I love the Christmas season. It is filled with such hope, celebration and joy. I don’t enjoy the commercialization, the parties, or shopping in crowded stores. But Christmas passes quickly- and New Year’s day comes.
This week between the two holidays often leads to some reflection, remorse, and the thought…”What do I want to do next year? What should I accomplish? What do I need to change?” Then comes the list of resolutions and goals for the coming year.
The story of 2018 has not yet been written. The real question is, “How much choice do I have in what happens next year?” After many years of failed resolutions, some people quit. I read one survey that said 44% of people surveyed have no plans to write any goals for 2018. Wow! That’s a lot of people who have no objectives for 2018.
Most resolutions are about wanting positive change. One poll found that “to be a better person” is the number 1 resolution. #2 was “losing weight.” (HA!) Unfortunately it doesn’t always work.
I’m thinking about the many resolutions I’ve made over the years that I did not do or finish. I’ve started many good things in past January’s and lost them somewhere in the early months of the year.
So why bother? William James wrote, “All our life is but a mass of habits.” And there is the problem. We want to change, grow and do better, yet past habits refuse to allow us to outgrow them and make significant adjustments.
All goals, resolutions, and dreams will involve change. The problem is that you are your own worst enemy. Your life is a collection of habits. You create a routine, which quickly becomes a habit that becomes almost automatic. “If God would only change me!” we cry. But praying for God to change you is not enough. YOU MUST INITIATE A NEW ROUTINE THAT BECOMES A HABIT. “Lord Jesus I want to, I need to, AND WITH YOUR HELP, I will!”
The morning of January 2, regular life kicks in. Rising time, work time, leisure time…the habits are back.
Will 2018 be different? Only if you take the time to do the following;
1. LIMITS. You cannot change everything at the same time. Choose 3 things you want to do differently in 2018.
2. MOTIVES. “WHY” is the #1 issue. If the change does not motivate you, it’s not going to happen. If it has no passion, success is unlikely.
3. COST. What will it cost you financially, spiritually and time wise? If you can’t afford it or if you will not make sacrifices, it’s not going to happen.
4. WHEN? Where does this fit into the 168 hours you live each week? If it can’t make the calendar, it isn’t going to happen.
5. WRITE it down somewhere where you can regularly review progress. Then start, set reminders, think about it, talk about it, work on it, and when you fail, as you definitely will, get up and keep going!
May you have a happy, blessed, prosperous and fulfilling New Year living under the Grace and Blessing of God. Happy New Year!
Do write me anytime with your comments and questions. Feel free to forward if you wish.