It’s that time of year again when we resolve to get off our duffs and run around the block more often, maybe even cut back on all of those things which we know we aren’t supposed to eat, drink or smoke. If you are one of the backsliders who breaks the first resolution on your annual list before breakfast on New Year’s Day, here is some helpful insight from a study by psychologists at the University of Washington.
In a survey, the researchers found that most people are more willing to do something they know is right than give up something they know is wrong. That’s an interesting perspective on approaching goals: 84% of those surveyed vowed to start doing something like exercising, which was the most common resolution of all. Only 14% vowed to give up something. Those who started doing something rather than merely give up something were more successful in following through with their goals.
Maybe that’s why the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8-9, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Making New Year’s resolutions that you will keep involves self-assessment, repentance, personal honesty, and humility. Here are some practical suggestions to help you set your goals:
- Make only one or two resolutions.
- Choose resolutions you’ve been thinking about for a while.
- Adopt a new good behavior rather than try to shake an ingrained bad habit.
- Choose realistic goals you feel confident you can meet.
- If you don’t succeed, determine the barriers that blocked you and try again.
Happy New Year and God bless you!