On Setting a New Years Resolution


I love the final day of the year because I always take a time during the day to reflect on everything that happened in the year. I read all of my journal entrees, I scroll through every Facebook post, tweet, and Instagram picture, I review my preaching schedule from the year and think about each of those times I preached. I spend time reflecting on the things I have done over the course of the year and how the Lord has worked in me from Jan 1 to Dec 31.

As 2016 approaches, it is the perfect time to look at the previous year and think about the upcoming year. A question we can ask ourselves is, how can we change? What do we want to do differently in the coming year than we did in the previous?

I have been going to the same fitness gym since I was twelve and January is always an interesting time. On January 1st, the place begins to flood with new faces. In about February or March, most of those faces disappear. Why? People set a New Years Resolution to lose weight or get in shape and it didn’t stick. Why didn’t it stick?

I believe that many people would do better at their New Years Resolutions if they made the resolution more measurable. There is no way to track and see how I am doing when my New Years Resolution is “Get in shape.” What is your definition of “in shape”? Is it getting rock hard abs or simply not getting out of breath as easily?

When I plan for the coming year, I don’t necessarily call them resolutions. I call them goals. On December 31 for the last couple years, I have sat down and come up with goals for the following year. As today goes, I am working on my 2016 Goals. Here are some of them:

-Journal at least once a week (52 times total)

-See 20 movies you’ve never seen before

-Run 250 miles

-Read 50 books

These aren’t all of my goals for the year, but they are some I am shooting for. I may not make each one of them and that is okay. When Dec 31, 2016 arrives, I can at least see how close I got.

Do you see how these goals are measurable? No matter the month of 2016, I can look at my goals for the year and keep track of them and see how I am doing on each one of them. I can’t do that as well if my goal is “Run more” or “See more movies.” There is just no way to measure that.

Keep in mind that as you set New Years Resolutions, make them as specific as possible. The more specific they are, the more likely you will be able to watch your progress and the more likely you will stick with it because you can be encouraged at the progress you are making.