Why I set Goals rather than make Resolutions
- Wake up earlier
- Memorize Scripture
- Read a book a month
- Exercise every day
- Keep evenings free of electronics
For years I made New Year’s Resolutions I couldn’t keep. These broken promises to myself left me feeling down and defeated almost before the year got underway.
Therefore, I’ve raised the white flag. No more New Year’s Resolutions for me! I surrender my plans to make myself better.
The Bible tells me God began and will complete the work of sanctification in my life. 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. Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
Scripture says—for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 (ESV)
So, what am I to do? How am I to live?
Rather than making resolutions I can’t keep, I’ve learned to set goals that line up with the word of God. The Bible is full of guidelines for how we’re to live (Matthew 7:24-25), what we’re to think about (Philippians 4:8), how we’re to treat others (Ephesians 4:32), and how we’re to regard his word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). These are the goals I set for myself in practical ways.
The timeline is no longer a year, but a lifetime. I can look at these goals with confidence because they line up with the will of my Father in heaven.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
Unlike resolutions which tend to be huge leaps of change I can’t attain; goals are changes made in small steps in the little moments of my life. A failure on one day doesn’t throw me off track. I simply ask God for his guidance and reset my focus on the goal.
In the same way that walking a mile a couple of days a week can become running a mile, working toward a goal is a process that proves beneficial over time. I may not have been able to memorize a chapter of the Bible a month last year, but I was able to recite three psalms and a chapter from 2 Corinthians on New Year’s Eve.
By surrendering myself to God this way, I look back over the year and see much more consistency in daily quiet times and I praise God! I thank him for helping me to memorize Scripture and ask for more.
In small steps of obedience, I recognize the weakness of my flesh and my total dependence on God for even the ability to obey—For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16 (ESV)
I surrender my resolutions to God and depend on his faithfulness and grace to make me like his Son, Jesus Christ.
Use the Goals or the Prayerful Convictions section of your Quiet Time Companion to write out some of your own goals. Here are some of mine:
- Put Jesus’s words into practice. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25 (ESV)
- Realign my thoughts with what is true, pure, lovely, and just. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
- Love and forgive others quickly. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)
- Spend time reading, meditating on, and memorizing the word of God. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
|Nicole Schrader is a retired homeschool mother who loves to travel, bake bread, read, and spend time with her kids and grandkids. For more of her work visit www.nicolelisamaria.com.|