Making Resolutions Stick
Around this time every year, people all over the world take stock of their lives from the current year. Most wonder if they have moved ahead of where they were at the same time the previous year. Perhaps they looked to lose some weight. Maybe they wanted to increase their grade point average at school. Or they possibly set a goal to start a business.
Whatever the goal is, statistics show that only a little more than 9% of those who set those new goals, or resolutions, actually achieve them. Does that small number amaze you? It does me.
The truth is, the vast majority of people who make resolutions do so without taking a few steps that, when taken, may thrust them into the group of the accomplished. We’ll address those in a minute.
First, though, let’s look at the reasons many folks make the resolutions in the first place.
It would appear the resolutions made by most people are made hastily, usually in reaction to the contrast they see between their lives and the lives of those closest to them. Or, even more unfortunate, they have observed the public view of the lives of some famous celebrity or athlete and found themselves lacking in one area or more in their own lives.
In either case, the motivation to change is sadly rooted in their lack of identity. That is an unhealthy place to find yourself. I’ve said before and continue to believe that the only true place to find identity is in a growing, intimate relationship with God. And, of course, the only way to find Him is to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus.
In fact, that’s the first step in achieving your new year resolutions! At Lighthouse Christian School, personal salvation through Jesus Christ is the foundational principle upon which we have built and continue to thrive. Educating our students cannot be fully completed without this knowledge.
So, once you begin the walk of an intimate relationship with God and begin the process of finding your identity in Him, here are some other steps to take in order to join that group of the accomplished:
Prayer cannot be overemphasized! As a matter of fact, perhaps that should be tops on your list of resolutions; Begin or increase your time in prayer.
As you pray, ask God to reveal to you what He wants for your life. Maybe you’ll discover that the goals or resolutions you initially made are different from what He wants you to concentrate on now. Pray and ask Him.
WRITE DOWN YOUR RESOLUTIONS
Statistics show that people with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve them than those who don’t. A statistic that further exacerbates this, is that only 3 out of every 100 adults write their goals down. In other words, if you write your goals down, you’ll immediately put yourself in the top 3% and increase your odds of actually achieving them exponentially!
Also, when we say, write, it may not necessarily mean down on actual paper. With technology progressing as rapidly as it is, there are numerous apps you can download on your tablet or smartphone that will accomplish this. But the point remains; write ‘em down!
MAKE YOUR SELF ACCOUNTABLE
One of the best ways to becoming accountable is to give a copy of your resolutions to a close friend or mentor. This should be someone who you trust and can hold confidences. It should be someone who will pray with you about your resolutions and who is unafraid of confronting you when you may be falling back into old habits that prevent you from reaching your goals. Stay accountable!
REVIEW YOUR RESOLUTIONS OFTEN AND DAILY
A big key to reaching your resolutions and goals is being reminded of them daily. Read them out loud to yourself in order to reinforce them. You may be surprised at the positive effect reinforcement has on your ability to reach your goals.
When you reach one of your resolutions or goals, begin the habit (if you don’t already do it) of celebrating the accomplishment. It could be as simple as a new dress or pair of shoes when you reached a weight goal. Or maybe treat yourself to an ice-cream cone when you moved your grade from a ‘B’ to an ‘A’ in a difficult class.
The point is that celebrating your accomplishments can actually have the effect of increasing your ability to reach more goals in the future. Plus, it also reinforces and motivates you to continue in the process for yourself and helping others.
By following these steps, don’t be surprised when folks start asking you how you did it. After all, you’ll be propelled into the group of the accomplished! Start today!