Most people become quite thoughtful as one year ends and another begins. It’s a time of reflection and planning, of hopes and dreams.
Traditional New Year resolutions generally involve weight loss and fitness, especially after a well-fed Christmas season.
This year, why not plan on doing something different?
Instead of saying I’m going to lose weight and get fit, why not think a bit more out the box and set New Year resolutions that will guide your entire life in the right direction?
Here are 5 New Year resolutions I believe everyone should have:
#1 Think about what you are thinking about
Negativity pervades our world. Turn on the news and the announcer fills you in on all the doom and gloom of the day. It’s not bad to be informed of what is going on around you, but it is unhealthy to dwell on the negative to such a point that it impacts your mood.
Thinking about what you are thinking about forces you to change track and focus more on what good is happening in the world. And it can direct your path to make better things happen. You have it in your power to intentionally help others.
- When you think about how depressing it is to see poor people all the time, think rather about how you can help them.
- Carry granola bars in your car for handing out to anyone less fortunate than yourself.
- Be prepared to buy a Big Issue.
- Drive with others in mind.
- Crush the negative thoughts with a joyful song.
- Smile at the world.
#2 Don’t make hasty decisions
We all have choices. We have to buy food, make friends, choose subjects to study and jobs to do. As you are faced with each choice in the coming year, before each and every one, ask yourself the question, “What is the wise thing for me to do?”
Andy Stanley has done an entire series on this, entitled “Ask It.” It’s absolutely worth watching. He rightly says that by simply asking this question in the light of your past experience, your current circumstances, and the dreams you have for your future, you will prevent an enormous amount of personal pain and suffering.
Take the teenager who is being persuaded to sleep with her boyfriend. If she asks, “What is the wise thing for me to do?” an unwanted pregnancy could be prevented—certain heartache is avoided.
As adults, we are faced with major financial choices—buying items that we cannot afford is absolutely unwise.
By asking yourself, “What is the wise thing for me to do?” you will find yourself making intelligent decisions that will impact your future in a far more positive and profitable way.
#3 Keep on doing a little
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything.”
If you want a successful year when it comes to weight loss or getting fit, keep on doing a little. As you think about what you’re thinking about, keep in mind to aim for thoughts of a healthier you. As you ask yourself, “What is the wise thing for me to do?” you will find yourself selecting a healthier food option, or choosing to get out and exercise instead of staying home and vegging on the couch eating popcorn and watching TV!
You don’t need to do a lot, but the way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little.
This is also a great mantra to have in mind when you are decluttering your house.
Praying fits into all of the above categories. When you find yourself thinking a whole lot of negative and depressing thoughts, prayer can interrupt them, bringing you back to what is good and helpful.
When you are asking yourself, “What is the wise thing for me to do?” you can stop for a moment and consider what God would have you do. If you pray a little more, you will find your inner being drawn to understand that you are not alone—you have a Creator who has got you in His hands and knows all your needs.
#5 Read the Bible
Someone once called it “Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth”. The Bible holds within its pages far more knowledge and understanding that we can glean for this single life. It is possible for us to read it through and through and yet still not plumb the depths of its wisdom.
Starting in the Gospel of John in the New Testament, and reading just a little every day, will bring about a greater vision in your life, giving you a more eternal perspective. It’s not all about here or now. There is a great deal more to come when we breathe our last. Some of how that works is found within the pages of the Bible and it’s worth checking out!
Have a fabulous 2016!