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It is that time of the year when we are in the process of working out our resolutions made for the year 2016. Generally, after the first 4 to 5 days one tends to let go in keeping with the popular phrase, “Resolutions are made to be broken.”

However, as Christians we know that the Bible encourages us to let our ‘Yes’ be a Yes and our ‘No’ be a No. One of my favourite statements I heard a leader of the church make is, “Your word should be your bond.”

5 Simple Steps to help make and keep your resolutions:

Here are some simple steps that can enable us to achieve the goals we have set for this coming year-

1) Find out what is the immediate and urgent need and address it

 E.g., weight loss, job or your quiet time with God. A hint is that this is usually something that constantly bothers you and you have always desired to do something about it.  It could even be an emotional goal like wanting to be a happier person.

2) Prioritise and keep them limited

A list of 10 resolutions makes no sense and one is bound to break them. There is only so much one can do and deal with at a time. It is not viable to have 10 things to attend to. If one can deal with the top 3 to 4 issues, then the next 3 on the list can be dealt with maybe in the second quarter. So, while one can put them all down but start with dealing with the top 3 to 4 ones.

3) Set realistic goals and see if they are attainable?

Assess what it will take in terms of time, energy and other resources to achieve the target. For e.g. if it is Weight loss then aiming at 20 kg in 4 months maybe unrealistic. Yes, 2 kg per month is more realistic. If it is a goal set to read the Bible for 1 hour a day when one has not been doing it for 15 minutes also, that may be unrealistic. It is easier to set a goal for 30 minutes.

4) Don’t be burdened but do not treat it lightly

The idea is to be sincere about the resolutions made but not to be burdened and overwhelmed by them. We need to be focussed and at the same time enjoy the process while at it. The other extreme attitude is to be frivolous and careless about them, then why make them at all? Let us have the right attitude as the saying goes, “Our attitude determines our altitude”

5) Review and evaluate the resolutions at shorter terms than at the end of the year

Our human nature is to tend to put things off until tomorrow and that way one will reach December 31st of 2016. And, it will be unfortunate to then realise that nothing much has changed. So, whether it is a financial goal to save more money by spending less on credit cards, lose weight, pray more, join a ministry or go on mission trips, evaluate the status every 10 days or 15 days. This gives us more chances to rectify the lags. We should write down the goals and have a system of monitoring them. There is no need for it to be complicated excel charts or methods just a simple book and pen is good enough to even track how we are faring.

My prayer for us is that may the year 2016, be different in terms of making and keeping our New Year resolutions. We will definitely need perseverance and discipline to attain our goals. Remember, the Bible says in the book of Philippians 4:13(NKJV), “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Amen!

Victorious in Christ,

Salma Bernard