3 Keys to Making Your New Year's Resolutions Stick This Year

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It’s that time of year again. We wake up with a fresh calendar year, filled to the brim with optimism and expectation. This year is going to be different! This year is going to be better! New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful opportunity to get things right in your life, to become a better you. But how can you make New Year’s resolutions stick? How can you make this year different than last year and the year before? If you’re making a New Year’s resolution this year, here are three keys that can be the difference between success and failure:

1). Be specific (with a plan). “Being a better person” is not a good resolution. Neither is “losing weight.” Those are both admirable goals, but there is no definitive way to measure your progress. You may want to be “happier” or “quit smoking,” but with no specifics, you’ll quickly lose heart. If you set a goal, make it specific. If you want to be a better person, what are three ways that you want to be a better person. If you want to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose and by when? What’s your plan to lose weight? If you want to be happier, what lifestyle changes specifically are you going to make to become happier? What’s your plan to stop smoking? As painful and tedious as it might be, put your resolutions down on paper. Make them specific. Have a plan, a timeline, a strategy, or your resolutions will quickly fade when the emotion of New Year’s disappears.

2). Don’t attempt your resolutions alone. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone. If you’re attempting to make major changes in your life, don’t attempt those changes on your own. Invite others into your resolutions. Make yourself accountable to someone. Live your resolutions out in community. Give someone permission to hold your feet to the fire. If not, when the resolutions get tough, the temptation to give up will become overwhelming. You need accountability, you need community to keep you on track when everything inside of you is screaming to get off.

3). Lean on a Higher Power (God). The reason you can’t change is because the problem is bigger than you are. As great as it sounds, “more will power” is not the answer because it’s not realistic. It’s why you haven’t been able to change yet. You need to lean on a power much bigger than yourself. You need to reconnect with God. Now, you would expect me to say this because I’m a pastor, but I believe that God will make the difference between success and failure not only in your resolutions, but in your life. From decades of experience, I’ve seen people overcome the most overwhelming obstacles imaginable with the power of God. If it can happen in their lives, it can happen in yours.

Happy New Year’s!

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