New Year Resolutions. A new start. A fresh beginning. The new year begs for a reboot, a fresh focus. 2021 is over. Let the new year begin! If this draws you, I encourage you to keep it simple. Keep it simple in order to be successful.
Far too often in the past, I have made my list. Prayed over it. Mulled it over. Confident that I could “do” these few things (okay, maybe five or six), I set out with the best of intentions in the new year only to find that by the end of January, I had already failed.
What went wrong? Had I chosen the wrong new year’s resolutions? Where did my motivation go? It seemed so easy as I made out my list, even prayed over it. The best of intentions flew out the window, oh so quickly.
For some the key is to ask the Lord for a theme verse, phrase or even one word. Then pray over what the Lord would have as a new year’s resolution that supports that key focus. I really love this approach. For me, it works much better than making a list and hoping for full implementation of multiple things. If I am honest, my previous lists were all based in what “I” wanted.
Keeping it simple helps me be successful. One small step in the right direction keeps me going. If I take a leap, I may stumble or even fall. Often I do. But one step at a time, no matter how small, keeps me on the path.
I remember one year that the Lord gave me a phrase: “embrace the place.” He gently reminded me that He wanted me to embrace the place where He had put me. Focus on what He had for me right there. Look no further or allow temptation of the “grass is greener.” Instead, recognize that His “grace is greater” and His intentions are best for me.
Recognizing what God had for me helped me to focus. I knew that the next step, albeit a new year’s resolution, centered around this very focus. The new relationship to nurture. The next opportunity to embrace. I didn’t have a list of many goals but rather just a few. Not only was it easier for me to implement but it was easier for me to see progress. That encouraged my motivation to continue and the motivation wasn’t about just pleasing myself or the satisfaction of successful goals. Instead, it came from a heart to serve and please my Lord.
It is important to also write it down somewhere. Tell someone. When you voice your goal, it gains commitment and strength. There is power in the word, both written and spoken. Not only will your commitment increase but accountability also encourages motivation.
What is it that God is calling you to focus on for 2022? Could it be that He wants you to do something simple? Perhaps it is actually something you are already doing that He wants you to do more of or more often. Or maybe it is something completely new. Regardless, I encourage you to seek Him for clarity. Ask Him for His goals for you.
I realized that in the past, my list of goals were ones that “I” had decided and then I invited God along for the ride while “I” did what “I” wanted. When I finally recognized that any new year’s resolutions in my life should be His and come from Him, then it was not only easier to obtain, but the delight of implementing them grew exponentially.
I invite you to seek Him and expect to simplify. Focus on a few and walk in freedom with Him. As His new year resolutions become yours, you will find that you are walking in freedom with Him and not only reaching those goals but making them as part of who you were meant to be in Him.
May 2022 bring you refreshment and rejuvenation that you never thought possible in your relationship with Him. As He shares with you and speaks gently His ways and His wisdom on the way forward, may you be blessed abundantly as you not only make but keep those new year resolutions throughout all of 2022. And as the year end comes and you reflect, may you indeed see all that “He” has done in and through you!