Why do so many New Year’s Resolutions fail? Because most of the people who make them change nothing about their life in order to reach their goal. You might be saying, “Isn’t change what all resolutions are all about?”
The path that most people take when adopting a New Year’s Resolution is to make it about more – more Bible reading, more time with family, more exercise, more prayer, etc. All of these are admirable but what happens when you go and implement this plan of more without first
evaluating the status of other areas of your life. The reason people cannot sustain their resolutions is because they try to stack their resolution on top of the normalcy of the rest of their life.
So, Bible reading becomes about getting up 15 minutes earlier, time with family becomes about forced activity when you have no energy at the end of the day, exercise becomes about joining a gym, and prayer becomes about buying a book or a journal to write your prayers in. Do you see the pattern here? Piling on activities, throwing money at things, and adding products only adds more stuff and complexity to your life.
The best resolutions should be to determine what I need to eliminate from my life so that I have more time for Bible reading, prayer, exercise, and family activity. Where do I get the most distracted? Does my time and my commitments need to be overhauled so I have room for the things that really matter and will give me the most fulfillment? New Year’s Resolutions fail because they are seen as addendums to our life instead of priorities that need to reshape many of our other commitments.
Make a plan today to cut out a distraction from your life and open up some space for God or an important change in your life. Here are a few things that I do to keep me out of the “more trap”:
- Only check email and texts twice a day
- Never read more than two books at a time
- Keep the Sabbath
- Periodically fast from technology
- Never trust how schedules look on paper; anything can look doable on paper
- I don’t own a cell phone
- limit TV watching to 1 hour per night
- go outside