So, the gym has been crowded for the past couple of days with all of the people who have resolved to exercise more this year. I’ve worked out most of my adult life and I can make a prediction: the gym will not be as crowded this time next month.
With good intentions we make resolutions to do more, be more, and eat less, but old habits are hard to break and…very few resolutions will survive the winter.
I’m goal-oriented and most of my goals will take years to realize–and I work towards them year after year–so I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions for a specific year, but if I were to make New Year’s resolutions here are a few things I would do to ensure that they have the best chance of being realized.
1) Resolve to Pray Before you Say–Pray about your resolutions before you say what you’re going to do differently in the coming year. God’s plans always take precedence. Too often we bring our plans to God and ask Him to bless them rather than asking Him to bless us by revealing His plans for our lives.
2) Make Realistic Resolutions–Too many of us get unnecessarily discouraged because we fail to fulfill resolutions that are just not realistic. Make resolutions that are doable, reachable, and attainable. It’s realistic to resolve to stop smoking, stop swearing, spend more time with your kids each day, read more, get more involved at church, etc. Goals that are measurable are–in my opinion–the best kind of goals. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. A realistic goal is to memorize one scripture a week, but you might find yourself unnecessarily discouraged if you unrealistically resolve to memorize a book of the Bible each month and then fail to do so. Unless you’re my wife’s cousin (my wife’s cousin Keith memorized entire books of the Bible for Bible Bowl), this is a pretty tall order. As you make resolutions, resolve to make changes that are attainable and then celebrate when we reach them.
3) Make Unrealistic Resolutions–Too many of us don’t dream big enough dreams for our lives. As you make resolutions for the next year make sure that at least one of your resolutions is a stretch…personally, spiritually, or physically. You know the big changes that you need to make in your life and–as you pray–God will make these evident too, so why not pick one of them and tackle it in the next year? Aim high, dream big, and shoot for something that will radically change your life and then when you reach the goal…celebrate! Let me give you an example of what I’m saying here. Have you ever read through the Bible? Why don’t you try to read through the Bible in the coming year? Here’s a good plan you can follow to read through the Bible in the next year: One Year Bible Online. That may, at first thought, seem like a completely unrealistic resolution for the next year. “I could never read through the Bible in one year,” you may say, but I would say “People do it all of the time.” As you pray about God’s plan for your life for the next year, ask God to reveal at least one “unrealistic” resolution that you can add to your list.
Well, I better finish this post so I can get to the gym and get my workout in. It’s been crowded lately.