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How to Create a Lasting New Year's Resolution

According to U.S News, by February about 80% of New Year's Resolutions are abandoned. We are individuals who desire change, growth and forward momentum. Often we know what we want to accomplish, but we don't know how to get there. When we create goals that we don't accomplish it leaves us worse off than before: more discouraged, more unmotivated, and less confident in our ability to make meaningful change. If you decide to create a resolution/goals for 2020, it is critical you begin with properly articulated goals. My hope is that these eight tips will set you up for success. 1. Follow the SMART goal framework. Make sure your goal is...

  • Specific: What exactly do you want to accomplish? For example, let's say you want to start exercising more - make sure you define the terms. What does exercise look like to you? Is it a walk? Strength training? Yoga? Running? Pilates? HIIT? What does more mean? Is it once a week? 5 days a week? 3 days a week? Get as specific as possible. 

  • Measurable: How will you measure success? What does success look like to you? How will you know if you accomplished your goal? How will you celebrate your success? 

  • Action-Oriented: What are the first action steps that you need to put into place to make this goal achievable? Do you need to get running shoes? Do you need to join a virtual gym, get a gym membership, or find an accountability partner? 

  • Realistic: Is your goal realistic or a wish list item? Is what you are setting out to do something you can incorporate into your life? If you haven't done it yet, why haven't you? Do you have competing desires? Is it too lofty? Do you really need to do something else first? 

  • Timed: When do you want to accomplish this goal? Try creating smaller goals to use as a benchmark. What do you want to accomplish by March? Consider splitting up your yearly goal into four goals -- one goal for every three-months.

2. Start small. Choose goals that feel manageable. If you accomplish your small goal, add another one to the list. By starting small, you breed confidence. Once you accomplish one goal, you will feel more confident in your ability to accomplish the next, slightly bigger goal. My husband recently lost 40 pounds over a few months. Before he lost all the weight, he committed to a daily workout of about 20 minutes. Small changes compound!

3. Write your goals down and post them in a place where you will see them often!

4. Share your goal(s) with a friend or an accountability partner.

5. Consider investing in health coaching. I'd love to walk alongside you and help you live to your greatest, God-given potential. 

6. Discipline trumps motivation every.single.time. Our feelings are fleeting, and our desires change, but the Lord has blessed us with self-control. Pray for self-control and lean into discipline. 

7. Expect to fail, but fail forward. Learn from your failures, adjust, and continue! Your failures don't have to derail you. 

8. Pray through your goals. Are your goals something that brings honor to the Lord? Do your goals bring you closer to Him? If so, ask the Lord to help you stick to what you set out to do. Remember, none of our good works are accomplished by our own doing but are made possible through our Heavenly Father who empowers us. A few verses that encourage me in this...

  • Galatians 5:16 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." 

  • Philippians 1:6 "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

  • 2 Peter 1:3-7 "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love." 

  • Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 "This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." 

  • Jude 1:24-25 "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."

As a Christ-follower, there's something beautiful about the softness of an individual's heart, and his/her desires to become a better version of himself/herself. If you feel a gentle nudge to make some changes, maybe it's from the Holy Spirit. Ask the Lord to reveal His desires for 2020 to you.

My prayer for you is that 2020 is a year of closeness with the Lord and that no matter what season you are in, you choose to live a balanced, joy-filled life, trusting the Lord's perfect plan. He's got you.


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