Turning New Year Resolutions Into Habits

Turning New Year Resolutions Into Habits

Do you know why we fail to keep our New Year's Resolutions? It is because we resolve to do something without planning on creating new habits. Let me make some suggestions for all of us that will hopefully help us to make new habits in the new year rather than merely making more failed resolutions.

  1. What change do you want to make? Determine what it is to want to accomplish. Write it down in a journal.

  2. What habit are you seeking to replace? Here is the mistake we make. We decide what we want to do or not do without identifying what we want to replace. For example, if you want to read your Bible through, what habit do you need to change? Going to bed too late? Hitting the snooze button too many times? Almost every addition requires a subtraction. Likewise almost every subtraction requires an addition. Do you want to give up eating junk food? Replace it with something else like almonds or carrot sticks.

  3. What can you do for 30 days that will develop it into a pattern? Our minds work in a habitual manner. We enjoy reputation which is why bad habits are so hard to break. We also like to do things without thinking which is why we gravitate towards habits. Purpose to develop a pattern that leads to a habit.

  4. Be accountable to someone else. Now, it may be wise to make that someone a person who is already successful in the area you are trying to change. For example I am submitting to a friend who is going to coach me on a daily basis to lose some weight and get in better shape. Accountability is a wonderful way to keep your feet to the fire.

  5. Create periodic rewards for accomplishing your goals. Perhaps at the end of every week you can rewards yourself for seven straight days of doing what you set out to do.

  6. Journal your progress. Truly I am a big proponent of journaling. I believe it is the missing link in many people's lives toward greater success and productivity.

  7. Do not allow a failure to discourage you. So you plan to read your Bible every day and the fourth day you already failed to do so. Write in your journal what happened and then determine to begin anew the next day.

  8. Know your final goal. I am going to lose weight is not a good goal. Determine exactly how much weight you plan to lose and make certain it is a reasonable goal with a reasonable timetable.

  9. Pray about it. The Spirit of God lives within you. To not accomplish a goal is to neglect His Spirit. Greater is he that is within you than the challenge you are facing.

  10. Adjust your schedule to accomplish your goal. I get up very early, but I am going to need time to exercise every morning to accomplish my goal. Therefore, I must adjust my schedule to ether get up earlier or to rearrange other morning activities. However sometimes it is changing nighttime schedules that can allow us to rise earlier so that we can do what needs to be done in the morning. Less TV time at night may allow you to get to bed sooner so you can get up and do it.

  11. Use the Word of God as your foundation. Most of the changes I seek to make are linked a Biblical purpose. I want to be more effective in my thinking in the year to come and I know that to do so I must make certain that my body is healthy. For my diet and getting into shape I am holding onto Romans 12:1 as my inspiration. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." I want to present an acceptable body to the Lord and one that is not in the best shape possible is not reasonable. The next verse says that my mind will be renewed. Clearly I believe that if my body is truly committed to him I will have a clearer and more effective mind.

These are some ideas which I hope will help others as they have helped me. May we see true changes in our lives in this coming year. Happy New Year.