How you can actually achieve your New Year’s resolutions


At this time of year, I always look back over the previous year, with the intention of looking forward to the new year ahead, and planning for the areas of achievement I have in mind.

What worked? What didn’t work? And where do I want to focus my efforts and my energies?

There are times I’m disappointed that I didn’t get further than I’d desired, and then I re-work and reset those goals for the new year, asking the Lord Jesus to be my vision for the time ahead.

Have you heard the saying, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”? This old nursery rhyme suggests to children that it is useless to wish, as better results could be achieved through action.

Most New Year’s resolutions are just that—wishes, desires, or good intentions.

Typically 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail, according to a 2007 study. The reason for this failure includes setting unrealistic goals, not keeping track of their progress or forgetting about it. This is typical of human nature.

Interestingly, women succeeded 10% more often if they made their goals public and got support from friends, proving that we are social creatures who need the support of friends.

Our resolutions are usually based on what we know we should do, would like to do, or feel duty bound to do. These are wishes, or good intentions.

I wish I was thinner.
I wish I had more knowledge of the subject.
I wish I could be happier, healthier, more forgiving, etc.

I think we don’t succeed because:

  • we’re not really serious about the change.
  • we haven’t made the change a focus for our lives.
  • we don’t really want to.
  • of our fear of commitment to the goal.
  • our fear of failure keeps us from pursuing the goal.

Have you heard of SMART goals?

  • Specific . . . what, exactly, do want to achieve?
  • Measurable . . . how will you measure your progress?
  • Achievable . . . what steps will you take to achieve it?
  • Realistic . . . how do you know you can actually achieve this goal?
  • Time-bound . . . by when do you want to achieve this goal?

Remember, the goal is yours. Own it!

4 helpful tips:

  1. Have you prayed about it? Bring it before the Lord with these thoughts in mind from the book of Proverbs: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” – Proverbs 16:3. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord plans their steps” – Proverbs 16:9.
  2. Is this God’s plan and will for you? Ask the Lord for scripture to confirm and aid your goal.
  3. Write down your goal, and next to it, each one of the SMART plan points you have listed for achieving the goal, together with the scripture you have sought out to confirm your desired goal.
  4. Then share it with others you can trust and who will be an encouragement and support to you in the achievement of your goal.

Happy New Year!

Alison Ward

Alison is married to Steve; they have two married daughters, and five grandchildren, and live in Gauteng, South Africa. She has pastored with her husband for thirty-three years, has a nursing background, and recently completed a master’s degree in leadership and coaching. Alison is passionate about teaching the Bible and partnering with women to fulfill their gifts and potential.


2017-02-16T00:43:30+00:00 December 30th, 2016|Categories: Goals, New Year|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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