Four Ways You Can Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

John ThurmanBy John Thurman9 Minutes

Have you been working on your goals for 2024? Most of us will start with great intentions, but studies show that only eight to twelve percent of us will keep them.

In today’s post, I will share four ways you can keep your New Year’s Resolutions!

As you and I begin the new year, I’d like to share a few pieces of Scripture as you think about your New Year’s Resolutions.

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed (Psalm 20:4 NLT).

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty (Proverbs 21:5 NLT).

But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded (2 Chronicles 15:7 NLT).

The Lord actively makes lasting life changes in His people, but we must cooperate. Are you considering Resolutions for 2023? Do you want to be in the elite group of 8 to 12 percent of Americans that accomplish their New Year’s goals?

If you are, keep reading Four Ways You Can Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions.

4 Components of Successful Goal Setting

According to Author and Speaker Jon Acuff, “Every successful goal has four common themes — results, action, time, and motivation. Of course, results are first on the list for a reason. But first, you need to know where you want to end up and when you will arrive.

What can you and I do to improve our odds?

Jon Acuff has excellent ideas to enhance your odds of accomplishing your resolution. You can read more about this in his New York Best Seller, Finish.

There are four things that you and I need to consider when we are setting up New Year’s Resolution goals.

What are the Results You are Seeking?

First, begin with the end in mind. What are the results you are seeking? What is the finishing point? What will your finish line look like? Use this statement to get you going. It will help you clearly understand why you want to do something.

I want to __________ because ________. First, I want to lose ten pounds to feel healthier. Second, I want to finally write that book because others will be helped by what I have learned. Ultimately, I want to complete that next level of certification so I can be eligible for my next promotion opportunity.

When you think about results, you want to pick the best outcomes for you. So, choose results that are personal, inspiring, and specific.

What Measurable Actions are You going to Take?

Second, what measurable actions will you take to reach your goals? To do this, set the bar lower. Simplify your tasks. Give yourself a reasonable timeline and neglect the unimportant. Kill “until!” Trade perfect for done.

What is Your Timeline?

Third, set the clock, have a beginning date and an end date but make it reasonable. Be reasonable, not too rigid, and look at a realistic time frame. Use the “Goldilocks principle” (explained below).

What will be Your Motivation for Completing the Goal

The fourth component of achieving your goals is motivation. Motivation is the fuel that keeps you engaged in obtaining the reality that you are looking for. Motivation, at its core, is about wanting. We want a change in behavior, thoughts, self-concept, spirituality, relationships, and work life. To be effective and resilient, your motivation must be internally motivated.

The Goldilocks Principle is the Key to Completing Your Goals

The Goldilocks Principle is the understanding that people tend to gravitate toward the easier option when confronted with similar choices. Therefore, this option is “just right.”

Humans experience peak motivation and performance when working on tasks right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too easy. Not too hard. Just right.

The findings show that we love challenges only when they are within our “optimal zone of difficulty.”

Here is a general idea.

If a person believes there is a reasonable chance of making their dream happen and they have a sincere desire to make it happen, three things occur:

1. Their focus becomes very narrow.

2. Distractions begin to fade as the goal becomes more evident. (However, sometimes they pull away from some relationships for a season.)

3. They zero in on activities that lead to the changes they desire. They find the next task difficult but doable on the way to their dream. Victory is not guaranteed, but it is possible as the individual does what they can from where they are to make it happen.

Tasks like this, science tells us, are most likely to help us keep our motivation where it needs to be to complete the task.

You see, tasks below your current abilities become dull and routine. Tasks significantly beyond your current capabilities are usually discouraging and lead to failure. However, challenges right on the cusp of success and failure are incredibly motivating to our brains. We want nothing more than to master a skill just beyond our current horizon.

God gives you a dream more significant than you are right now, so you can trust him and work with others to pursue it.

Additional Scriptures to Consider

As a Christ Follower, the Scriptures provide actionable truth that we can apply to our day-to-day lives. As you and I enter 2023, I want to challenge you to keep these passages in mind as you work on four ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions.

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others (2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT).

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty (Proverbs 21:5 NLT).

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace (Ephesians 4:1-3 NLT).

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT).

Action Plan

I hope you are as excited about 2024 as I am! The Lord wants to reveal new things to us on a personal level. He will expand our influence as we learn to love and honor him and seek to put him first in our lives.

Please review this article, and take what you need to enhance your year. You have what you need to experience a more resilient, meaningful life. I challenge you to take your next step today.