Are you excited about the New Year that awaits us just around the corner? Are you thinking up new things to do, or see, or simply experience? Or are you considering the steps you can take to make life a bit easier, like slowing down your pace, or cutting back on spending, or any number of exciting expectations?
I am doing all of this, and probably a mite more! We all seem to take heart as we approach each new year. But for some reason, many of us find ourselves in exactly the same place as we were last year at the end of the New Year. So why is that, and what can we do about it?
First things first. I think that most of us envision hope for the new year. And hope is an important component of anything new we set out to do. We hope that our ideas and plans have substance. We hope that others will see that substance. We hope that we can challenge ourselves to keep on it, up to date with it, and we hope that our aspirations will become reality. Without hope, we cannot succeed. So, make sure you add hope to your New Years project.
Okay, next is approval. We need the approval of those who can assist us in what we set out to do. This is true even with something, for example, as common as setting a goal for losing weight. If we have a partner, or a buddy, who can hoot us on in this quest, we are more likely to be successful. When others make comments about us looking good, or something about how we just look different in some way, our motivation monitor shoots up by droves. When our family and friends approve of our efforts, then we are more likely to keep on with them and enjoy a good outcome. Make a promise to yourself to find those people in your life who will shower approval on your plans.
What hope and approval are to success, the opposite spectrum of each are the same to defeat. For example, if our hope diminishes for some reason, and I can think of many of those reasons, then our efforts to succeed become lackluster, lame, and we just don’t feel like trying anymore. If approval is withdrawn, or was never given in the first place, our plan for the New Year may never even get off the ground. Without approval and support, hope goes out the window, and the help we may require from others never appears. We end up with a dead-end resolution, dashed hopes and dreams, and a feeling of utter defeat because nobody believed in us enough.
These things are facts. The fiction is what we get when we listen to the wrong messages. And you know who it is that sends those messages. Not our holy Father. Not Jesus. Not the Holy Spirit. It is the enemy. And we should never listen to him. He lies, he cheats, and he steals our joy. But God has whispers of hope for all of us, and His approval is grander than praise from any other. When we include Him in our resolutions, our New Year will hold the success story of a lifetime, because HE IS THE LORD!
So make your New Year’s Resolutions. But also make a plan, and stick to it. And make sure you ask God if it is worthy, and if your plan is His plan. Enjoy the ups and downs as you go through the year, and send me a message at the end of 2015, and let me know how you did! I’m going to update same time, same place, next year!
‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
Happy New Year!