No matter how determined we might be at the start of each new year, more often than not, we end up watching New Year’s resolutions fizzle out. It’s gotten to the point where New Year’s resolutions seem to be made for the sole purpose of being broken.
I would like to propose a slightly different approach to conquering the things in our lives that we want to change. Instead of creating resolutions, what if we formed new habits?
A resolution is simply a firm decision to do or not do something, whereas a habit is an acquired behavioral pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. This year, if we really desire to see a meaningful and lasting change in our lives, we should work to create new habits that build us up, feed our spirits, and draw us closer to the Lord on a regular, daily basis.
Here are three good habits to get into at the start of 2016.
New Year’s Habit #1: Having a Quiet Time
Spending daily time with the Lord is a goal that we often set for ourselves, and yet somehow constantly seems to be so difficult to keep up. How do we combine our demanding schedules and daily quiet time in a way that works for us? We get into a habit, a routine, that fits our personal needs. Are you a morning person? Maybe you can start getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual, and dedicate those extra thirty minutes to Jesus, java, and your journal. Do you do your best thinking in the quiet hours of the evening? Maybe you take the last hour before you go to bed and spend it diving deep into the Word. Consider picking up a new daily devotional at the start of the new year that you can look forward to getting into every day. Or take advantage of some of the resources that are right at your fingertips with the help of Bible and devotional apps for your phone, like at www.youversion.com.
New Year’s Habit #2: The Habit of Serving
Let’s make 2016 a year of servanthood! This year, look for new ways and opportunities to serve. Spend some time researching some of the shelters, charities, and non-profits in your area. Look for a ministry that focuses on an issue or an area that you are really passionate about. Or what about an outreach or need at your local church? Step up and volunteer some of your time. Even if you spend just one day a month serving, that’s still 12 times for the whole year!
New Year’s Habit #3: The Habit of Adventure
Are you wanting to branch out and have some new experiences this year? Consider making a habit of stepping outside your comfort zone and trying at least one new thing each week. Even if it’s as simple as eating a food you’ve never had before, or as big as traveling to a foreign country, this is a surefire way to add exciting adventures to your life, and to discover new-found talents, gifts, and passions in this new year.
These are just a few great examples of constructive, life-giving habits that you could begin this year. There are so many others you could use to construct your own list that is tailor-made to fit your personal needs as you step into this new, exciting season of life! As simple as they may seem, if you determine to really work at living these out as you begin the new year, you will see your life begin to be transformed in more ways than one.