I don’t make New Year resolutions! Years ago, after many failed resolutions I declared that I would make only one more New Year resolution. That would be that I would never make New Year resolutions! I can report that I have been successful with that resolution.
I have a few friends (yes, only a few) and I think I sometimes get on their nerves with my incessant questioning of everything. To everything I ask the 5W’s and a H (I think that might be a theme for my year). If a friend tells me they’re moving interstate, I ask ‘Why?’. Yet another friend will excitedly share a new curriculum to use with their child and I’ll ask, ‘Why?’. I can’t help myself. I don’t do it deliberately, I promise. I just want to know why. So it was with New Year resolutions. I wanted to know why it was such a common practice. Oh, I used to love that feeling of being able to have a fresh start, a blank slate to begin again with but then I truly realised that every day is a new day. There isn’t anything special or empowering about a New Year resolution or any other goal for that matter. About 3000 years ago, the Ancient Babylonians were in the practice of making a New Year resolution. (There truly is nothing new under the sun eh? 🙄 ) I’m not sure I need to model myself after them!
So, why make a resolution? I guess people practice it because of that clean, fresh start feeling. But I’m reminded time and time again that every day is a new day. I don’t have to wait until next week, next term or next year to work to a goal. I can start tomorrow.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
My motivation is the important matter in setting goals or resolutions. If God is at the centre then I’ll have greater chance f success. For God’s sovereign will comes into the picture even as a homeschooling mum! If my goal is in accordance with His will, and His will is what I most desire then He will enable me to fulfill that goal…giving me strength as I work through with (learning) diligence.
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
While I don’t do New Year resolutions, I do practice goal setting. This can and should be done regularly, at all times of the year. For me, it is about setting a goal – breaking it into manageable, attainable, smaller steps with frequent evaluation and assessment. This just becomes a part of life- a natural part of life. Years ago, I taught ‘Miss A’ about goal setting, within the context of her chosen sport. She took the principles, applied them and achieved success. So much so, that she is now a better and more efficient goal setter than I am, in every aspect of her life! Now, that’s real life learning!
Goal setting steps
- Firstly, I pray and ask God for wisdom (James 1:5)
- Then, I’ll pray (again without ceasing) and ask God for practical steps to fulfilling those goals and breaking them into manageable, little bit by little bit, steps.
- Pro actively set out to attain the manageable steps, setting in place measures whereby I can be accountable, all the while relying on His strength.
- Thank Him for any success and failure. When I achieve success, be sure to give God the glory and keep an open heart to Him so that I may be humble and not grow in pride. Sure, but what about giving thanks in failure? What? Why give thanks in failing? Oh I am so thankful that our Father has promised to accept all who believe, regardless of their worthiness. John 6:40 I am thankful that when I fail or lose it or don’t achieve my goals, I am thankful that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
I really liked Leonie’s thoughts about motto’s and themes. (Teehee, she does these but not goals! My, how different we all are 😀 ) I would have to agree with her- at least for my life. I have had themes. I remember a few years ago a theme for me was, Bloom Where You Are Planted. It was just after another interstate move that I didn’t want. I spent a good part of the year sulking and complaining, hibernating from everyone. Until I learned that I need to “Bloom Where I am Planted”! That became my catch-cry for the next year- on until the next move interstate. Another year my theme was “Just Do it!“. I had spent years trying to learn and practice a new method of Bible study…after after it all I found the easiest way was to Just Do It! I’ll figure the finer details out once I start doing it. This past year I guess my theme was Fit n 40.
Unlike Leonie though, I don’t really develop my themes in advance. (Bravo to Leonie for being so gung-ho and proactive though. She has more energy than I do.) I’ll have to wait a little while until this year happens to see what my motto or theme will be, although I strongly suspect I have already written of two themes in this post! If you read my blog regularly you’ll probably pick up on it yourself.
Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
So what about you? Do you make New Year resolutions? If so, why? Do they work for you? If so, to what do you credit with your success? Maybe you don’t do goals or resolutions- I’d love to hear from you too! Share with me what works for you.