It’s that time again. You know, the time that people everywhere make resolutions for change in their lives as they enter into the new year. Of course, this also results with the usual failure rate that we seem to accept in our culture. We decide we need some changes, announce them and fail miserably. By the time this post goes live, many will have already abandoned their resolutions. This cycle seems to repeat itself every year, but we do it anyway. How do we stop this cycle of failure? How do we discover the resolution solution and move from failure to change to success?
The first step is Awareness. We will not change if we are unaware of the need to do so. The end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new one is a natural time to reflect and ponder what could be better or different in our lives. As Christians we fall into the same cycles as everyone else, but we actually have the solution to finding real success in change.
Through prayer and honest evaluation we can discover what needs to be different in our lives. This is a key. Honest evaluation means asking the Lord to show us areas of our lives that need to be addressed in order to be all that He intends us to be. This shifts the focus away from what could be shallow self serving goals onto the things that bring us into the full purposes of God for our lives. This means looking at our lives through the lens of His intended creative purposes for us. I find that when I connect the awareness of my need to change, to being able to fulfill the purposes of God, I become motivated. Many will determine to get out of debt, lose weight, start a business or be a better spouse, parent or person. These are good things, but we may lack the motivation to follow through. It helps to ask some simple, yet profound questions. What would my life be like if my finances were in order? How would my ability to fulfill God’s plan be impacted by being debt free? Would I be more effective if I were healthy? In essence, how does this change connect to a more fruitful and abundant life? These questions can reveal an eternal purpose for change and lead to the discovery of a plan to achieve it.
Awareness is where the process begins. Awareness of a need can become a God given burden that leads us to the place of vision. Vision for the change will ground us and enable us to stay focused on why we are in this process. It keeps us on track and reminds us of the importance and value of the need for change that we have become aware of.
Take some time here at the beginning of the year to pray and reflect. Allow the Lord to lead you in the discovery of the areas of change that will release His purposes into your life in a greater way. Write them down and envision how life will be different in a positive way when the change is made. Revisit this vision throughout the process and you have taken the first step towards the Resolution Solution!