This month I have been sharing a lot about fresh starts and setting goals for the new year. Here are some KEYS to help us be successful in sticking with our goals. These are helping me and I hope they will help you, too.
KEY #1: PRAY FIRST.
Before you commit to anything, spend some time asking God: “What areas of my life do I need to focus on during the upcoming year?” Let Him guide you to what resolutions to make, and ask Him to help you follow through.
KEY #2: MAKE REALISTIC RESOLUTIONS.
Many of the resolutions I made over the years were embarrassingly unrealistic. I think that is why I didn’t make them “stick.” Don’t make that same mistake. Instead, aim for targets you can reasonably hit in a year—perhaps memorize one scripture verse a month, share the Gospel with one neighbor, walk or run a 5K before you tackle a marathon, show up and help serve at one in-reach or outreach opportunity.
KEY #3: MAKE SPECIFIC RESOLUTIONS.
“I will spend 15 minutes in God’s Word every morning at 6 a.m.” is way better than “I will spend more time reading the Bible.” If you want to lose weight, set a specific, numeric goal, as well as a date you plan to reach that goal.
KEY #4: MAKE A PLAN.
A resolution without a plan is like a car without fuel. It will get you nowhere. Want to lose weight? Or just want to get healthier? Then figure out your workout and nutritional plan. How many times are you going to exercise every week and what types of exercise will you do? How are you going to get more heathy foods in your diet this year? Want to go deeper in your relationship with God and others? Maybe you are already doing that by participating in the Dynamite Prayer book with many others in our church family. Maybe you are joining in a covenant discipleship group on Wednesday nights at KFUMC or during the week with others.
KEY #5: MAKE SPIRIT EMPOWERMENT YOUR BIGGEST RESOLUTION.
When you’re filled with Christ, everything else falls in line. The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22–23 will be evident in your life. If you’re producing the fruit of the Spirit, you’re going to have great relationships (love, peace, patience, kindness), not overeat or overspend (self-control), and exhibit a more positive attitude (joy). It’s hard to imagine a successful resolution that’s not covered by the fruit of the Spirit. So, if we make being filled with the Spirit part of our daily routine, everything else will take care of itself.
KEY #6: GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER.
The Navy Seals have a saying they use during their super-high-intensity training: “Get a swim buddy!” Seals in training need someone to push them when they’re slow, temper them when they’re rash, and help them when they’re in danger of drowning. For Navy Seals, it’s a serious offense to get caught without your swim buddy. What’s true of the Seals is true of the believer. We need “swim buddies” in our ocean of busyness. I count on my “swim buddies,” and I encourage you to find one or two of your own.
I hope and pray that these six keys will help me and you make and keep better resolutions this year—all for the glory of God!
A HUGE thank you to Regan and Stephanie Land and K&R Heating and Cooling for contributing to the All Faith Build at Habitat for Humanity on Saturday!
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