Last year about this time, a provided some ideas for creating some resolutions you an actually stick to, if you choose to make them. This year, I’m trying a different strategy. The reality is that external changes only stick if there is internal change either along the way, or even before you notice a difference in your behavior. Lots of us make declarations about what will be different, but we don’t do the internal work to make the change stick. Often, these changes are spurred by some sense of conviction, or a sense that we “SHOULD” do it. There are certainly some things we should do, but if the incentive is all external, it’s a set up. This is especially true in our spiritual life. Yes, God wants you to commit, to grow stronger and deeper, to spend more time in devotion, and to become more in tune. But do YOU have the same desire? Do you want to go as deeply as God wants you to?
So, here’s my simple suggestion to you: Start from the inside, and work your way out. Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- What are the thoughts, feelings, or relationship patterns that keep me in this rut I’m trying to get out of?
- What excuses do I tell myself that have allowed me to stay in this place I don’t want to be in?
- What about changing am I afraid of, or worried about?
- Do I really believe I can do this? What do I need from myself or others to make this change a permanent one?
- Have I prayed and asked God to help me sustain this change? (Yes, you can even pray about your workout plan!)
Some of us are masters at self sabotage. We pick a day, make a declaration, start doing well, and the gradually over time chip away at all our gains. What happened to that 20 pounds you wanted to lose, or the money you were committed to saving, your yearly devotional plan, or the promotion you were planning to go after?
The Word is really clear about the importance of the internal person, especially the mind:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2a
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6
So, in short, if you want to make your resolutions stick this year, get your mind right! Take the time to do the internal work, and it will show on the outside. Thanks for reading, and make Well Choices!