Okay, it’s that time again. Time for all Americans to embrace the new year and determine, in the next 12 months, how many pounds we will lose, how much money we will save, which bad habits we will change, and all the books we will read. For most of us, the task is easy: just dust off last year’s plan and we are good to go. We aren’t so good at making resolutions and sticking to them.
There are different reasons why – and all of them good ones. Who wants to drink water when you can have sweet tea? Despite the promises on the label, that fat-free stuff tastes nothing like ice cream. And no low-fat, sugar-free, watered-down substitute prepares you for sleep like that midnight snack of Oreos and whole milk.
But the most powerful reason that we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions is because they force us to move out of our comfort zones and create new ones. It’s been proven that humans will often take a beating rather than face the unknown. (Can anybody say spousal abuse?). We don’t often identify it, but the underlying force that prevents our success is fear.
I hear you arguing with me, but think about it a while. Humans fear uncertainty and resist the unknown. Yet none of your dreams will ever come true if you never venture beyond the walls that make you feel secure. (That security is just an illusion, but that is fodder for another day).
So, let’s kick down a few walls and prepare to achieve some success in 2016.
David was about to turn his kingdom over to his son, Solomon, when the young man either signaled that he was afraid or David, understanding human nature, decided to address the issue before it became a problem. (You can read it here). Either way, David gave the new king some advice that will work for us.
- Do it! David was giving this encouragement long before the tennis shoe guys got in the act. Just do it! Don’t be half-hearted or wishy-washy. Decide what you want and go for it. Give it your all.
- Know that God is with you. Assuming, of course, that you’ve made sure to include God in your life and plans. If you have, you can be assured that God will never leave you and will not fail you until His will for your life is completed.
- You are surrounded by people who care about your success. You have family and friends who keep you connected to God and His plan. When you feel lonely or discouraged, look them up. Don’t hang with those who drain your energy and doubt your success. Join in with those who know how to pray, worship, and believe. Be proactive about it or fear and loneliness will steal your vision.
- If you will look around, there is somebody who can do what you can’t. That little piece of your dream that you can’t get done? Somebody in your circle can help you accomplish it. Be creative. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most people feel under appreciated and will be glad to have an opportunity to display their talents. Remember that you, too, have abilities that others may need from time to time. Offer to help them in exchange for their assistance.
- You are in charge. Adjust things when you need to. If you don’t like the way things are going, quit it altogether. Don’t feel that you have to fit somebody else’s mold or follow their pattern. This is your life, your dream. Build it the way God has shown you. It’s your kingdom. Don’t be afraid to take charge.
Now, all this may not be so helpful when you try to replace those midnight Oreos, but it will keep fear from immobilizing you as you build the life God gave you.