The start of a new year brings so much hope along with it! We begin to think about how we want the next year to be greater than the last. Gym memberships are bought. The produce sections at local grocery stores suddenly become bare. Bible-reading plans are created and prayer groups are formed. Vision boards are drawn out and we consider what our “Quote For The Year” will be so we can Instagram it as soon as we get the chance. I’ll admit, I’ve had my fair share of New Year’s resolutions over the last 23 years.
I don’t know about you, but I want this year to be different! Not only do I want to keep the resolutions that I set, but I also want to be smart about how I challenge myself with new goals in 2017.
So without further ado, here are four ways to help your New Year’s resolutions stick in 2017!
Grab A Friend
” As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp.” | Proverbs 27:17 (Paraphrased)
Accountability partners are the best. There’s a reason why Scripture talks about the beauty of friends working together – things HAPPEN! Is your New Year’s resolution to have a stronger prayer life? Ask a friend to pray over the phone with you once a week. Or if your goal is to start working out more often, see if a friend would be willing to join you at the gym! Friendship is a blessing. Whether it’s someone from work, school, church, or even a family member, the harder we work as a team, the closer we will get to accomplishing our goals!
It’s important to specify what your resolution will be. Something along the lines of “My goal is to spend consistent time in God’s Word every day” might be easier to carry out if it were more specific, such as “My goal is to wake up at 7:30 every day and spend the next 30 minutes reading God’s Word.” If your resolutions are a little too broad, it will be more difficult to keep yourself on track. The more specific you can be, the better!
Don’t Be Crazy
Keep your goals attainable. One of the biggest reasons why folks aren’t able to follow through with their resolutions is because they have set their goals way too high. Think about it this way – start small and work your way up! Perhaps this year you want to start discipling younger youth. That’s FANTASTIC. Discipleship is a beautiful necessity in the life of every Christian. However, don’t try and immediately begin discipleship with 5 people – start with one! And once you’ve got that relationship going consistently, consider starting with another person. Start small and work up!
Pray, Pray, Pray
It’s a wonder how any of us can believe we could possibly accomplish any of our goals in life without committing them to God in prayer. Sometimes, while I’m reading through Scripture, it amazes me how much God desires that we bring our requests before Him. Don’t know what I mean? Check out just a few of these incredible verses about prayer from the Bible:
“Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.” | 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people.” | Ephesians 6:18
“Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” | Jeremiah 29:12
“So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.” | Mark 11:24
See what I mean? Don’t go into 2017 believing that you are going to accomplish any of your resolutions on your own. If you’re really serious about keeping them, then you’ll know how important it is to commit all of your desires to God.