Sunday, January 10, 2010


While I know I'm a little late on my first blog of the New Year, trust was worth the wait. So let us begin! Did you make a 'New Year's Resolution'? Did you make one last year? If so, how many did you make and did you achieve all of your goals?
Did you know that nearly 97% of New Year's Resolutions fail each year? Do you know why there's such a high failure rate concerning New Year's Resolutions? Is it because we have commitment issues...yeah, I can see that, but I think it's much more than that. I think it's something more basic, a value or discipline we all struggle with and it doesn't have to do with the goals themselves, but how we go about making the 'change' for the better.
When you think of New Years Resolutions you think of a list. And when you think about that list you don't really get into specifics concerning how you plan to achieve it. According to Psychology Today  we fail because of 'unclear and vague goals'. For instance, one of the top 5 resolutions is concerning eating habits or weight, but it's usually written down or considered more of a 'wish' list rather than an actual goal that can be achieved. So when we slip up, we throw in the towel! Our mindset and goals aren't on the same page. Too often the bar is set so high that when we screw up we beat ourselves up over the failure and give up instead of pressing on and not focusing on the negative and saying things like 'I can't do it' or 'I'm a failure'. No one likes to fail, but when there's no plan for our can we hope to achieve it?
Again, Psychology Today offers us an example:

Three reasons for failing to achieve one's stated goal-
(1) Unclear and vague goals. It is better to state "I plan on losing 20 lbs by June 1st" rather than "I plan on being more healthy."
(2) Failure to gauge one's progress toward the stated goals. It is better to weigh yourself every Friday morning as a means of gauging your weight loss rather than leaving it to how "well you feel in your pants."
(3) Weak self-control and self-regulation when facing challenges that impede one's ability to achieve the stated goals. It is better to state that once you go on vacation, you will only have a single plate at any meal at the all-you can eat buffet (irrespective of the offerings) rather than having to respond to the temptations at each meal void of a self-regulatory action plan.

Now, the thing that jumped out at me was 'rather than having to respond to the temptations' and 'self-regulatory action plan'. Concerning our spiritual lives we often miss the boat completely because we have only well intentioned goals and no plans to help us reach the goals. And some of us often end up praying to God empty prayers and go through the motions, yet still expect Him to be faithful and give us what we want...when really- what have we done for Him lately? And then, for some, it becomes a bargain or 'offer' that we throw out there: 'please God, I promise to do this if you will do this,' yet more often than not...we never follow through on our end. I mean we might for a while, but not long enough to make it a life-style or life-altering change.
Now, lets take a look the word and definitions of resolution: a formal expression of opinion or intention made, the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
Did anything jump out at you? How about 'determining upon an action or course of action' or 'the mental state or being resolved' and my favorite: firmness of purpose. My challenge for you, especially if you've made a commitment to God in your life-not as a New Year's Resolution, but rather to be a Christ-led follower, is to stay focused and firm concerning the goal of becoming more Christ-like. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I heard today from Herm Edwords now at ESPN " A goal without a plan is just a wish" thinking this is so true