New Year resolution time is upon us once again and you may be wondering how you can change your life for the better. Knowing God has a plan for you is one thing. Knowing what that plan is, how to implement it, and then living up to that plan can be much more difficult. The painful effects of divorce, abuse, neglect, and abandonment can make knowing what you want and how to attain it even more difficult, but there is help.
Pray – Ask God to Bless What You Want to Change
Before making your list of goals for the New Year, always begin by asking the Lord to bless what you want to accomplish. God gives power to do many things but there are certain restrictions. Be sure your goals are in line with his teachings and plans and be willing to wait for his perfect timing. Remember too that he will not impose his will on another’s freedom. Keep this in mind when contemplating your New Year resolutions. For example, resolving to lose weight so that your husband will return may not work because your husband has free will. You will be more successful resolving to lose 20 pounds because God wants you to honor the strong, healthy body he blessed you with.
Write down what you want to accomplish
Instead of merely thinking about what you hope to accomplish, put pen to paper. There is something about doing this that makes people feel it is more official and take it more seriously.
Be specific about how you will change your life
When listing your New Year resolutions write them in such a way that they are observable, measurable, and do-able. Look at the following list of goals for the New Year. Do you see why the first list was revised?
I will walk more closely with God.I will pray and read the Bible daily and go to church weekly. I will lose weight. I will lose 20 pounds. I will spend more time with my children.I will spend at least 15 minutes per day with each child – no distractions. No excuses. I will spend less money.I will put an envelope system in place and spend only what has been designated for each area (see Dave Ramsey)
Explain your method
Too often we think of goals but have no idea of how to implement them or how to know when we have successfully achieved them. Look at the second set of goals from above and see how the methods listed below can help you achieve your New Year resolutions.
- Here, the goal itself tells you what to do. All you need is a chart or some way to keep track of whether you are actually doing what you said you would.
- I will drink more water, work out 30 minutes or more 3-5 times/week, I will put my fork down between each bite. When I want chocolate, I will drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes to see if the craving goes away. Just having a conscious plan can help on the road to success.
- I will set a timer for 15 minutes and sit and read, color, help with homework, or just talk with each child every day. The other children will know there can be no interruptions (including phone calls) during this time.
- Today, I will mark envelopes for everything I spend money on. I will take money I may have in the house and divide it among the envelopes. After bank deposits have been made, I will divide my income into the envelopes every Friday.
Pray, revaluate and adjust
To change your life, you have to be ready to adjust your plan. You must keep what is working and adjust what is not according to God’s plan. Pray and ask God for continual guidance as you strive to achieve your New Year resolutions. With your faith and God’s help, you can change your life for the better.
I would love to hear what your New Year resolutions are and how you do with them. I wish you peace in the New Year. God Bless…