Every year, millions of Americans make so-called new year’s resolutions in January. While we know that Yahweh’s real new year begins in the spring (not in the dead of winter), I was intrigued by an article online that stated that 88% of all resolutions fail within the first week! Why does this happen? I also witness believers making personal spiritual goals throughout the year, and then not sticking to them.
One reason that goals, fail, according to the aforementioned article, is that our brains cannot understand vague concepts. Therefore, when making goals, we need to be as specific as possible. For instance, instead of saying “I want to eat healthy,” try restating your intention with a clear picture in mind, such as “Eat a small salad with lunch and dinner” or “Eat fruit for dessert instead of cake.”
This helps with our spiritual goals too. I have failed many times when making vague spiritual goals. I have often said that I wanted to “study Scripture more” or “pray often.” I have had to rewrite my goals to say “read two chapters of Scripture before bed” and “pray for 15 minutes before work.” I have really noticed a difference. I am actually reaching my goals now!
Another reason why goals might fail is that people try to bite off more than they can chew. They write a list of forty things they want to change, then get overwhelmed quickly and quit. It’s okay to have a list of forty goals, but please take baby steps. Try working on one thing at a time. Old habits are very hard to break.
Possibly the biggest obstacle to achieving any goal is making an unrealistic one. Say your goal is to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year, and I can already see this as a recipe to fail. It might be achievable, but our minds can easily get overwhelmed and discouraged, especially if we don’t see the pounds melting off quick enough. Always make manageable goals. How about “I am going to lose 10 pounds by spring”?
Another danger of having vague goals is that often we don’t understand the process of achieving them. You will need to research and put in the brainwork to come up with a plan to achieve any goal. For instance, a person who says “I want to lose 50 pounds” but doesn’t know how to cook healthy meals, is probably not going to achieve his or her goal. It’s better to do some investigating into how exactly you need to be eating and exercising to accomplish it. I hear a lot of people say, “I’m planning to get our of debt this year” but they don’t make
any kind of plan to do so. I read somewhere
that it is helpful to write down every time
you spend money, then add it up to see
where you are coming up short. one woman
was spending $100 per month on fancy cof-
fee drinks at a local coffee house. Yes, that’s
$1200 a year! She learned to make her own
“fancy” drinks and used the money she saved
to pay off her credit card. Be honest and
creative when making a plan.
So, even though it is not really a new year yet, it’s a good idea to make goals at any time to further your growth. Some people even categorize them such as Family goals, Financial goals, Spiritual goals, etc. Come up with your own system for reaching your own. I know you can do it!