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Are Your Resolutions Going to Make a Difference?

By: jacqui griggs


I don’t know about you, but I have never heard that word in conversation and had a neutral response. There is always a mashed sense of angst and dread with an occasional twist of hope thrown in from the optimist in the corner. And it’s no secret why: we all have our own horror stories of resolutions gone awry or guilt at repeating the same goal for six years in a row.

So maybe this year it’s time to take a different approach. Below, you’ll find three ways we set resolutions that don’t work, followed by two tips for setting new goals in the New Year.

3 Ways to Wreck Your Resolutions

1. Focus on yourself and your faults.

Every time I hear about resolutions, this seems to be the common starting point. People sit down, take stock of their lives, and pick out everything that they don’t like. Don’t do it! God knows what He's doing with our lives. it's not up to us to plan every detail out.

2. Compare yourself to everyone around you.

The second “resolution wrecker” is picking out parts of other people’s lives that we wish were our own. Don’t try to deny it; we’ve all done it. That actor or actress you wish you resembled a bit more closely? That friend whose house is always suspiciously clean? That neighbor whose energy seems unending?

It’s human nature to look at what other people have, are, or do and mentally compare, but we cross the line when we use those people as our new standard. Paul even said that comparing ourselves with other people is “unwise” in 2 Corinthians 10:12. Resolutions that are built on someone else’s life, body, or characteristics are guaranteed to disappoint.

3. Try to fix everything by yourself, all at once.

Probably the biggest reason resolutions fail is because we try to change ourselves by sheer determination. But “hating that extra fifteen pounds” isn’t very motivating when it’s time to get out of bed early and head to the gym, and wanting to “be a more positive person” is really not motivating when you have a flat tire in the rain.

If the reason for change is internal and sudden desire strikes, we lose the battle to change—against ourselves.

hen our motivation is centered on our own desires, we fall flat as soon as another in-the-moment desire trumps our goal. That’s why changing is so hard. It’s why we can’t change ourselves on our own.

How to Redeem Your Resolutions

1. Focus on what Jesus has done for you.

Instead of focusing on all of your faults, focus on what Jesus did for you. Make a list if you have to; He won’t mind! If you haven’t met Jesus or you’re struggling to understand how He can change your life, stop by the Care Room this Sunday or let us know how we can pray for you.

2. Make Jesus’ goals your goals.

In Colossians 3:2, Paul tells us that we should be more focused on God’s goals than our own. If that thought terrifies you, it shouldn’t! God tells us in Romans 8:29 that His ultimate goal for us is that our hearts and lives would look just like Jesus’.

Taking next steps means setting goals that get you closer to Jesus every day. So whether you call it a New Year’s Resolution or your next step, what are you doing to get closer to Jesus today?

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