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Start Your New Year Strong

While you’re racking up your list of New Year’s resolutions take a moment and think; what can you learn from last year to plan for this year? Do you remember your resolutions, or are they dust in the wind? Did you follow through or let them slip out of your fingers? Now, before you go crying because you either can’t remember a single goal you made last January or you remember all of them and know you did a terrible job keeping them, here are some words of advice. If you seriously want to see a change in your life and the lives around you I would encourage you to take a few things into consideration.

Wait, stop! Why?

Before you get going on your resolutions, ask yourself why. Why did you set your resolution? I’m not asking for some surface answer, I’m asking you to check your heart. Did you decide to start going to the gym because you looked in the mirror and hated your body? Or are you staying in shape because you love your body and want to steward it well? I’m not saying to go cancel your gym membership, but I am asking you to evaluate your aspirations. If you’re choosing to see change in your life because of an insecurity or fear I would encourage you to think through if your new resolution is loving towards yourself. Once you’ve done that make sure you’re going to God to fulfill what you feel is missing and maybe find someone to talk to about your struggles.

Okay! Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s move onto some tips for making this year a success!

What can you take from last year?

Do you remember your resolutions from last year? Did they stick? Whether they did or didn’t learn from last year! Take the time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. If something did work, do it again or look for opportunities of improvement. Learn from your mistakes and your victories to set you up for success this year.

Do what you love.

Take time and reevaluate what you want to accomplish this year. If it’s not something you love, it may not be something to pursue. Or if it’s something you’re not interested in but you see the value with following through you should start to cultivate a love and passion for it. Want to be more organized? List out the advantages to being organized and find fun ways to do it! Start finding ways to love what you want to do.

Breaking a habit? Replace it!

My habit to break is mindlessly scrolling through my phone at night, so now I read. I already loved reading, so I took away what I didn’t want in my life and replaced it with something I enjoy. If your habit is negatively affecting your health and others around you, it might be a good decision to change your lifestyle. Look for ways to replace your old habit with something that builds up yourself and those around you.

Don’t go at it alone.

This will be the best way to carry through with your resolutions. Pick someone you trust and you know will hold you to your word and tell them your plans. Share with them your goals and dreams and ask if they will help you work towards it. Their role in your resolutions may be as simple as asking you once a week how you are doing, or as involved as teaming up with you and going alongside you. Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy, but knowing you’re not alone often makes the transition so much easier.

Involve God.

With anything you have planned for this year, big or small, remember that God wants to do it with you. He longs to be involved in your life and knows you inside and out. He wants what’s best for you. So while you’re writing down your resolutions this year don’t forget to include Jesus. Ask him what he has in store for you this year.  Give this year to him and allow him to plan your next move, you won’t regret it.

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