Tag: Resolutions

Resolving to Leave Perfection in 2017

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

Four Ways To Fail

… at your New Year’s resolutions.

One January I sat down to write out my very first attempt at New Year’s resolutions. I had big dreams for my year: I was going to read more, exercise more, lose weight, wake up earlier, love my wife better and save the world. Besides saving the world, I didn’t get too far on any of those goals. 

By February I had canceled my gym membership, gained five pounds and was doing a fairly incredible job at NOT loving my wife well. For years I had made fun of people who made New Year’s resolutions, and had made even more fun of the people who couldn’t follow through on them. Now here I was 34 days into the New Year and my dreams for the “Year of a Lifetime” had already ended.

Through that journey I learned some valuable lessons about how to make goals that actually work and how to make goals that don’t.

IF YOU WANT TO FAIL MISERABLY AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS, THEN JUST FOLLOW THESE FOUR SIMPLE RULES:

  • How to fail: Write out too many goals. I looked back at my goals for 2013 and I had 32, count them, 32 New Year’s resolutions. No one can accomplish that many, much less remember half the list. How to succeed: Write down three very specific, very doable goals.
  • How to fail: Write year-long goals. You have no idea where you will be in 12 months or what you will be doing, so why write out a goal that would take a year to accomplish. We live in a microwave culture, so you have to set microwave goals. How to succeed: Set goals for two to three months at a time.
  • How to fail: Write out broad goals. I’m sure we all want to eat healthier and exercise, but how in the world will you know if you are actually doing it? You have to be more precise. How to succeed: Quantify everything you want to do (i.e. go on a Daniel fast for thirty days).
  • How to fail: Don’t tell anyone. If you don’t tell other people what you are doing, then you have zero accountability besides yourself. Last time I checked, I am my own worst accountability partner. The reason Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers work so well is the accountability factor. How to succeed: Once you have two or three very specific, very short goals, tell someone to hold you accountable to them and/or invite them to do it with you.

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER SURE-FIRE WAYS YOU HAVE FAILED MISERABLY AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS? WHAT ARE WAYS YOU CAN TURN THAT AROUND THIS YEAR?

By Josh Lawson