Approximately 40% of us make New Year’s Resolutions (Hetter, 2020). According to Forbes Magazine, 8% of persons who set a New Year’s Resolution actually accomplish the change they wish to make (Prossack, 2019). January 12 is the day on which most give up their resolution (Khalilau, 2018). In other words, most of us do not even make it a month until we give up!
What are the resolutions we make? Below are the top 10 resolutions researchers have found:
- Diet or eat healthier (71 percent)
- Exercise more (65 percent)
- Lose weight (54 percent)
- Save more and spend less (32 percent)
- Learn a new skill or hobby (26 percent)
- Quit smoking (21 percent)
- Read more (17 percent)
- Find another job (16 percent)
- Drink less alcohol (15 percent)
- Spend more time with family and friends (13 percent) (Economy, 2019)
Since we are Christians, we could probably add to that list great habits such as:
- Read the whole Bible through this year
- Daily prayer
- Daily Bible study
Given these grim statistics, I suspect most of you reading this are struggling with making a change in your life. Right about now, I am guessing you are wishing the title of this article was “Three Pro Tips on Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution!” True change is difficult but not impossible. Many resolutions fail due to lack of planning for success. Others make a nebulous statement of change like, “I’m going to eat healthier!” Unfortunately, this statement is not a clear goal.
Goals, Not Resolutions
All of these are great ideas. However, they remain just that, IDEAS, unless we turn them into a goal. Experts urge we should make “goals” instead of “resolutions” (Prossack, 2019). What is the difference? A resolution is a firm decision you will stop or start doing some behavior. Whereas, a goal requires more planning, a clear statement of what the goal is, when you will meet it, and how.
Another interesting bit of information is researchers have found the idea that it takes 21 days to create a new habit untrue. It actually takes longer. If the habit has to do with anything which is affecting the reward circuits in our brain (e.g. drugs, alcohol, food) it takes 30 days for the brain to begin to change and stop expecting and constantly craving for the old behavior or substance. There appears to be more research support for there being power in going 60 days with a new change in your lifestyle to stick.
Any of the changes mentioned above are also changes God would want us to make. They are changes which will make us happier and healthier. That is what God’s goal for us always is.
A Series About Change
Over the next 3 months, I am going to be posting a series of articles regarding making changes. It will be applicable to any change you want to make. Included will be proven techniques to help people make important changes. Additionally, we will talk about change from a Christian perspective. There will also be assignments. You can read all of it and do nothing. Or you can decide here and now, today I am going to do what it takes to change. With God’s help, it is possible to make a change.
So what change are you thinking about? Starting on February 2, 2020, we will start building the foundation for making a change. We will NOT start the change that day! Remember the parable of the “wise man and the foolish man”? Foundations are crucial to success. The foundation will take 2 weeks to build. The foundation will include helping you start building motivation for what you want to do. We will look at obstacles to change and ways you can overcome them. We are going to get you started on the road to success.
Then we will start the change. Over the following 90 days, I will post more ways to keep up the change you wish to make. We will discuss failure and how to get back on the track. Every change involves failure. Failure is some of the most valuable learning we do.
During the rest of January, I want you to think about what change you want to make. Do not set a goal. Just start thinking. Start praying. God, what would you like me to do? I also would like you to think about this question: Do I need support for this change? If the answer is yes, what kind of support? Would it help you if you could have a few friends around you who were also making a change? It does not need to be the same change. The mental battles, spiritual battles, and struggles are the same no matter what the change is. It may be possible you could gather a small group at your church that could all join in supporting each other in making a change. Maybe you would like to have one friend or a few friends you could Skype or do a Google Hangout with weekly and support each other. Maybe you even make a closed FaceBook group for yourselves, or a Hangout discussion thread.
Perhaps you just want to make this change alone. This is OK too. Whatever works for you.
While I post these proven supports for change, I am going to be right there with you. I have goals of my own for the coming year. Some are financial. Some involve my career and new business. Others have to do with improving my health. I will be doing the assignments right along side you.
Next I will discuss more about preparing for change. Let’s do this thing!
Economy, P. (2019, January 1). 10 Top New Year’s Resolutions for Success and Happiness in 2019. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/10-top-new-years-resolutions-for-success-happiness-in-2019.html
Hetter, K. (2020, January 1). How to keep New Year’s resolutions. Retrieved January 19, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/health/keeping-new-years-resolutions-wellness/index.html
Khalilau, S. (2018, December 22). New Year’s resolutions last exactly this long. Retrieved January 19, 2020, from https://nypost.com/2018/12/21/new-years-resolutions-last-exactly-this-long/
Prossack, A. (2019, January 1). This Year, Don’t Set New Year’s Resolutions. Retrieved January 19, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/12/31/goals-not-resolutions/#47cee8e3879a