One of the notable things about the New Year is the attitude of the whole global community towards it. People make New Year resolutions. It is a practice that cuts across every part of the world. It even goes way back into medieval times; about 3000 years ago of ancient Babylonians who make resolutions of what the New Year should be for them.
A New Year resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects or the reforming of a habit. People make resolutions to donate to the poor often some is to become a more responsible person. Some gear their resolutions towards their health; to lose weight, to improve their lives through exercise. For some, it is to quit bad habits; to stop biting nails or quit their obsession to eating habits, character improvement and so on. And for some, it may seem somewhat mundane like to meet new people, to try new activities or skills, to involve more in civic responsibilities or learn a new trade. Probably you are not left out in the making of these resolutions every year.
The question you should ask yourself as you intend to make new ones as this year runs out is, “how effective have I been in making my New Year resolutions happen?” Some few years ago, out of a survey of about three thousand people, stats show that about 88% of those who make these resolutions fail to actualize them even though at the start, they felt confident they would realize their aspirations. A lot of psychologists have proffered solutions to making New Year resolutions work. While some have opined that making resolutions should not be within the scope of what cannot be easily achieved, some argue that resolutions should be made public to friends and colleagues, who through reminding and supporting your through the year, will make it possible to achieve.
As Christians, the Bible has taught us well. The book of Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 and 6 teaches us not to trust our own judgment but God’s. Even though nothing in the Bible indicates that we should or should not make New Year resolutions, yet if a Christian chooses to make one, he must understand what the Word of God teaches us when we want to make decisions. Psalm 37: 5 and Proverbs 16:5 tells of what becomes the man who commits his doings to God – he shall be established because God will bring it to pass.
If a Christian is to make New Year resolutions, it shouldn’t be majorly concerned on physical things like it has been explored earlier. Making resolutions to attend church services regularly, pray more and read the Bible everyday are fantastic goals but you must ask yourself for what motive do you make these goals. You should ask yourself; “Why do I want to pray more than I did last year? Is it because I can get answers speedily to my needs or to develop a better relationship with God?” Even if it is to lose weight, ask, “Is it to honour God with my body or for vanity, so I can take pride in myself?” If God is not in the centre of whatever resolution you desire to make in this New Year, I can admit it to you the chances of making such a success is zero. Jesus made some very important note in John 15:5 which applies to a lot to our lives: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you have the power to do nothing.” The Apostle James rings it in our ears that we do not receive answers to prayers because we ask for selfish reasons. (James 4: 3) Remember that when Jesus taught us how to pray, none of the requests in the prayer fell outside of the God’s will. He indeed said, “…Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6: 10) Therefore, if a resolution is not in agreement with God’s word or honouring God, you will not receive God’s help in fulfilling such resolution.
In making New Year resolutions, put these in mind:
- Pray to the Lord for wisdom regarding whatever resolutions you need to make
- Pray to God for wisdom to fulfill the goals He will give you (Phillipians 4: 13)
- Rely on God’s strength to help you
- Find an accountability partner or a mentor who will help and encourage you
- Don’t let occasional failures discourage you. Let them serve as a motivation for you.
- Don’t become proud or vain but let God take all the glory