It’s that time of year. We’re looking back on all that 2020 didn’t have to offer and forward to the fresh start we hope 2021 brings. Maybe you’re hoping to lose weight, save money, or find love—whatever your New Year’s resolution, we want to help you see it through! Because, well, let’s be honest, by the time June rolls around, most of us have typically dropped them.
(If you’re still thinking about what you want your resolution to be, check out this blog for some ideas.)
But here’s the good news: you’re already on the right track! Goal setting is a good thing. And the fact that you’re thinking about your resolution is a step in the right direction.
Proverbs 6:6-11 tells us that living without motivation or planning goes against God’s desires for us. Making a New Year’s resolution shows that you’re motivated, so we want to help you succeed in keeping it.
Here are three tips to keeping your New Year’s resolution:
1. Make a plan.
Proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Now that doesn’t mean that if you make a plan, you’re guaranteed to get a raise, but there’s a principle in that verse that’s worth applying.
Solomon, the wisest guy who ever lived, is basically saying preparation can be a key to prosperity—or in other words, it’s a key ingredient to success. If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, but you don’t make any plans to go to the gym, you probably won’t get very far.
Making a plan is a needed first step. Good plans are well thought out and shared with friends for accountability. It’s also crucial to anticipate potential obstacles, which begs the question: How will you keep it up when things get challenging?
Successful New Year’s resolutions require hard work, but that’s always easier said than done. Going on a run twice a week for a year is a great goal, but it seems a lot less great when it’s 30 degrees and raining. Good resolutions require perseverance: the determination to keep at it even when things get tough.
If you know you’ll be tempted to give up early, make sure the plan you create includes things that will help you persevere. Do you need a friend to call you in the morning to make sure you’re up? Or could setting reminders on your phone be helpful? Think about it. What will help you choose perseverance when throwing in the towel is tempting?
Remember what Solomon said: “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity.” You can have the best plan in the world, but if you aren’t determined to see it through, you’ll be missing a key ingredient to success—something that doesn’t always come easily.
3. Be patient.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. Some of us really need to start taking better care of our bodies, so making that our New Year’s resolution is the best decision we could be making for our health. But we have to remember change takes time.
Solomon goes on to say, “hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” What’s his point? Don’t rush it, don’t cheat—Be patient.
Okay Solomon, easy for you to say … Because again, the key to success is a lot easier said than done. Impatience is choosing what’s quick and easy. Impatience cuts corners on runs and chooses junk food because it’s convenient. Impatience rushes through time in the Word, because we’re ready to check the box for the day and move on.
When will you be tempted to be impatient? And what should you do when that temptation is strong? Remember what God’s Word says in 1 Corinthians 10:13. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
One of the best things we can do, when it comes to keeping our New Year’s resolutions, is pray. Not sure if you can persevere any longer? Pray. Is it getting hard to be patient? Pray. Having trouble deciding on a plan? Pray.
You’re not alone, and God wants to move in and through you this year. Keep at it!