New Year. New Beginnings. I am not going to lie, I think new year’s resolutions are not the most successful plans for magically fixing your life. This is coming from previous experiences of my own, and watching many others try to navigate a new chapter, a new season, and a new year. We fall into fads and ads searching for a solution to solve all our problems in one year. I know this because I have been there. I have set these fitness goals that sound great on paper, but I physically dreaded doing them but tried to because it “promised” me the result that I desperately wanted. I tried to magically fall in love with salads, only to find out I hate salads… again. Same as 2022, 2021, and 2020. “This year will be different I say to myself.” I focused a lot on surface-level things to watch them vapor into the February air. I am here to tell you that if you want to physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally improve then you need to focus on the PROCESS throughout the ENTIRE year. Yes, the entire year. Sounds daunting at first….
You may be wondering how can you do it for an entire year. The answer? In partnership & fellowship with the Lord. Sitting with the Lord changed everything for me, and mapping out the year with His provisions made the process clear and visible.
Maybe it does work for you.
In no way, shape, or form am I discouraging new year’s resolutions. They might work for some but might not work for others. I am speaking to the girls who find new year’s resolutions too daunting. Maybe they focus on a new fitness habit and it fails 2 weeks later. Maybe they try to eat extremely healthy and it collapses in 5 days. Especially with social media, I find that many girls set these expectations based on other influencers or fitness gurus. Sure it can be inspirational to see one person’s habit, but it probably doesn’t fit our realities.
Catch my drift?
A fitness influencer is able to work out 2 hours a day because that is a part of their job. For a big majority, we have jobs that require reporting a 9-5 schedule. We are in a place in our lives where a two-hour habit physically cannot fit into our schedule. On the other hand, 30 minutes or an hour of working out might realistically fit into our schedules. So when you set fitness goals, make sure that it is doable with what you are doing & the season of life you are in. The PROCESS has to be compatible with your schedule, so you can be consistent month to month throughout the year. Same with eating healthily. If you do not like kale salad, then do not eat a kale salad. Fuel your body with things you enjoy eating. There are a million other veggies than kale. Besides, you are supposed to massage kale apparently. Talk about a high-maintenance vegetable. You do not have to force yourself to do something you dislike to achieve an appearance because everyone around you is trying to.
There I said it.
The reason New Year’s Resolution doesn’t work for a vast majority. We focus on the appearance of resolutions, rather than the PROCESS. If it was all about the process of achieving our goals, gyms would not become empty by February 1st. The goal is CONSISTENCY amidst the process. New habits are formed bit by bit. You should not start 10 new habits at once. It will become overwhelming and overbearing thus leading to burnout. I have personally experienced this firsthand. And I don’t want you to be discouraged by the chaos of resolutions.
Goal setting is vital to reach our dreams. I prefer goals rather than resolutions. Resolutions tend to have this resolving mindset with an intentional emphasis rather than goals seem to have more of the stepping stones of PROCESS. Habits are successful when done slowly and consistently. Instead of 10 major things to tackle in our new year’s resolutions. Focus on one habit to change a month, then add that newly established habit to the next new habit next month. before you know it. You will see 12 new habits forming in your process of bettering yourself.
The ultimate game changer is choosing a word for the year that the Lord has spoken to you. Having the Lord pick out the word for you for your year creates this foundational brick that helps shape & build how you want the year to look. How does that work? The Message Version Jeremiah 29:11 speaks this: “I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” The Lord knows our hearts (Matthew 6:8), and our plans. Why not invite Him into every goal we want to strive for and seek out His divine intervention?
This positive word holds meaning over your year, and you will be able to define the word by sitting with the Lord in prayer. Ask yourself to reflect on the previous year and what the next year holds in store. This should be the foundational core of your New Year Resolutions. A powerful word that holds meaning over the next chapter, season, and year of your life. Some examples that I have heard recently are: Strength, Pursue, Listen, Honor, Discover, Explore, Praise, Celebrate, Soar, Confidence, Bold, Cherish, Bloom, Brave, Inspire, etc.
Your word will inspire you. You will find traces of the Lord signaling your word throughout the year. After doing the “word for the year”, I have realized the significant impact it can have. It helps me to spiritually grow in the ways of the Lord and His destiny for my life. In fact, I have completely scratched out New Year’s Resolutions. I probably will never do them again. Instead, I will pray and search for His wisdom to grasp my word for the year then build my dreams & goals with His leading.
Will you take the time to sit down and hear the word that the Lord has for you over 2023?
For 2023, I will be focusing on “Savor.” Savor means to enjoy it completely. To enjoy the very present moments, the process, the journey. To take it all in. To grasp and hold onto the Lord’s goodness. To cherish. The last year was a year of growth and trust, but the Lord has reminded me to savor these very moments in the upcoming year. Savor the changing seasons, savor the new beginnings, and savor the celebrations that are planned over the next year.
After you hear your word, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal a verse to memorize for the year.
Here is my example-
Verse: Psalm 34:8 “To taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
Then you sit and process the word over a course of time. A couple of hours, days, or even a few weeks. The Lord will reveal and share His wisdom over the word if you ask Him in prayer.
So friend, your turn. Sure you can write your resolutions and habits that you want to be better about. Do not conform to the ways of the world (Romans 12:2) and focus on your appearance & what the world is doing. Focus on your heart, mind, and spirit. Grasp onto what the Lord is speaking over you for 2023, then let your habits & resolutions follow. I will forever vouch for having the Lord’s word be the centerpiece of your New Year, then resolutions that were based on worldly comparisons & desires.
Remember, in Luke 1:37 (NLT) “The word of God never fails.”
Stay true to who you are, and let your sunshine shine.
With all my heart,
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