Someone once made a joke saying, “may your troubles last as long as New Year’s resolutions.”
How many New Year’s resolutions have you made in your life? Probably many.
But how many have you successfully accomplished? A study shows that approximately 50% of the population makes resolutions each new year. Among the top resolutions are weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking, better money management, and debt reduction.
According to another research, the estimate is that less than 10% of people actually achieve the New Year’s resolutions they set on January 1st (University of Scranton Psychology Professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D.).
The change in calander does not create a change in character.
It’s important to note that although the calendar date has changed, it does not automatically mean that a change has occurred within our habits or even our character. This does, however, provide an opportunity for us to feel as though change is possible and a fresh start is commencing.
How to Assure Your Resolutions Pass the Test of Time
- Set a goal to be, not just to do.
New year’s resolutions that are focused more on what you need to do instead of determining who you want to be will fall flat on their face by February.
If we don’t shift our goals to represent the vision we desire to see for ourselves in the coming year, then we end up looking forward to a new cycle of our old habits.
2. From resolutions to routines.
To see lasting change in our life we must focus more on ROUTINES than RESOLUTIONS.
If we look throughout Scripture, Jesus was always interested in creating a lifestyle of faith within His followers instead of random leaps of faith.
For instance, when you look at the Gospels you’ll see that many miracles happened as a result of someone’s leap of faith. Many of those stories are recoded a single time and summarized by a few short sentences, but we don’t see much of them later on in Scripture and we don’t hear of their influence or impact on others as a result of that faith-filled moment. However, that wasn’t the case with the disciples; although they seemed to struggle to live out a life of steadfast, unshakable faith, their constant attempt caused them to change the world for Christ.
The disciples were building a lifestyle of faith while the rest of the people had momentary leaps of faith.
It’s not the people who have momentary leaps of faith, but those with a lifestyle of faith, that shake the world.
3. Change your habits using the 21/90 rule.
A change in lifestyle requires a change in our habits. It possible to do so at anytime, you don’t need to wait till January 1. A powerful shift towards growth can occur within you when you determine to change a habit.
A Duke University researcher, in 2006, found that more than 40% of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.
Changing your habits is a painful and slow process because bad habits are like a comfortable bed – easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
There is a quote that says,
All bad habits start slowly and gradually, and before you have the habit, the habit has you.Zig Ziglar
Another quote I heard once says,
Habits are like a cable. We weave a strand of it everyday and soon it cannot be broke.”Horace Mann
When creating new habits you must remember the 21/90 rule. It takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle.
People oftentimes quit right before they see their new routine turn into a habit and then into the lifestyle they have always dreamed of.
Your life can change – one decision at a time.
4. Start small.
It’s important to inch your way towards the overall vision you’re trying to accomplish.
If you want to better your health, expand your knowledge, or grow your relationship with God, start with small changes.
Start with doing a 10-minute exercise, cutting off the sweets, or with one day of fasting.
Read 1 chapter a day. Make an effort to pray for 15 minutes every day.
Small changes make big differences.
5. Reward yourself.
A sure way to ensure resolutions fail is by making them too broad or too unrealistic. As you pursue a change in your lifestyle, make sure to add a reward for your positive results you’ve accomplished along the way.
Set a reward system for yourself along your journey. Whether it’s once a month or once every other week, don’t wait till the end of the year to stop and enjoy your progress.
Lastly, stick with the decisions you have made until your determined deadline.
Break the spirit of quitting over life.
Decisions have to be like a postage stamp – they stick to the letter until it arrives at its destination.
Stick with those routines until they become a lifestyle. You’ll notice soon enough that not only will your life change but your character will too.
What are some routines you are wanting to accomplish?
I pray this was a blessing. Please share this blog and let me know what you think!