It’s New Year’s Resolution time again and, I have to admit, I do love a good resolution. In fact, I love them so much, I simply cannot WAIT until New Year’s Day to set a goal or resolution. So, instead, my solution for resolutions is to make them whenever I feel like it throughout the year! After all, who has time any more these days to wait MONTHS to do something as important as the things we tend to choose for our resolutions? Think about it, our resolutions often involve setting goals about improving our health, our relationships, our outlook on life. We use this sense of new beginnings that comes in the new year to make big changes, conquer fears, become more adventurous. So if you came up with a goal for yourself in August…why wait until January 1st (or 2nd!) to start your plan that will move you to this goal? Instead, we can start a New Year’s Resolution…ANY DAY of the year, and, if necessary, we can RESTART a resolution with each new day.. it’s a New DAY’s resolution REVOLUTION!
One of the reasons it is important to start your New Year’s resolution BEFORE the New Year is that it takes a good PLAN to reach a GOAL. Whether you have determined to eat healthy foods, run your first race, quit a bad habit, or start a good habit, you need to have a plan…which brings me to my point–How do we find and choose a GOOD plan? Let’s face it, there are a LOT of plans out there to help you with your goals…magazines and blogs are FILLED with resolution suggestions, the morning news shows and afternoon talk shows try to help us out by giving us “5 steps to eating healthier” “the NEW exercise that will change your body” “the revolutionary NEW book that will help you reach your fullest potential” All of these “plans” seem to promise, in some way the secret to having a LONG, HAPPY, HEALTHY, PROSPEROUS, ABUNDANT LIFE.
Now I am not saying that NONE of these plans have merit. There are many professionals that have spent time and effort to create what they believe is the answer, the WAY to help you…their intentions are good. But, as we know, even the best intentions lead in the wrong direction if we are not focused on the ultimate GOAL and following the ONLY “Right” Plan. The Bible tells us that “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21) or in the MSG translation, “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” To me this passage that reminds me that there are many plans out there, many options from which to CHOOSE, but none of these options, no matter how well thought out they are will only succeed if it is God’s purpose for your life to have it be so. Although this passage mentions success WITH God’s plan, but the writer of Proverbs puts it a different way in ch. 21:30 ,”There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” In other of words..God’s plans prevail AND our plans will ONLY succeed IF they are NOT against God’s plan.
When we go to brainstorm, examine, and CHOOSE the plans that we have for our resolutions ( 0r any goal for that matter)…Looking at the first section of Proverbs 21 might be a good place to look…think of it as THE PLAN to help us find a plan!
[Our Hearts] are a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.
We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.
Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors mean far more to God…
Arrogance and pride.. are just plain sin.
Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
Mixed motives twist life into tangles; pure motives take you straight down the road.
….Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived, can get the better of God.
Do your best, prepare for the worst— then trust God to bring victory.
Whatever plan you choose for your New Year’s resolutions–health and fitness, lifestyle changes, family goals, progressing in your faith… I pray that God will show you how to use YOUR Goals to fulfill HIS purpose for you and through you!
For more information on how to incorporate your faith into your daily life during this resolution time, please see some of these helpful sites: