I was one of those people who made New Year’s Resolutions. But as I’ve grown older and closer to God, I started something new, which I’ll share with you shortly.
Did you know that 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions? Sadly only 8% are successful at keeping them, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute. Why is it that so few are successful?
Psychology professor Peter Herman and his colleagues have identified that many make resolutions that are significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t really believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-worth
According to brain scientists, making resolutions involves changing behaviors—and in order to change a behavior, you have to change your thinking (or “rewire” your brain).
Interestingly, this lines up with what Christians have been reading in the Bible for centuries.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2
“ Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” Ephesians 4:22
So before setting a resolution for 2016, consider doing these three things first:
1. Change the way you think
Making a resolution means that you want to change something, that you’re not satisfied with something. This can be a negative and discouraging pattern of thought.
The only way to make lasting change starts in how we think. We must exchange a negative for a positive (Ephesians 4:22-23). Psychologists say this is how to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits.
2. Make A Blessing And Personal Accomplishment List
I like to start each new year on a positive note. A great way to do this is by making a list of blessings and personal accomplishments.
Here’s an example of a few things that I wrote in my journal:
I’m thankful for:
My son got married
God’s daily grace and mercy
I went to two writers conferences
I was published on websites, in my local newspaper, and magazines this year
I lost ten pounds and didn’t gain it back
I have over 2,000 readers on my blog (That’s YOU! Thanks)
What will your list look like?
Once you’ve made your list of blessings and things you’ve accomplished throughout the year, pray for guidance on any new goals. Doesn’t it make sense that we’d ask God before making a major life change like a resolution?
It pleased the Lord when Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3:7-14), and it pleases Him when we ask as well.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5
Finally, it’s important to remember we are not alone. We have God’s help to accomplish the goals that He has given us. In fact, God has given us all we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). His Spirit is at work within us, giving us new desires to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13), which make us more and more like His Son.
And isn’t that the main goal—to be more like JESUS?
WISHING YOU MANY BLESSINGS IN 2016
Do you make resolutions? If so, what have they been and have you accomplished them? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.