Normally when you think of New Year’s resolutions, you think of a long list of goals in different categories.
For our New Year’s Bible study, though, I’d like you to take just one of those goals and focus your renewing of the mind efforts on it.
Our goal isn’t just the goal itself, but also the process – learning how to go to God for growth, for strength, for advice, for comfort, and just to be cherished.
Because this process can be time consuming, it’s important to choose a goal you care about. One you’d really like to accomplish so you’ll be willing to put in the effort to work on it until the process itself becomes enjoyable.
Some goals are easier to reach than others. For example, I’ve found it to be much easier to break free from negative emotions such as anger or worry than from habits like procrastination and overeating. So if you feel like you’d like a project that would be a little easier, you might want to choose an emotion.
Here’s a worksheet you can use if you’re having a difficult time coming up with a goal to work on. It’s adapted from the renewing of the mind project worksheet I posted earlier last year.
Choosing a New Year’s Resolution
1. What areas of your life cause you the most stress?
2. Why do they stress you out?
3. Can you think of any good habits you’d like to develop?
4. Can you think of any bad habits, sins, or idols you’d like to break free from?
5. Of the following negative emotions and attitudes, list the ones you’ve been struggling with the most lately: Worry, stress, anger, annoyance, frustration, self-condemnation, self-pity, people pleasing, insecurity in general, discontentment, envy, pride, judgment, and/or a critical spirit.
6. Think of your family, friends, and others. How could you love them better?
7. Think of your relationship with God. How could you love Him better?
8. Look back over your answers to the first seven questions. If you could set one goal for the year and be guaranteed you could reach it (which is of course impossible), which goal would you choose?
9. Why would you choose that goal?
10. Which goal do you think God would choose?
11. Why do you think He would choose that goal?
Exploring Your Options
Read over your answers to the above questions and narrow your possible projects/goals down to one or two options. For each project, answer the following questions:
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you think it would be to tackle this project?
2. How would your life change if you were to reach this goal?
3. How would accomplishing this goal affect your relationship with God? Explain.
4. How would accomplishing this goal affect your relationship with others?
5. How would accomplishing this goal affect your testimony and/or ministry?
6. Have you decided on a goal yet? If so, what is it? State it as clearly as possible.
In a way this is a Bible study/series on the renewing of the mind. I’ll provide daily suggestions of ways you can renew your mind through Bible study and some of the other tools we’ve discussed on this blog.
I was planning to do that on my Facebook page, but have just realized not everyone has Facebook. I’ll try to think of a solution by next Monday, but if nothing else, I can e-mail suggestions to those of you who don’t have Facebook.
Looking forward to working together – and in the tradition of all good goal setting projects, we’ll begin on Monday!
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