3 Steps to Successful New Year’s Resolutions
Step 1: Commit to the Lord
Seek God first. Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” He is there to support you. If your resolution aligns with God’s plans for you, you will be successful. Committing to the Lord could mean different things for different people. It may mean reading your Bible. It could be spending time in prayer that is uninterrupted and focused. Or this could be attending church regularly. God asks us to do all of this, but each of them is an excellent way to show Jesus you are committed to Him.
Step 2: Accountability
Resolution means “to resolve.” While God already knows what you would like to resolve in your life, you going to Him and asking for help to change is needed. The Bible tells us “but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”(Matthew 6:33). God is here to help you with your resolve.
Once you have sought out God for help, the next part of this step is to identify someone to hold you accountable (an accountability partner or group). Success never truly happens without the help of others. Find someone you trust and you know will keep you accountable. Go the next step and tell others about your resolution, too.
Step 3: Be S.M.A.R.T.
This acronym means to set a goal that is Specific (make the goal as clear as possible), Measurable (set a goal that can be evaluated based on a measurable attribute), Appropriate (relate it to a long term goal), Realistic (set goals that can be achieved and you can be successful), and Timely (there is a finite amount of time associated with it).
An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal might be:
- Specific – I will read the Bible. I will start with the book of Matthew.
- Measurable – I will read for 15 minutes a day.
- Appropriate – I will do this for one month beginning February 1st and ending on February 29th.
- Realistic – I will have the Bible next to my bed and I will read just before I go to bed.
- Timely – I will set an alarm on my phone for the 15 minutes.
God’s timing is always perfect so if you have completed the first two steps discussed above you are already on your way to a S.M.A.R.T. goal! Also, God wants you to become more like His son, which means He has a vested interest in the changes you want to make! Keep your S.M.A.R.T. goal where you can see it. Pray about it. Ask your accountability partner/group to pray for you too. Review your S.M.A.R.T. goal frequently because it may need to be modified at some point.
And Remember our Ultimate New Year’s Resolution
To close, the apostle Paul says it beautifully in Philippians 3:12-15 what the resolution of our lives is:
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”.
Christian Counseling Can Help you Create and Achieve Your Goals
If you would like a new start for the New Year, Christian counseling may have the answer for you. I’d love to be the person you turn to for your journey.
“Happy New Year 2016,” courtesy of Miquel Angel Pintanel Basset, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY-SA 2.0)