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Have you ever arrived to a gym parking lot that was oddly full? Then, inside the gym, the place was packed and all the machines were in use?
When this happened to me, I asked a friend who worked at the gym, “What’s going on?”
“Oh, it’s the New Year’s resolutions that people make to get in shape. Give it a month, and the place will look back to normal.”
Although I knew she was right — in February, parking and equipment wait times returned to normal — I didn’t love the prediction. On that January day, I happened to be at the indoor track because of my own resolution to walk three miles every day.
Research suggests that approximately half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8 percent actually achieve them. Why is it so hard?
The problem is that New Year’s resolutions typically rely on your own human abilities. You resolve to try harder in areas where you’ve been stuck or haven’t had much success. You look to willpower, discipline and internal motivation. You’re expecting that you can turn things around on your own.
So why bother? Is it really worth our time? Do resolutions really make our lives any better?
While the Bible doesn’t use the English word “resolution,” it does cover the topic of positive change.
Overall, God’s plan for your life is that you would be conformed to — or look more like — Jesus. That requires a transformation of your heart and mind that leads to changes in your daily life.
Whether you make New Year's resolutions or not, the end of each year — the beginning of the next — is a great time for reflection.
Think about where you are spiritually, physically, relationally or monetarily, and invite God in. Ask Him what changes you need to make or what areas of your life you need to surrender, and ask Him for help. Whether you make official resolutions or not, the great news is, God gives you a Resolution-Completer — the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives you a desire to change, and He brings about the change in your life.
Making resolutions is a great way to connect with friends and family who may not know Jesus to talk about desired changes and the hope for change in our lives.
Are you making any resolutions this year? If so, leave a comment below.
Continue to consider resolutions:
This International Women’s Day, you can know that God sees, honors and values women. God has a special place for women in His plan to restore humanity.
Whether you’re an outsider to a tradition that seems strange or wondering about your own, try to move beyond your “head” to your “heart.” Instead of critiquing what doesn’t make sense, ask where traditions come from.
What are your hopes for the new year? What will it take to make them happen? Set your goals, then look for the right path forward.
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