Did you make a New Year’s resolution? How’s it going?
New Year’s resolutions are a hotly debated topic in our culture. Many find it to be a waste of time and mock the people who make them.
Others faithfully make them and set out with good intentions to keep them. But when they ultimately fail to live up to their new personal standard, they are frustrated with the members of the anti-resolution crowd who are eager to point out how they are a failure. People who make the resolutions can count on this.
Our society’s resolution success rate can’t be helped by the prevailing wisdom that people are doomed to fall short.
A few years ago, a friend of mine, Greg Key, inspired me to a new New Year’s tradition. It has worked for me every year since.
On or near New Year’s Day, I reflect on what I want to accomplish in the following year. I write it down, figure out a way to measure my plan, and hold myself accountable.
I start by thinking big. Is there anything major I want to do with my new year?
I make a list. Expand my knowledge of the Bible, get in better shape, save money, read a certain number of books, or do any number of specific things people dream about doing better.
Then I move into something more specific I can do to reach the goal.
Select a daily Bible-based devotional. Join a gym or buy exercise equipment. Set up a direct deposit into a savings account.
Then I figure out if I need to take any specific action monthly, weekly, or daily. I set up a checklist for each and continue improving daily, weekly, and monthly.
Every day I plan to read a piece of scripture, exercise, and set a priority for the day. I will also measure the time I spend reading, doing deep work and other personal things.
By the time the year is over, I expect to be in better shape, expand my biblical knowledge, and increase my overall understanding of several topics.
I know I won’t fall short of tee times or Red Sox and Vikings games watched. My wife, Sue, and I will spend countless hours together. But if I don’t have a system for keeping up with good habits or forming new productive habits, I will fall back into doing the entertainment habits.
Using Greg’s method helps me accomplish more. I suggest you give it a try.