A new year is on the horizon. If you are like me, you may be thinking about resolutions to be considered for the year. However, some of you may be doubtful or reluctant because of the fear of failure. Undoubtedly, all of us fail in one way or another in our new year resolutions. In fact, few of you may not even remember what your resolutions were in the past year.
I have some tips to help you accomplish your new year decision.
1. Make it a positive action plan
Often, we fail in our resolutions when our goals start like “I will stop doing this…” Why not consider some goals with a positive action? Last year my goal was to read the complete Bible in one year. Contrary to several of my past new year resolutions, this one began with an I will statement namely: I will read the complete Bible in English in one year. Even though English is my second language, I successfully completed my one-year plan. My recommendation to you is, consider a positive action plan which is enjoyable and at the same time beneficial to you.
As lifestyle conditions like diabetes and hypertension are getting highly prevalent, many of you may be considering an action plan which involves lifestyle choices on food or exercise. However, most people fail in their goals as they focus on no’s and don’ts. Instead, why don’t you try to make a positive resolution this time? A specific action plan of jogging/walking 45 minutes three days a week can be more successful than an action plan of not spending much time in front of the TV or computer.
Wow! I think this prayer journal might have been a key secret of George Mueller’s remarkable faith. How could a person not grow in his faith when he sees thousands of prayers are answered by the Lord?
2. Use reminders
The odds are high that you may not even remember your resolution when you reach the second month of the year. Use reminders to stay on track with your plan. Writing reminders on calendars or sticky notes and putting them in mobile phones, etc. are all good ways to remind you about your goal. Though reminders are helpful throughout the year, it is highly beneficial if you use it in the first two months. The role of reminders will be minimal once you turn your decision to action and incorporate it into your routine.
3. Be specific
Specific plans help to stay focused rather than making some general plans. For instance, stating I will read the whole Bible this year using the M’Cheyne One Year Reading plan is a very good plan than stating I will read the Bible more this year. Many times it even helps if you select a scheduled time or selected place depending on what is your goal for the year.
The effective prayer of a righteous person can accomplish more than what he can do if he solely depends on his own strength.
4. Be flexible
Don’t be hard on yourself with your plan. Be flexible to yourself even if you miss some days. There were times when I missed my reading plans for the day. However, I caught back on it in the following days. Keep in mind your aim is not perfection, but the best possible ways for you to stay on track of your resolution.
5. Ideas for making resolutions
If you are still thinking of what resolutions to make, here are some themes for your new decisions based on the first chapter of the book of James.
- Dedicating time for consistent prayer (1:5)
- Pursuing some plans which are unfading, not just materialistic pursuits (1:11)
- Improving your listening skills (1:19)
- Reading, memorizing or studying the word of God (1:21)
- Visiting and encouraging people going through distress (1: 27)
6. Pray consistently
Finally, as with any of our wishes or decisions, pray to God consistently for His favor in your plans. Amazingly, the Greek word for prayer (proseúxomai) literally means, “to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes for His wishes as He imparts faith”. (Strong’s concordance). The effective prayer of a righteous person can accomplish more than what he can do if he solely depends on his own strength (James 5:16).
An amazing idea to consider is to keep a record of your prayers. George Mueller, who is renowned for his faith and prayer had maintained a prayer journal. In his journal, about fifty thousand specific answers to his prayers are recorded of which about thirty thousand were answered on the same day of the prayer.
Wow! I think this prayer journal might have been a key secret of George Mueller’s remarkable faith. How can a person not grow in his faith when he sees thousands of prayers being answered by the Lord?
Perhaps that is something all believers can do particularly if anyone has feeble faith.
I hope you will spend some time to reflect upon and define some meaningful action plans for your life this year. Make use of the above tips for your new resolutions.
Wishing you all success in your new resolutions and a joyful new year.
Dijo John – Renew In Knowledge Core Team Member