Welcome to 2018!

There is something about the start of a new year that has me running to the nearest Target to get calendars, colored pens, sticky notes, a new planner and anything else that is sure to help me have the most successful year yet. My motivation is at an all-time high and my list of resolutions extends down a page in my journal.

But to tell you the truth, my motivation dies out after about a month. I can’t remember one thing that was on my 2017 resolutions list, and my planner has sat idly on my desk for the past few months, just waiting to be replaced on January 1st. I love the idea of a fresh start. I think we all do. But each year after the holidays pass, I find myself caught between the same responsibilities and struggles I woke up with on December 31st, and the desire to check off every single item on my resolutions list.

The recipe for my seemingly perfect year is all there, but things never really play out the way I expect them to.

WHEN MY EXPECTATION IS PERFECTION, I AM TEMPTED TO FEEL LIKE A FAILURE WHEN A RESOLUTION GOES UNCHECKED.

If you’re anything like me you may be wondering, “How do I get out of this cycle of feeling like I fail every year?”

I’m not going to tell you to give up on making resolutions or to set low goals because I don’t think that is the answer. I believe the answer is to shift our expectations away from perfection.

GOD DOESN’T EXPECT US TO BE PERFECT.

If perfection were achievable, Jesus never would have died on the cross. Instead, God invites us to press into Him in the areas where we fall short. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

WHEN WE LAY DOWN OUR EXPECTATION FOR PERFECTION, WE CREATE SPACE FOR GOD TO DO WHATEVER HE WANTS.

And there is an assurance that His plan is always better than we can comprehend.

So, as we look forward to the New Year I encourage you to resolve to leave perfection in the past. Make a list of resolutions and dream with God about the year ahead. And cut yourself some slack, you don’t have to check everything off your list right away. We are covered by the grace of God, and it’s time for us to extend grace to ourselves.

IN RESPONSE:

With the desire for perfection in the past, check out three ways to help you set yourself up for a great year:

  1. Invite God into the process and ask Him what He has for you in the coming year.
  2. Stick to three or four resolutions; don’t overload yourself with a ton of things.
  3. Quantify your goals. Instead of saying, “Read more,” set a more quantifiable goal, like, “Read one book every three months.”

By Destiny Gonzalez – Communications Staff