The new year signifies a lot of things for many people. For most, it symbolizes a fresh start, a new hope, a second chance. This is where making resolutions and goals come in. We often make a list of things we want to change and goals we wish to achieve for the coming year.
Did you know that 60% of the human population make New Year’s resolutions? That’s a lot! And among those people, only about eight percent make it until the end. Now, that’s a big gap ratio. So if you’re among those unsuccessful 92%, and you want to change your success rate, you might be wondering what went wrong.
First off, people who effectively stuck with their resolutions understood that commitment is key. Everyone knows that change isn’t a one-time-big-time thing. It is a gradual process that requires a person’s strength, willpower and, above all, faith to take the necessary actions to achieve those goals they have set.
Setting Up Your New Year Resolutions and Faith Goals
When making your resolutions and goals, it is important to consider some factors in order to successfully keep them until the end.
Ask About Your Motivation
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to achieve this? Is it for vanity and other worldly reasons or is it for the improvement of my physical, mental, social, emotional or spiritual self?”
Remember that when making a decision to change, it’s important to look into your heart, and ask the why of it. God looks into our hearts, and when our motivation is pure and in the right place, our goals are blessed and have more value, making them more rewarding to achieve.
Ask If Your Goals are Feasible
When setting your resolutions and goals, it’s equally important to ask yourself if it is realistic. Most people set their goal too high, to the point that it is impossible to achieve because the actions needed surpass the person’s limit. Let’s face it, our goals are only as good as our capability to commit to them.
Make sure that if you make your New Year’s resolutions for next year, they are realistic and within what you can do.
Ask If Your Goals are God-centered
Just like asking yourself about your motivations, you also need to ask if your resolutions and goals align with God’s will for you. Does it honor God? Do you think it aligns with His purpose for you? The only way to know is to pray about it.
Lift Them Up to God
In John 15:4-5, it says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” This literally means that without God, anything we do is futile, and we can’t do anything without him. As said before, more than strength and willpower, faith is equally–if not more–necessary and powerful in fulfilling your goals and resolutions.
This New Year’s, lift them all up to God. Trust that He will guide you throughout this change you want to achieve, and have faith that He will help you throughout this journey. That’s why it’s called faith goals, right?
Goals and Resolutions for Your Faith and Spirituality
Now that you have your New Year resolutions and faith goals figured out, here are some that would help you improve your self and relationships as Christians.
Make Time for God
In every relationship, it’s important to spend some quality time with the other person, and our relationship with God should be no different. In our fast-paced world, we often neglect or overlook getting to know God or hearing what He has to say because we’re so busy with our lives. But, it shouldn’t be that way.
This new year, reconnect with God by making time for Him–make time to read the Bible and say a prayer or just sit in a moment of gratitude. It doesn’t have to take as long as an hour–that would be impractical and harder to commit to. Instead, devote a constant and specific time in the day wherein you could sit with God for ten to twenty minutes (or however long your schedule permits you). You could even do it when you’re doing a passive task, like showering or folding the laundry or even when you’re having dinner by yourself.
Invest Time and Reconnect with the Church
You may be a passive church-goer or you may have found yourself not going to church as much as you used to, either way, this new year, it’s time to change it.
If you’ve been going to church but you haven’t made the effort to connect with a small group or other church-goers, now’s the time to commit yourself to meeting and getting to know them. Church isn’t just about sitting and listening to the sermon for an hour, then going home. It’s about connecting with people and sharing the word of God.
Join a Bible Study or Small Group
As stated above, going to church means connecting and sharing the word of God with others. Part of your journey and growth in God is to share insights and knowledge about Him and the Bible. Find out if your church has Bible study groups you could join in, and if not, it won’t hurt to start your own!
Invite a Friend to Church
Oftentimes, there’s a stigma that goes with being a Christian or a church-goer; some of us even get scared or shy to invite friends to go to church with us. Whether it’s because we’re afraid of rejection or afraid of being judged or deemed uncool, it still means that we haven’t tried our best to share the word of God.
It’s time to step into the new year without that reservation. Have courage, and ask your non-Christian friend to church. If they say no, rest in the knowledge that you did what you could, and that it doesn’t reflect on you. Plus, this is your chance to be braver.
Read the Bible Daily
There are always new lessons you can learn from studying the Bible more closely. Dedicate yourself this year to spending more time in His Word.
If you don’t already have a daily Bible reading app on your phone, download one now. YouVersion has a great one that gives you a single verse a day to read. It also keeps track of your reading streak, to help you remember to read each day.
Goals and Resolutions for Yourself
Everyone wants to better themselves. These resolutions focus on the things you can do through the coming year that will restore your inner peace and help you focus more on your faith goals.
Volunteering is such a fulfilling experience that makes the heart feel lighter. There’s just something gratifying when you’ve volunteered. It’s not only good for you, but it’s also beneficial for and appreciated by other people.
For the new year, show God’s love by sharing your blessings, and in turn, being a blessing to others.
Let Go of Resentments and Misfortunes
Whether you’ve been hurt, have been wronged, or have been cast down in the past years, leave them all once the new year begins. Of course, this is easier said than done, but just like the other resolutions, it takes commitment and work.
However, just by letting yourself release all those resentments and burdens is already half the task done. Letting go is a process and it may take time, but as long as you’re willing to be happy and to surrender, you’re already victorious.
Be More Grateful
A life of gratitude is so much more fulfilling than a life of entitlement. Oftentimes, we take for granted the things we’re given, especially the small, mundane things. This may cause us to be entitled, and ask for bigger things we think we deserve.
Why not let go of that mindset, and be more grateful instead? As a Christian, let’s stop sulking and blaming God when we haven’t been given the things we’ve asked for. But rather, let’s be grateful for what we already have been given. When you focus on what you already have and the goodness you’ve experienced, you get to appreciate it more and, in turn, everything seems better.
Consume Healthy Content
Just like what we do for our physical body, in which we consume healthy foods, it is also important to consume healthy content for our souls. Make it a habit to listen to Christian music and podcasts, listen to or watch encouraging talks on what you could do to make a positive impact in the world, watch inspirational movies, and many more. The important thing is to consume soul-healthy content to encourage you to be a better and more godly person.
Have Time for Yourself
If you’ve neglected yourself the past year, make it a goal to take care of yourself this new year. Doing self-care goes beyond pampering yourself; it includes making time to understand yourself, listening to your mind and body, reflecting on your other goals and desires, and sitting with your emotions.
Looking at your inner self is just as important–if not more–as taking care of your physical body. The latter is just the cherry on top.
Goals and Resolutions for Family
It’s a new year, and a new chance for your family to bond and grow closer to God. Here are a few Christian New Year resolutions to share with your family this year!
Be a Better Family Member
It’s a broad, vague resolution, but if you look closely, it’s actually clear and simple. Be a better family member. The actions needed for this resolution depends on your role in the family. So, ask yourself how you could improve your relationship with all your family members.
The key to this resolution is to be specific. You could list down three to five specific actions and changes you could enact to achieve this goal.
Volunteer as a Family
If you’ve tried volunteering by yourself, the experience is twice more fulfilling when it is done with the family. Encourage them to volunteer with you to teach them the value of generosity and sharing God’s love to others.
Establish Family Bonding Time
You don’t have to go all out when thinking of a weekly or monthly activity to do with your family. A simple game night or family movie night would suffice.
The important thing for this resolution is to bond and be connected to your family members; to know and catch up with them, and to build a tradition or habit that everyone could look forward to every time.
Eat Dinner Together
For busy parents, listing this as one of your resolutions is a good thing. Mealtime is when we catch up with one another and talk about how each other’s day went. Not only does this activity bring the family closer, but it is also important for the children’s growth.
Spending this extra little time together each day, or at least when possible, will give your family more time to connect with each other. Use this time to talk to them about their passions, their fears, and their faith.
Pray as a Family
Praying as a family more is a wonderful Chrisian New Year Resolution. If you haven’t been praying together with your family, the new year may be a good chance to start.
Pray together before school and work in the morning, say a prayer together at bedtime, or even pray during the Sabbath day. No matter what time of day or day of the week, praying will help your family bond together and grow closer to God.
We know that keeping a New Year’s resolution can be hard to do. Most of us forget the reason why we’re doing it by the second or third month of the year. However, don’t lose hope and don’t give up just yet; this year may be different.
As we said above, it’s important to set your resolutions and goals with God in mind. Lift them all up to Him, and trust that He would help you cross your bridge with flying colors. This new year, make your resolutions with these words in mind, ‘Ask your why’s and have faith.’