10 Lies that Make Us Give Up on New Year’s Resolutions

The Christian Habits Podcast show

Summary: How do you feel when you hear the phrase, New Year’s resolutions? Excited? Defeated? Skeptical? In recent years, New Year’s resolutions have gone out of style in favor of goals. The idea is that New Year’s resolutions are vague, so they don’t work—but goals are more defined with action steps, so they work.<br> <br> I disagree with this philosophy.<br> What I’ve found in my own life is that neither one will work unless I go about it the right way. Before we get into that, though, let’s look at the difference between New Year’s resolutions and goals.<br> New Year’s Resolutions vs. Goals<br> According to Google, the definition of resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something” and the definition of goal is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”<br> With those definitions in mind, I would say a resolution is about stopping and starting habits, and a goal is more of a check-it-off-your list accomplishment, such as building a garden shed or writing a book. Both of those are good things.<br> The problem isn’t in the word resolution or goal, the problem is how we go about trying to follow through on our resolutions and goals.<br> Two Approaches to New Year’s Resolutions and Goals<br> If we only use man-made tools (plans, lists, action steps, etc.), we’ll only be able to do the things we can accomplish in our own strength. For example, I’ve always been great at accomplishing my recreation goals because I’ve always been good at recreation. But I used to be terrible at accomplishing my work goals because I’m not naturally good at work–I can’t do those goals in my own strength.<br> Thankfully, we don’t need to rely on our own strength. If we’re willing to go to God for help and lean on His strength, we’ll be able to succeed even if we aren’t strong in that area. We’ll still use our lists and plans, but we’ll go to Him when we can’t make ourselves follow the plan.<br> At the end of this post, we’ll look at a 5-step process for achieving goals and resolutions using both practical tools and spiritual tools, but before we do that, let’s look at 10 lies that get in the way of our New Year’s resolutions and goals and 10 truths and Bible verses that will help us persevere and gain success with them.<br> 10 Lies That Hurt – 10 Bible Verses That Help<br> 1. This will be easy. At the beginning of the year, we’re all fired up. We think, This will be easy! I’ll just make a list of goals and then I’ll change! Unfortunately, change can be a long, slow process with a lot of glitches and failure along the way. We’ll be more likely to succeed if we have realistic expectations of the process. Jesus told us what to expect from life, and this is also true any goals or New Year’s resolutions we take on.<br> These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33<br> 2. This is too hard. After we realize it’s not going to be as easy as we thought, we often jump to this conclusion: It’s too hard. This isn’t true! The truth is what we told our little kids when they were growing up: You can do hard things! Especially when we know that God is with us.<br> For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. Hebrews 4:15-16<br> 3. I can’t do it. This is the lie that always come after “It’s too hard” in my journal. I don’t know how many times I’ve written it. Hundreds, I would guess. But here’s the great thing. I’ve written this lie over and over,