It’s the beginning of the year and many of us have a long list of New Year Resolutions.
“Spend more time with my family.”
“Join a Gym- Lose 20 lbs”
“Wake up and pray every morning”
“Cook dinner 5 days per week”
“Learn a new skill/craft”
“Write a book”
“Volunteer once per week”
“Make this the best year of my life!”
Does this list look familiar?
I’m not a huge fan of New Year Resolutions but I do believe that they have their place when used properly. The end of the year/beginning of a new year is a great time to sit down and reflect on the previous year and look forward to the new year. There is a drive in all of us that comes with the New Year that just makes us want to start fresh in certain areas of our lives. And I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that. The issue is not in the resolutions themselves, the problem lies within the “follow through.”
Many of us lack the “follow through”–the discipline and motivation needed to successfully crush a New Year Resolution. That’s why it can’t simply be a resolution, it must be a commitment. We must say within ourselves, “I am committed to doing “X” this year.”
Just think about it…saying the word “commitment” has a completely different sound to it than the word “resolution”. We stand up straight at the word commitment. Being in a committed relationship with someone is so much more than just resolving to date them. Commitment is seen as something very serious and it commands our attention and respect. It’s a promise. A tie that binds. It’s a lock it up and throw away the key.
Commitment is defined as:
- the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
- an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom from action.
Resolution is defined as:
- a firm decision to do or not to do something.
What I’ve found is that:
Many people resolve (make a decision) to do something but very few are actually committed (obligated to seeing it through).
So how can we stay committed to our new years goals? Here are 4 simple ways.
- Stop trying to change 50 things at once. Trying to focus on everything , being distracted by multiple things or making a million changes at once is a set up for failure and can lead you into a frustrated tail spin. Make small changes at a time. Focus on just one or two things and commit to those things. Once you’ve completed or seen success in those areas, then consider adding on one or two more things to focus on.
- Stay accountable. When we resolve or commit to do something, it’s usually something that doesn’t come easy to us or that we have struggled with in the past. This is a perfect opportunity to hire a professional in the field that you are focusing on (e.g., hire a personal trainer or life coach ) to help you or reach out to a friend or family member that you trust who can hold you accountable in keeping your commitment. Having accountability isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s having the strength to admit that you need a little help. WE ALL DO.
- Stop thinking, just do. The more you mull over it, the less likely that you are going to do it. I’m not knocking preparation. Preparation is great–Getting information, researching, listening to all the podcasts on it and doing all of the training is really good–but at some point you have to step out there and just start doing. You didn’t make a commitment to think about doing it, you made a commitment to actually start doing it.
- Stay connected to your source of strength. This is #4 on my little list, but it is #1 in life. One of the best ways that you can stay committed to your goals is by relying on the One who gives you strength. Of course, that is Jesus. The Bible also tells us that when we commit our ways to the Lord, our plans will be established. Acknowledge Holy Spirit in your New Year’s commitments. He is our helper. When you want to quit and give up, you can always count on Him being right there cheering you on, telling you that you CAN do it.
Here are a couple scriptures that you can meditate on when things start to get a little tough:
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:13
I will go in the strength of the Lord… Psalms 71.16
Let the weak say I am strong…Joel 3:10
Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
I hope that this has blessed you in some way. I pray that you will be successful in this new year, committing to your goals and seeing them through by the strength and help of the Lord. Happy New Year!