New Year’s celebrations are about optimism and hope, desire and dreams.
• This year will be better.
• This year will be different.
• This year will be successful.
• This will be my best year!
• Something will change.
• I will change.
Isn’t that the way almost every year begins?
And yet…it most often turns out just like last year. The new years’ optimism gives way to the new years disappointment. It’s almost like climbing a hill. “I didn’t make it all the way up this year, so in January let’s try again.”
Here are the most poplar New Year’s resolutions on the generic list;
• lose weight
• quit smoking
• get a better education
• get a better job
• make/save more money
• get fit
• eat healthy food
• manage stress
• manage debt
• take a trip
• reduce, reuse and recycle
• drink less alcohol
Add a few spiritual ones for us Jesus-followers, like:
read my Bible every day
go to church more often
get involved in ministry
…and you can probably add several more to your personal list that you hope for and intend to do.
Folks, it likely won’t happen…at least not through some new year’s resolution or hopeful goal decided emotionally or out of desperation.
So what should you do in 2015?
Before you can do anything about the future you have to think through why you want to do that or why that change is necessary.
• Goals based upon guilt are always weak.
• Goals built on desperation lack the logical plans necessary for change.
• Goals based upon pure optimism usually don’t have enough commitment for us to follow through on.
It is virtually impossible to consistently do anything that is inconsistent with your character. You actually don’t have a problem; YOU are the problem. THE NEED FOR CHANGE IS YOU. You cannot separate where you are in life from what you are in life.
This is a sobering thought. Something has to change about me to change what I will be and what I will do do next year.
If you really want a year that is better and different from last year, give some thought to the following:
1. DEFINE THE PROBLEM.
What was wrong with 2014 that needs to change in 2015?
Most important, Why do I want this to change?
Normally we make a goal for change because we are dissatisfied with the present. Why are you dissatisfied with today or 2014? Why exactly are you wanting to change? The problem is….. I need to…… because ….. I want to….Why? What is in my heart that has brought me to this place where I need to change?
2. DEFINE THE ONE DREAM
I too have made lists. Truthfully, the longer the list the more certain you’ll fail. Just pick something you are passionate about- just one thing. One goal, one passion, one need and give that some thought, planning and prayer. One of the simplest definitions of success I’ve ever heard is, “Find a need and fill it.” – even just one. Modern media has increased our distractions. To some extent we are restless when not multitasking. However accomplishment actually decreases when we run in multiple directions. You’ve got to start with one thing.
3. MAKE A PLAN TO FIGHT THE INERTIA.
Make some reasonable steps to get there. Let’s be realistic here. Resolutions, goals, and objectives are all about change. Change is so very difficult because inertia is against us. If change was easy we’d all be changing for the good every day. I suggest you confide in a strong friend/spouse/co worker and form a partnership. Get an accountability partner. Share with them your resolution/goal/dream and ask them to ask you regularly if you are doing as you said you would.
4. WRITE IT DOWN. SET AN ALARM ON YOUR PHONE.
If your goal is to “get a better education”, make some steps to get there now and put those steps in your calendar. Make phone calls. Fill out applications. Buy some books. Take action.
If it’s “to eat healthier”, get up off your chair, go to your kitchen right now and throw all the junk out. I’M NOT KIDDING. Never buy that junk again.
If it’s “read my Bible through”, schedule it, starting today, and stay with the same time every day.
Do something about ONE thing. This calendar idea may be the big secret to help you. A small daily change can produce big results over the long term. As they say, “baby steps…baby steps…”
Actually if your ONE THING doesn’t somehow get into your daily routine, nothing will change. You’ll be overwhelmed by the habits of the past.
Do you feel lie you’ve got too many things that need to change this year? Don’t we all! Just one thing at a time! The Apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do…” King David said, “One thing have I desired of the Lord…” They got it. The one thing!
5. DITCH THE EMOTIONS; THINK IT THROUGH.
Engage your brain. Your feelings will come and go. Rationally, do you want to do this ONE THING? Needing to do this does not mean as much as wanting to do this. There is only one way in the world to get anyone to consistently do anything- they have to want to do it.
So what should you do in 2015?
Just ONE thing well.
ONE thing passionately.
ONE thing consistently.
ONE thing differently.
For ONE year.
One success is much better than a hundred noble objectives that you have neither the ability, time nor discipline to accomplish.
Happy New Year!