At the beginning of each year we decide that we’re going to do everything new, those resolutions usually last until the second week of January because routine sets in and life goes back to normal. Part of why we tend not to come through with our resolutions it’s because we set unrealistic goals.
So, does that mean not making New Year’s resolutions? Not necessarily… These were my lessons from 2010.
- Look at the root of the problem- Sometimes we are addressing the symptoms and not the real issue. When you don’t resolve the actual issue, your chances of success decline significantly because the behavior will either return or transform. The most common issues are food and finances, but this applies to anything as well. People enter into diets or financial plans to resolve debt, but within months they return to their bad habits, that’s an example of treating the symptoms and not the issue. Why do you eat or spend or drink or whatever the issue is? Is it loneliness, self esteem, boredom, lack of skills. Once you identify what’s really causing the problem, even though it may take a little longer to see results in the changes, you may experience more permanent changes and more satisfying results. (Matthew 13:20-22)
- Identify the reasons for the change- Are you making these changes for you or for someone else? Sometimes we have the tendency to join a wagon because our peer jumped in it, but are those things that you’re pursuing beneficial to you. Look if your goal will have a physical, emotional, spiritual or even financial benefit for you. This may be extreme, but for example, I have a friend who is anorexic and the last thing I would want for her is to go on a diet with me. (Romans 12:2)
- Find out what works for you- We are not truly created equal, we are as different as the stars in the sky. Find something that works for you in the accomplishment of your goal.
- Divide your big goal into small steps. I think the principle of one day at a time and small changes very well applies here. I get it! In the microwave mentality world that we live in, we want immediate results, but are those the ones that really last? Whatever you’re trying to change in your life didn’t happen over night and it will not go away over night. You will feel like a failure when you don’t get the results you want or when the results are not lasting. However if you start with smaller goals and celebrate those smalls victories, then once a goal is achieve you can up the bar to another one higher. By the end of the year you will be able to look back and see not only that you have accomplished more than you honestly expected ( Ecclesiastes 3:1-17;7:17)
- Seek help- if you have tried to achieve this goal before and the things you’ve tried has not work, there’s no shame on seeking help. Having someone to guide you through the process, encourage you and celebrate with you your success may be the formula to finally conquer that obstacle that you’re trying to overcome. (Deuteronomy 1:12-13)
So start working on your game plan and much success in 2011!!