I’m not sure whether this has always been the case or if this is a recent development, but it seems that the failed New Year’s Resolution has become more cliche than the New Year’s Resolution itself. It’s almost a joke now that the resolution you make will inevitably become the one change that’s most certain not to happen.
But fear not! Resolutions aren’t the problem. In fact, they never were. Change, growth, and goals are the essence of what makes life exciting. For Christians, we shouldn’t be unfamiliar with the idea of resolving to change, because growing spiritually is a conversation we’re having all throughout the year, not just on New Year’s Eve.
The key for us is using the new year as an additional opportunity and motivation to grow. Here are 6 tips for picking the perfect New Year’s Resolution.
1. Match your goals to your priorities
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
We often think backwards when trying to figure out a resolution. We start with cool ideas about things we want to do, and then figure out how to fit those goals into our lives. Instead, we should start by thinking about what we really value in life, and then explore different goals fit. Ask the question: what is it in me that’s holding me back from what I want? Make sure what you think you want matches with what you really want.
2. Be realistic
Don’t overlook this point. Real change happen with the simple decisions we make every day, so if your goal is too lofty, you are setting yourself up for failure. Why not be honest with yourself and set a realistic goal that you believe can happen? Setting a goal and blowing it out of the water, is better than shoot for the stars and end up in a black hole of disappointment.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
3. Be specific
Give yourself real measurables. If you want to get in shape, don’t make your resolution to get in shape. Decide your exact workout plan and even consider making a back-up workout plan for times when life is hectic.
4. Have a “why” and a “how”
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5
This goes back to the first point, about matching our goals to our priorities. When you set your goal, make sure you have a compelling “why” that will keep you motivated. If your “why” doesn’t move you, the goal won’t last.
Your “how” is your plan of action. It’s the part of your goal that is about concrete decisions, not puffed up idealism. “How” and “why” together are a powerful combo for any resolution.
5. Build a team
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Goals are meant to be shared! Keeping a resolution can be hard, but it’s a lot more fun when you are doing it together with friends. Build yourself a team around shared resolutions, and you might find that the relationships end up meaning even more than the goal itself.
6. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate the small steps
Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.
Perseverance is crucial. We all make mistakes, so don’t expect perfection. Greatness takes time, so take the small victories as they come. God helps us persevere, so set a New Year’s Resolution worth fighting for.