want. Are you trying to change because YOU want to, or for someone else? You have to be personally invested in the change or it will not happen.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
For example, most people want to lose weight or get in shape. Gyms make the bulk of their money in the first few months of the year due to “resolutions”. Why? To look better? To feel better? To live longer? What’s YOUR motivation? Instead of resolving to lose weight and get in shape maybe you should resolve to eat healthier and exercise more. Forget about setting unattainable goals that will just end up discouraging you and eventually causing you to quit altogether. Set a goal for TODAY.
TODAY I will eat healthier than I did yesterday. Make one small change. Drink a bottle of water instead of a soda. Or, for every soda you drink, drink a bottle of water. Eat five less bites. Or, pause for five seconds between bites. Start with one meal then move on to another. Don’t rush your change, THINK about it. Remember your reasons for changing.
Also, find someone to keep you accountable. Journaling is a good way to keep up with your progress, but, the journal is not going to call you when you are skipping workouts or eating like a garbage can. Find someone who will encourage you to meet your goals, not tear you down and make you feel worse.
Speaking of goals. Let’s revise this whole “resolutions” idea. Resolutions have lost their meaning in our society. We set them and break them like that’s how it works. The true definition of resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something, yet we treat it like it is temporary. Since that seems to be the case, let’s change the word to goals. Make a list of the things that you most want to accomplish, no more than twelve, and start to plan.
Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Lamentations 3:40
Set daily goals, weekly goals, or monthly goals. Take small bites of the progress you want to achieve. Do you have a goal to read the Bible more? Set a daily goal for five minutes or five verses. DON’T bite off more than you can chew. If you are reading for application, five might be all you can handle! Meditate on those five minutes or verses. What do they mean? How do they apply to your life? What does God want you to know about Him through that reading? Don’t rush, THINK about it. Again, journaling is a great tool to help you get the most out of your time with God.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:10-11
God wants you to be successful! Lean on Him when you feel discouraged. Call that accountability partner. When you fall down, get back up and try it again. Remember the real definition of resolution and strive to achieve it.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11