It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when we look back on the previous 365 days and wonder where time has gone. It’s the time of year that we make resolutions. The time of year when we promise to make changes. We’ll “stop doing this” or we’ll “start doing that.” About 36% of people give up on their resolution within a month. They can’t even last 30 days!
Most people fail in their resolutions because they bit off more than they can chew. More often than not, those that “want to lose weight,” don’t know how to set realistic goals or even where to begin. In some cases, they’ve never worked out consistently in the past. They don’t know how to cook a well-balanced diet.
Last year, my resolution was to “read more.” For me, “reading more” means just picking up a book. I am terrible at reading on a consistent basis. I had to research books that I thought I would like. I had to set aside time each week to purposefully read. I had to have a plan. In the end, I read a total of three books. For most people, they can do that over the course of a week, but for me, I consider my resolution kept! I haven’t read that much since college. But I kept with it. I had good weeks and bad weeks.
This year, I have two resolutions: 1) Read the Bible in a year and 2) lose 30 lbs. I’ll start with #2. Why do I want to lose weight? Because I “half worked at it” last year and managed to lose 25 pounds. I had more bad weeks than good weeks, but I can feel the difference. I made small changes and reasonable goals like ordering salads instead of greasy burgers. I ordered water instead of a soda. I worked out occasionally. Like everything else, I had good weeks and bad weeks, but I had a plan. My plan is to not get yelled at again at my next doctors visit.
My number one goal this year is to read the Bible in a year. It’s a lofty goal but I found a plan that requires me to read five times a week. That’s pretty reasonable. I know that there will be good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. I know that if I fall too far behind on a daily schedule, I’ll give up after a while. My hope is that I will read through the books that I tend to gloss over or purposefully skip. My hope is that I set the example for the students in my youth ministry and my family at home.
What is your resolution? What’s your plan? What’s your motivation? Most of us have the first question down, but not the second or third. It’s important to have all three. If you don’t have a roadmap for success, you’ll easily stray from your goal. If you lack true and virtuous motivation, you’ll easily give up when the going gets tough. I encourage you to find the answer to all three questions. If you do, you’ll have more success.