Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tool - How to Keep Your New Years Resolutions

Have you made those resolutions for this year yet? It's day 2 of 2012 and it's time to set some goals for this year (or atleast that's what everyone says to do!) Maybe some are leftover from last year that never got tackled or maybe some were just plain unsuccessful and you want to reattempt them! Or maybe you have some new resolutions set and you are ready to go for it!

So how do we avoid failing at keeping these goals that we set for ourselves each year? I believe there is one tool that we can apply to our goals and resolutions that keeps us from failing. Here it is...

Purposing in our hearts and minds to live out our resolutions just for today.

What does that mean and how do we do this? Well first, it's important to remember the tool that Jesus gives us in Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." So using this great tool we say "If all I have to worry about is today, how will I meet my resolutions for just this day?" We set ourselves up for failure when we look at having to live out our resolutions for the 366 days of 2012! The mountain seems too big to climb and so after a while (especially when we don't see the pounds coming off or we fall off the wagon and eat that entire box of oreos, or go a whole week without having a quiet time, or spend too much money at Hobby Lobby) we give up. However if we purpose in our hearts and minds to tackle the goals for only the present day, by the end of this year, your goals have been met and you are moving onto bigger and better goals!

Now practically sometimes it's wiser to do some planning the day before. Set yourself up to win for the next day. If your goal is healthy eating, plan your meals for the next day. If it's exercising, look at your schedule for the next day and find the best time for you to do your work out. If it's smoking, plan to smoke only a certain amount for the next day. If it's spending money, set a boundary for the next day and have a friend call you at the end of that day. If it's daily quiet times, plan to get up 30 minutes early and set your alarm clock. Then when you open your eyes the next morning, gear up your mind to meeting the goal for just that one day. Set yourself up to win.

It's also important to point out that sometimes meeting our daily goals requires tackling the day one hour at a time, one minute at a time, one meal at a time etc. But don't be discouraged by this. Keep purposing! Keep telling yourself "I just need to get through the next hour without that cookie, cigarette, etc..." Or I just need to focus on healthy eating at breakfast for right now. I'll tackle lunch at lunchtime."

And last, if you fail, do not give up! It's one tiny failure in the midst of many successes. I love the passage in Lamentations 3:22-23 which says that His mercies are new every morning, Great is His faithfulness! Friends, that's every single morning His mercies are new and His faithfulness is great! So if you blow it, purpose in your heart to rest in this verse, get up the next day and start fresh with God, with your goals, with your purposing...

Oh and one more thing and I'm ending this Tuesday's Tool with this: We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13) Don't try to tackle your resolutions without the strength of your faithful Heavenly Father. He created you! And He knows you intimately. Pray about your goals, put them in His hands, pray for His strength and help and then...begin purposing.

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