The New Year enables us to begin fresh. Maybe there are goals to lose weight, break old habits and advancing God’s plan for our lives. However, 80 percent of all resolutions fail to the wayside because we race into taking giant leaps and fold soon after. The answer is taking small steps and making Christ the center of goals. Because let’s face it, without Jesus and our own hard work — new goals stammer. Why? Transition is arduous for most of us.
Work your willpower
Growing is never a linear process spiritually, physically or mentally. Our frontal cortex is in command of willpower and like any muscle, it needs to be worked to gain strength. “What a mistake – the whole idea around New Year’s resolutions. People aren’t picking specific behaviors, they’re picking abstractions,” says expert BJ Fogg from Stanford University.
Keep it realistic
Set small goals like reading a Scripture or Bible chapter a day, you soon will understand the entire Bible. You might feel pressured to hurry up from culture, family or church friends to reach a goal. Yet, this leads to many giving up and giving in. Everyone needs to set their own pace. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the goals He wants from you. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Study the Word of God
Find a Scripture that resonates with you this year. Hold onto the Word when you want to give up or until another New Year starts. Hide the Word of God in your heart as ammo for daily life and tackling God-led changes.
Seek the Holy Spirit
As mentioned, ask the Holy Spirit to give you clarity on what to focus on. Sometimes we jump ahead with all kinds of ideas and push through them in our own flesh. This never works out, trust me. I’ve been on diets that sounded great, but didn’t have a peace about it and ended disappointed with more pounds to shed. Ask and seek the Lord in prayer about New Year goals geared specifically for you.
Remain accountable to someone
Accountability partners are a great way to remain on track. You can voice struggles, sin and challenges impacting life, family and more. This can be a friend or someone at church that is trusted. In turn, offer the same opportunity with another person and join each other on the journey. Having accountability with someone is life-changing and provides support and encouragement when needed. Meet for coffee. Take a walk together or have lunch once a week to connect. “For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.” Mathew 18:19-20
I learned that praise is a powerful force. If we are to do anything and plow ahead in this war, add the garment of praise. We can’t see what is in the natural and thank goodness. Spiritual warfare using praise helps us not only in seeing our goals through but it turns up the energy in our spiritual walk!
Let’s not always focus on the home runs. If we walk or hit a single towards our goals, good job! Allow Jesus to be the center of all dreams and goals — and likely, you won’t be part of the 80 percent who fail to reach the finish line.