I used to be a firm believer in the power of New Year’s resolutions.
Each New Year’s Day I’d get out my little notebook, divide it into categories (family, spiritual, physical, etc.), write out my New Year’s resolutions, and then sit back and wait for the new and improved me to miraculously appear.
Each year, I failed.
I ended the year the same way I started the year. Same old bad habits. Same old unmet goals. Same old me.
My problem wasn’t that I didn’t want to change. I did. My problem was that I was trying to change too many things at once and that I didn’t know how to change.
Instead of relying on God’s strength, I was relying on my own. And I was a weakling in the strength department.
A Habit that will Help You Reach Your Goals
That all changed about ten years ago when I developed the habit of the renewing of the mind. This discipline has done more to bring me close to God, help me break free from idolatry and sin, and even accomplish goals than anything else I’ve ever done in my life other than intense Bible study.
I’ve spoken about this habit on my blog before, but have always wanted to come up with a way to help those of you who would like to start the habit but can’t make yourself do it. I’m hoping this series will give you a hand up if you want to give the habit a try.
If you’d like to join in, here’s what to do:
The New Year’s Resolution Bible Study
- Choose a New Year’s resolution – preferably one that a) you can’t do in your own strength and b) will help you love God and others better. You can choose a different goal if you’d like but the Bible studies will be more geared toward this type of goal. Here are a few examples of goals: breaking free from a habit, sin or idol. Breaking free from an emotion that gets in the way of loving others well such as anger, annoyance, insecurity, judgment, and envy. Or starting a habit that helps you love God and others better such as a daily quiet time or actively pursuing relationships with others.
- Read the posts each week (I’ll post once or twice a week) and do the Bible studies with your goal in mind.
- Note: If you are reading this post after January 2013, go to the Renewing of the Mind Workshop: Week One post for an overall view of the plan or check out The Renewing of the Mind Project, a book I published in 2015 based on this online study.
We’ll get started on Monday, January 6th and shoot for three weeks – long enough to get started on a renewing-of-the-mind habit but not so long that it’s hard to commit.
If you can’t think of a project, I’ll have a post tomorrow with a worksheet you can use to come up with some ideas.
Also, if you want to ask a friend or family member to do the project with you, that would be great. It’s always nice to have a little face-to-face encouragement.
Looking forward to our time together,
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net