Monday, December 29, 2014

Don't Make New Year's Resolutions!

You read the title right. Don't, I mean don't, make resolutions for the New Year. You might wonder why I'm so adamant about it. The reason is more statistical than anything else. Did you know only 8% of those who make New Year's Resolutions succeed in achieving their resolutions. That means a whopping 92% of those who make New Year's Resolutions fail. That doesn't sound like very good odds to me.

So what should you do if you really want to make changes in the coming year but you don't want to fall victim to the horrible failure rate of New Year's Resolutions? Make a change, not a resolution. A resolution is defined as "an answer or solution to something." If you want to weigh less by the end of the year then your resolution would be to lose weight. But having the answer and accomplishing the goal are two different matters. If you don't make a change in your eating habits and activity level, then your answer is only that, an answer. So if you want things to change in your life then you need to make a change and then stick with it. Set goals and make them achievable. Don't plan to lose 50 pounds by January 15th because we all know that isn't possible. Celebrate as you accomplish milestones along the way. You will be amazed at how small things like that will keep you focused on your goal and motivated to accomplish your goal. If possible partner with others that have the same kind of goal. The accountability and support will only strengthen you for the challenge of accomplishing your goal.

Two things that Christians often "resolve" to do at the beginning of a New Year is to read the Bible more and spend more time in prayer. If those are two of our New Year's Resolutions, then the odds are you won't have a deeper relationship with God come February. Make the necessary changes you need to make in your life to carve out time for prayer and Bible study. If that means waking up earlier, do it. If it means rearranging your schedule, do it. Maybe something you need to do to help you grow spiritually is to get more active in attending services at your church. Only spending an hour on Sunday worshiping God isn't going to bring about the results most people hope for in deepening their relationship with God. Most churches have additional services, Bible studies, classes, small groups and other opportunities for you to grow in your faith. If you want to really make a change in your relationship with God spend more time in prayer, study the Bible more, and get involved in other disciple-making processes your church offers.

Here's to a New Year. I hope you'll make the necessary changes in your life in the coming year that will make you healthier physically and spiritually.

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