Why I never make New Year Resolutions

I am a very goal focused person and always have something I am working on or working towards, but I never make New Year Resolutions.  I have a few reasons

Studies have shown that less than 25% of people stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.  The chances of your sticking to a New year’s resolution is very low.

New Years Resolutions tend to focus on what you want to do or not do.  They are performance-based goals.  Making goals like this when you are on holiday, sets you up for failure.  Either because you can not start until you get home, or it is easy to do on holiday but difficult to incorporate into everyday life.

It is easy to get carried away on New Years Eve and make wide, sweeping declarations which are not realistic or achievable.  I will NEVER eat chocolate again or this year I will exercise EVERYDAY. 

Instead of New Years Resolutions I like to focus on what do I want to BE or what do I want MORE of in my life.   What I want to BE is to what God created me to be.  Every year I want to be more my true self, the person God made me to be and I want MORE of God in my life.  That is all.  I want to be more me, and I want more of God each and every year.

All my goals, achievements and aspirations flow from that.  Every step I choose in the new year take me closer to God and closer to the person God created me to be, my best, authentic self.

Many years ago I listened to a great audio book called ‘My One Word – Change your life with Just one word’ by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. I love this book and it changed the way I look at a new year.  In this book, the authors suggest finding one word to govern your year, kind of like a theme for the year.  So instead of setting resolutions use one word to direct your bible reading, your prayer life, the skills you seek and your development.  I have followed this for about 10 years, and I love the process of God revealing my word to me and watching as God breaks down and teaches me all the aspects and variations of this one word.  Words I have had in the past have been revolution, restoration, healing, freedom, soaring and surrender.  The word for 2020 was CLARITY. During the year I sort to clarify who I was, what I believe and clarifying my purpose.  Although many unexpected things happened in 2020, my word and my mission of pursuing Clarity did not change, and God revealed so much of my character, His character and our relationship in that one word. 

When considering your word for 2021, reflect on these questions…

  • What kind of person do you want to become this year?
  • What drives your desire to be this kind of person?
  • Describe the characteristics of this kind of person. Make a list of words based on this description.
  • Reduce your list to ten words or less and research those words. Use the dictionary and your Bible, perhaps a thesaurus.
  • Choose one word from your list to be your one word for this year.
  • Also choose a Bible verse that speaks to you about your chosen word and memorize it. This will provide a foundation of truth you can continually return to and will fuel your hope to change.
  • What initial expectations do you have regarding the impact of your word?

“My One Word provides us with a lens, with a new way of seeing. It’s a tool to train our eyes. It helps us frame the way we process the world around us and what happens to us.

Mike Ashcraft

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