Every year millions of people are excited for the new year. They are excited because they can see the new year as a time to start from scratch, to start with a clean slate. So with the hopes of a new year and a new you many people make New Year resolutions. Unfortunately a couple weeks to a couple months later many of those same people are back to the old habits they tried to break and the new habits they tried to create are gone. So why didn't it work? There are hundreds of reasons but I believe that they can all be summed up into three.
The first reason is really very simple. The cause of not accomplishing your resolution is the purpose is not big enough. If a person is given a big enough purpose, they will find a way to accomplish it. Don't believe me? Most people would not run into a burning building to save their TV but they would to save their children if they were in the building.
The other day my family and I packed meals for starving children. The director said you could look at what we did from three different ways. One we spent a few hours packing food into a bag, two we helped feed some kids that were starving, and three we saved children's lives today. I gave up a few hours of my life to save lives not pack food. The reason why you want to change something in your life will make all the difference in the world. Do you want to lose weight so you can fit into those old jeans, or is it because you will be healthier, or is it because you can honor God by taking care of your body. You can glorify God by being healthy! Do you want to be out of debt so you can buy that house you always wanted or not have that stress hanging over you or is it to show God that you can be a good steward of your money.
The second reason most resolutions fail is there is no plan or the goal is unrealistic. I know that sounds like two reasons but I believe they go hand in hand. Most people who go on vacation make a plan. They plan on where they are going, how they are going to get there, what they will do when they get there, and how they will pay for it. Imagine going on vacation without that plan. The likelihood of your vacation being everything you hoped it to be would be slim. We have all heard that failing plan is truly planning to fail. When we make a plan we can learn if the goal is realistic. If you live in Minnesota, good luck taking your family to Florida with $100. We have all heard that failing plan is truly planning to fail.
The final reason I think most people fail is the goal does not include seeking God first. I know this because I have done this many times. I get a great idea and start taking action without first praying about and making sure this is what God wants me to do, then I wonder why it failed.
Do you want to look back at 2010 and feel good because you accomplished your resolutions? Here is how!
1) Make sure your goal or resolution are in line with what God wants in your life. Exercising, eating healthy, living within your means are definitely in line with what God wants but does he want you to start a business, start a new job, find a spouse, home school your children, etc. The best way to find this out is to ask Him.
2) Have a big enough why. Make sure the purpose for achieving this goal is big enough. Running a marathon this year may be a great goal but why do you want to do it? Because my friends are doing it may not be a big enough reason to get out of bed at 5 am on a Saturday morning.
3) Have a plan. One way guideline for achieving goals is to make them SMART.
S- Be specific in your goal. There is a big difference between saying you want to lose weight vs. saying I want to lose 15 lbs.
M- They need to be measurable. If you want to lose 15 lbs you should know how much you weight to start and I would highly recommend knowing you body fat as well.
A- Your goal should be achievable. Trying to lose 15 lbs in one week is setting yourself up for failure.
R- It also must be realistic. Losing 15 lbs can be realistic but not in one week.
T- The goal should also be trackable or have a time that it needs to be accomplished by. Having deadlines for some people are stressful but for many of us it is very helpful as it gives us the motivation we need.
Following these three steps will not guarantee your success but it will improve them significantly. If you fail don't give up and don't wait until next year to try again. Re-evaluate, re-organize and try again!