5 Effective Ways to Make and Keep New Year’s Resolutions

Photo Credit: Affinity Woman writing a diary or journal at home
Photo Credit: Affinity Woman writing a diary or journal at home

Want to make 2016 your most focused, intentional, productive year yet? Try these methods.

Happy New Year! Today marks the first full week of 2016 and I hope you’re optimistic about fresh starts, new perspectives and New Year’s Resolutions.

Now, before you roll your eyes and say, “I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I never keep them,” hear me out. I have some useful tips to help change that.

First, I must tell you, I used to have a pretty skeptical attitude about New Year’s Resolutions, too. I mean, come on. Who keeps them?

Research shows that out of 45% of people that make New Year’s resolutions, only about 8% achieve what they set out to do. So I totally get why you may not be on board.

I used to call them New Year’s False Solutions because I viewed them as giving someone false answers, hopes and promises that would be abandoned within two weeks of the new year.

What changed?

A visiting Bible teacher—more like motivational speaker—talked to our congregation about what New Year’s resolutions are and how to be better at making and keeping them.

Though I gave this person the side-eye at first, I decided to try it out. I found that, my first real resolution, done the right way, marked the most productive year of my life. I haven’t broken one since.

Interested in knowing my secret?

Here are 5 effective ways to make and keep New Year’s resolutions.

1. Know the definition.

A New Year’s resolution isn’t magical. It’s a firm decision to do or not to do something. The definition isn’t anything fancy, just a straightforward commitment to choose which actions you will or won’t take. So if you know you’re not really resolved in your heart to change something, saying it won’t matter. That’s not a resolution. That’s an empty declaration. Effective resolutions begin from the inside out.

2. Keep it simple.

Don’t try to make wholesale, sweeping changes. That’s not wise or realistic. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having high expectations for yourself, but don’t set the bar so high you can’t reach it. For example, if you broke the bank last year over-spending, instead of saying you’re going to be a millionaire by year’s end, be resolved to create a feasible budget and honor it. Start there. So then, your resolution would be something like, In 2016, I will make a budget and keep it, no matter how tempting it is to over-spend. This is an attainable goal.

3. Submit your plans to God.

If you want to lose five pounds or take better care of your hair this year, you don’t need to go into tongues and pray for three hours a day about that. However, if you are thinking of launching a business or some other major venture, submit those plans to God first before committing to a course of action. Your resolution should reflect His will. Matter of fact, make living a Proverbs 3:6 lifestyle a goal to strive for this year. That means, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

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SOURCE: EEW Magazine – Dana Mitchell