5 Power Tools to Make & Maintain New Year's Resolutions by Darlena Drake Fields
It's New Year's Resolution time...again.
For some, this time of year has them chomping at the bit to get bigger and better than ever!
For many others who don't share the same sentiments, the thought of another New Year leaves them with their heads hanging low.
Because it is a reminder that their New Year's resolution list is the same as it was last year and the year before that and the year before that...
When you get my age, you have way more failed attempts at sticking to New Year's Resolutions than you can count.
I literally can't begin to tell you how many years my #1 resolution has been related to my establishing healthy eating habits and getting back in prime shape.
It doesn't matter how I've worded it to make it sound more inviting -- Improve My Self Care, Embrace Wellness or Choose Health -- I've not been able to stick to a healthy diet since I got married to a man that practices heathy eating 25 years ago. Because I love fast-food way too much!
And I certainly haven't ever looked as hot as I did on my wedding day. Bah Ha Ha!
My oldest is 20, so I've been at this New-Year's-Resolution-Making-Thing for a couple of decades now, and in all that time, things haven't changed much about people's choices.
According to Time Magazine, the Top 10 Most Commonly Broken New Year's Resolutions are still the same as they were back in the Leave it to Beaver days. Check out this list:
Lose Weight and Get Fit
Learn Something New
Eat Healthier and Diet
Get Out of Debt and Save Money
Spend More Time with Family
Be Less Stressed
Read more and watch less TV
Motivational speaker and life coach, Anthony Robbins discovered from research that 80% of people that make New Year's Resolutions give up on them by 2nd week of February.
Robbins also says that the big difference between those who stick to their resolutions and those who don't -- are you ready for the big revelation -- is clarity of purpose and a plan of action.
Really? A good reason and a good plan are key. Hmm...that was pretty good advice. Although it doesn't take rocket science to figure that out.
Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, says you gotta have a strong "WHY".
Musk also says that it has to be something you're inspired by and that your excited about doing the next day.
Now, there's definitely more oomph behind what Musk has to say.
The first advice was good and the 2nd advice was better. But what is the best advice for keeping resolutions?
Maybe Christians have the answers. If we don't, we should be. Don't you think?
Christians oughtta be leading the world re: all things important, as far as I'm concerned.
The 3 sources I quoted above are not Biblically-based or "Christian", as none of them profess to be either one.
So, I looked into what Christians had to say about the subject of making and keeping New Year's Resolutions.
Here's a summary of the typical advice that I found on some Christian websites and blogs:
Start spending more time with God and praying in the morning.
Make a difference by giving more to online or local ministries that are making a difference.
Learn something new about the Lord or from the Bible by starting a new, provoking Bible Study.
Teach the word of God in some way and look for opportunities to share the gospel whenever you can.
Use your God-given talents and spiritual gifts on a deeper level.
Now this is not an exhaustive list. I only skimmed over about 6 sites. Nevertheless, none of this advice really revved my engine either.
So, I began to ponder all that I've learned over the years from my own personal successes and failures, and from being in the business of helping people change for 25 years.
I may not have achieved any of my unattainable, unrealistic resolutions that I've made in years past, to get back to my 20 year old figure or to stop eating fast food.
But another aspect of health that I have been going after for the same length of time and found a good bit of success with, is soul health.
I've worked on myself more that the average bear, you could say.
In fact, I have done some pretty brave things to overcome a crazy childhood and the 20 years I spent as a pastor's wife living in shame, hiding my rage issues.
I've morphed over time into a more confident, courageous, carefree and compassionate woman that I'm proud to look at in the mirror today -- most of the time, anyway.
Not only have I faced down my demons and have taken back my soul, but I've salvaged my marriage and have seen my children's hearts turned back to God.
I think this might earn me the right to speak into the area of making and keeping New Year's Resolutions, just a little.
So, I took a stab at coming up with some tools to help people stick to their New Years Resolutions from my file of things that have helped me transform my own life.
After all...resolutions are all about improving, transforming and becoming someone you're proud to look at in the mirror. Right?
I turned 5 of my own personal practices for experiencing breakthrough, cultivating change and maintaining a life you love living, into 5 power tools for making and maintaining resolutions, which I have listed and explained below.
Here's my quick & easy-to-remember list, first:
If you'd like each an explanation of them to use for your resolutions this year, please read on...
5 POWER TOOLS TO MAKE AND MAINTAIN NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS:
1.) Pick Your ONE THING that if you could ever change, would potentially transform an area of your life.
This would require crumpling up your list, obviously.
Because the main goal here is to pick something simple and specific.
So, "Getting Fit and Healthy" is not going to work with this one -- this goal is broad, time consuming, requires energy and potentially overwelming, not to mention costly.
Here's some examples of what I mean:
Take vitamins every morning...ya know the ones you've had sitting in your cabinet for months.
Drink green tea instead of coffee every morning.
Eat something fresh with each meal every day, or fruit/veggie supplements...if you loathe rabbit food.
Floss your teeth each night.
Put on anti-aging cream every night before bed.
Start moving toward change one daily, intentional step at a time.
You’ll be amazed at how your ONE THING, lived intentionally over time, will help you to achieve the greater desires and dreams you’d almost given up on.
2.) GET STILL and Listen to what changes your spirit, soul and body are crying out for.
Don't just go with the status quo.
Don't just go with what you've failed miserably at before...one more time.
Don't just go with another external change...which is all that is on that Top 10 list up there.
Make space to hear what the Lord has been trying to get you to turn your attentions on.
These could be matters of the heart that you have been dodging for years.
I'm not referring to...
going into a state of nothingness in a yoga pose -- kind of a girl thing, or
going into your Nothing Box in order to stop thinking about the demands and pressures of life -- typically a guy thing.
I'm talking about quieting your mind of all the internal voices, outside influences, present distractions and past accusations long enough to hear the voice of God.
You will be shocked and amazed at what can happen when you GET STILL in the presence of God long enough to hear Him speak to your spirit.
And yes, God still speaks to us today...and we all have the innate ability to hear Him through our spirits.
3.) DIG DEEP Beyond Surface-Living and go for soul health.
Having a healthy spirit and soul is THE only way to obtain and maintain genuine, lasting change and champion your life.
I'm talking about digging deep in your soul to find the junk in there that keeps you stuck or falling back in the same old ruts.
Ridding your soul of hidden junk are the kinds of life alterations that will create the forward momentum needed to make it 365 days.
Ya know, the kinds of changes that freak most people out, because it might get too ugly, be too shameful or feel too painful.
Yep! It is a scary swampland in there, I'll admit. But...
You have to brave the pain and discomfort of healing your soul, if you ever want to take the kind of resolutions that will transform your life to the finish line -- day 365.
As long as you keep running on the performance gerbil wheel, staying entangled in a web of lies or hustling for worthiness, you will never have the life you love or do what you were born to do.
You will be shocked, amazed and dumbfounded at the reward that lies on the other side of taking the risk to DIG DEEP.
4.) BE RESOLUTE by Pressing-On and not giving into excuses, fear or denial.
Excuses are the biggest killers of success.
Fear is the greatest thief of dreams.
Denial is the hugest roadblock to freedom.
Fear of discomfort, vulnerability, exposure or pain are some of the main reasons why people don't or won't deal with the condition of their soul.
In spite of popular opinion, shear determination is not the key to being resolute.
To be resolute, you must have the courage to be vulnerable and authentic in the face of excuses, fear and denial.
Let your life be known for "Never giving up" and "Never giving in".
Have the stick-to-itiveness required to achieve courageous living.
Practicing the courage to become who you were born to be will empower you to live immovable and unshakeable no matter what life throws at you.
BE RESOLUTE to press on and throw off anything that might get in your way, by choosing to listen to the truth -- who God says you are and what He's promised for your life -- every day.
5.) BEGIN AGAIN Every Day by choosing to say yes to your resolution 365 days a year.
You have to see your resolution like a prize that you set before you each new day, not as an end-of-the-year, far-off goal.
Yes, it's great to set a year-end resolution, because you to need to catch the vision of your end goal or envision your win, just like an athlete.
But when you put that goal at the end of the year and keep it there, it will eventually seem so far away that it just fades into the distance after a few weeks into the New Year.
A blurry, faded resolution off in the distance is not going to sustain you when your muscles are so soar you can't sit on the toilet, your cravings are screaming at you, you just wanna numb out cause changing just seems too dang hard or life throws you a curve ball outta left field.
There's gotta be more sustaining power than just shear determination, y'all! And it's this...
The power to achieving life-transformation and sustaining change is dependency on Father God, finding your identity and worth in the love of Jesus, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do a supernatural work in your in your Soul.
Now, I'm gonna drive my last 2 points home by sharing my favorite thing about God and my favorite scriptures.
My all-time favorite thing about God is His redemptive power, which is His ability to redeem anything -- from our mistakes that we made the day before to the pain of our yesterdays -- and turn it into something cool and beautiful to BEGIN AGAIN with every day.
These are my go-to scriptures for motivation to make healthy choices and never giving up:
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses...that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life this day, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the Promised Land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, that I may take hold of that for which Christ Jesus also took hold of me.
13 ...I do not consider myself to have become perfect: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching toward what is before me,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
In closing, here's the quick reference list again to help cement them in your brain.
Now, I want you to use these tools and really put them to the test...and let me know how they worked for you.
5 TOOLS TO MAKE AND MAINTAIN NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS:
If you feel you could use a coach in helping you achieve your resolutions for 2018, contact me or my husband through our website at:
We'd be happy to help you make the brave, bold moves you need to make in order to mark things off our resolution list and make lasting changes your life this year!
If you'd like to jump start your year, we have created an experiential weekend for achieving breakthrough in a group atmosphere and retreat-like setting.
Our next one is coming up soon...
It's called: THE CROSSING
It takes place over MLK weekend: Jan. 12 - 14
It'll be located in: Tyrone, GA
COME JOIN US. It'll CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Go to our website and click Group Events to register or find out more details.
Again, our website is www.BeCourageousCoaching.com -- where brave people say YES to their destiny.
We're waiting for your YES!