With every new year, a feeling of a fresh start comes along with it. Everyone wants the relief of shaking off last year’s mistakes and starting new. Making resolutions is a very common practice for everyone around this time of year. However, for anyone who’s ever made resolutions, we’ve all struggled the hardest part - sticking to them.
Last year, I pulled out my journal and wrote down twenty-two things I’d like to do before the end of 2012. They ranged all the way from eating healthier to having an obedient spirit. You know how many of those I kept? Maybe three? Two?
The truth is I wasn’t able to keep any of them. I’m ashamed to say it, but it’s very true. I should have been able to stick to at least a few. So what went wrong? Why wasn’t I able to stick to my resolutions? God has shown me some mistakes I’ve made with making resolutions in the past. To help each other out, here is a list of some tips I’ve gained from a few years of resolution-ing that will help you to be able to better stick to your New Year’s plans.
1. Ask for God’s strength. Whether they’re simple tasks or whether they’ll take some guts to accomplish, we need our Savior’s help with our resolutions. If we try in our own strength, we will ultimately fail. As humans, we need encouragement and support - someone to cheer us on. Jesus is the best support system anyone can have, after all, he created you, didn’t he? :)
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
3. Take your time. Resolutions don’t happen overnight. They take work and a lot of patience. Don’t stress out if you mess up one day, or one week, whatever it may be. Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. Patience is a virtue (Galatians 5:22-23). Pray everyday as you work through them.
4. Stay Organized. Making a schedule or a checklist for your resolutions is a good way to keep track of your progress. Also, journaling about them can encourage you to keep up the good work, or to do a little better.
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” I Corinthians 14:33
5. Put God in the center. You’ve probably heard it said many times that God needs to go first in your life. I say, put Him in the center. If Jesus is the focus of everything you do, then you will be doing everything right and in a way that is honoring to Him. Put Jesus at the center of your quest to eat healthy (I Corinthians 6:19-20), or put Him on the path towards building a loving family (I Timothy 5:8). As my youth pastor put it, make your life look like:
If we long to please Him in everything (which is our purpose as Christians), then He will make our plans happen.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
I hope this was helpful and I do hope you will use some of these to make your resolutions come alive!
What are your New Year’s resolutions?