Congratulations! You did it! You’re among the 8 percent of people who make new year’s resolutions and keep them.
As for the rest of us, well, we tried. The reason we’re congratulating New Year’s Resolution Stars now is that most people give up on their resolutions by late January or early February. The likelihood of success for everyone who is still honoring their resolution(s) is great. They know that success is achieved one day at a time, and they take action toward their resolutions every day.
Because of God’s favor, every 24 hours provide a new opportunity for everyone to make a fresh start and progress toward their resolutions—regardless of the failures of the previous day.
The Holy Bible explains it this way: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23.
If you’re on the losing end and have already surrendered your 2021 resolutions, it will be worthwhile to continue reading, because help is available.
According to a Finder survey (finder.com), an estimated 188.9 million or 74% of America’s adult population resolved to better themselves in 2021. Finder’s top six new year’s resolution categories are love, health, career, self-help, family, and money. Weight loss was the most popular resolution, as usual.
Since I usually write a long list of resolutions each year and am curious about others’ lists, I conducted my own survey.
While my survey results also indicated that losing weight is the most popular resolution, my respondents were specific and said they want to lose 10 pounds. My results also included a wonderful unexpected second-place resolution. With just one response less than the “weight loss” response, this year participants resolve to spend more time with God. Marvelous.
When I first compared my results to Finder’s I thought that weight loss was the only commonality, however, further analysis proved that most of our responses were similar. For instance, the resolution to get closer to God—Who is Love—correlates with Finder’s respondents’ resolution to integrate more love in their lives. Getting closer to God will result in self-improvement (of the mind, body, and spirit) and will enhance family life.
If you’re among the millions whose resolution has fizzled since January 1st—
don’t lose hope.
Consider doing what one of my respondents does. She makes monthly resolutions instead of annual ones. By doing this you can revisit your initial resolution or make a new one, come February 1st and every month thereafter.
Whether you’re on track with your resolutions or starting to weaken, the most effective way to increase your likelihood of success is to consult with God.
Prayer and studying the Bible are ways to engage with Him and petition Him about your desires. Once you’re sure that your desires align with His will for you—which you’ll find out by talking to Him—success is within reach.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phil 4:13
You may tell the Savior what you want, and access to Him is 24/7 and there’s no fee. With God as a partner, helping you choose your resolutions, your chances of success are infinitesimally better than they are without His input.
It is hard enough to believe that only 8 percent of us are expected to stick with our resolutions, but some of the reasons that we fail are astonishing. For instance, according to Finders, many fail because they simply forget that they made a resolution! With today’s technology, there are countless devices that can alert or remind us to ____________ (fill in the blank). Smartphones, smartwatches, artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants, and more can be programmed to help us remember to take action and stay on track with our resolutions.
An accountability partner, someone who checks your progress and encourages you, may also help you complete your resolution.
The Finder study found that more men than women expect to achieve their goals, at 77.51% and 72.21% respectively. Women outnumber men, however, regarding resolutions related to health, at 47.45% and 43.53% respectively.
Many sabotage themselves because they don’t think they will succeed or they make unrealistic resolutions. Consider the person who wasn’t able to lose a single pound in 2020 although they worked hard to. Perhaps they could resolve to start the new year by losing 15 pounds in one month. This resolution will likely fail for several reasons. First, fast weight loss is generally unhealthy, unsustainable, and frowned upon by health professionals. The faster you lose weight the faster you’ll regain the weight most of the time.
Instead of trying to lose 15 pounds in a month, a better resolution may be to eat healthier and be mindful of the rate at which the pounds come off.
Most health experts recommend losing between ½ to 2 pounds per week, which usually results in helping you keep the weight off more than when weight loss is swift and drastic. If this person lost weight per these stipulations, they would lose between two and eight pounds in one month. If they continue on this path, they may lose 15 pounds in 2-3 months and have a good chance of maintaining the weight loss.
An additional intelligent way to choose your resolutions, along with consulting and trusting God, is by implementing the SMART method that is commonly used in business. With SMART you ensure your resolutions are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely, and this gives you a high probability of success.
For the first time, I wrote only one thing on my new year’s resolution list: Finish.
Adhering to this proclamation, I’m working to ‘finish’ Christmas un-decorating in my home before Valentine’s Day. I am also considering adding one more resolution that stems from my survey results: get closer to God.
Please keep the faith, recommit or stick to your resolutions, and encourage someone else to keep theirs, and I hope to see you at the resolutions finish line in late December.
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalms 37:5