It’s that time again! Time to set goals for the coming year. But, the real problem is not setting new goals and resolutions, it’s will they stick. Research studies over the years have shown that less than 40% of people who set goals for the new year are successful just after three months of trying….and the reason for that is you never change your behavior. Changing your behavior involves practice, practice and more practice. Oh, and not just practice, but having a foundation on which you can stand on while practicing. So now we get to the real reason many goals aren’t achieved as planned
Before any goal setting, whether it’s losing weight, stop smoking or drinking, or being a better parent, you need to apply the Instructions for Godly living to your life and walk in obedience to the word of God. The only way to do this is to go into training mode, just like an athlete or an honor student. Study God’s Word, depend on the Holy Spirit to help you obey, and begin to obey…..this is your foundation on which all of your other goals rest. Allow His power to be displayed in your life as you trust Him and begin to obey His Word and this will give way for you to put off old habits and replace them with godly habits in obedience to God’s Spirit. Below are 6 “instead of this, do this”changes, which is based on Ephesians 4 and 5, instructions for Christian living:
- Speak the truth instead of lying: We’re all members of one body, so when you speak to your neighbor you are essentially speaking to yourself, so at all times, be true to you.
- Confess your sin as soon as possible instead of sinning against others: Walking around with sin on your shoulders is a burden which means you are giving the devil a foothold on your life.
- Working and sharing instead of stealing: Stealing is a sin and if you are stealing then stop and begin working…do something useful with your hands. Serve others in need; fix a neighbor’s car, serve meals at senior home, etc.
- Building up others with your words instead of attacking others with your words: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And, remember when you say kind words, they affect the person you are speaking to or about, you and anyone in earshot of what you say, so words are powerful and should be used to bless others and not attack them.
- Acting with kindness…regardless of how you are treated instead of reacting sinfully to the sin of others: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
- God’s kind of love…giving to others instead of the World’s kind of love…”getting for me”: Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
Now, note an area from above where you need to change and then list some steps that would begin to move you toward that goal. Happy New Year!