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Home : Feed Your Spirit : Your Life, Better
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12 Resolutions When Making Resolutions

Written by J. Bennett Guess

Millions make New Year’s Resolutions on January 1.  Use these tips to ensure that your approach to life-changing commitments and behaviors is setting you up for possible success, not instant failure.


1
Resolve to not beat yourself up.

 

Resolutions are not intended to deprive you of all things fun; they are specific action plans to get you on track toward reaching a goal that’s important to you. Be nice to yourself.


2
Resolve to limit your resolutions.

 

Choose two or three things to focus on. You can’t do everything but you can do something.


3
Resolve to be honest with yourself.

 

Resolve to be honest with yourself. If you’ve had the same resolution for the past 20 years, you’re probably not that serious about making the change. Perhaps it would be better to focus on something you really intend to do this year.


4
Resolve to be specific.

Don't resolve to just "lose weight." That’s too vague. Instead, for example, commit to "lose 10 pounds by March 15 and another 5 pounds by June 1." Or, better yet, resolve to join Weight Watchers or walk 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Instead of "getting organized," commit to tangible results, such as cleaning out the junk drawer and the basement and keeping them tidy for the remainder of the year.


5
Resolve to set plans, not dreams.

 

Resolve to set plans, not dreams. It’s noble to want to be a "better friend," but in what way? To whom? In addition to articulating the vision of a better you, remember to spell out the action steps you will take.

 


6
Resolve to set timelines.

 

Unless you calendar benchmarks to track your success, the year could be over before you remember to get started. Schedule appointments with yourself to review your successes and re-up on your commitments.


7
Resolve to tell others.

 

Sharing your resolutions and posting them where they are visible to yourself and others will keep you honest in your journey toward abiding by them.


8
Resolve to continue doing something you’re already doing.

 

Build on your strengths instead of focusing exclusively on your growing edges. What you do well and enjoy doing, remember to claim and celebrate it as your gift to the world. Dance more. Sing more. Laugh more.


9
Resolve to focus on others.

 

It’s tempting to put all your new-year energy on improving yourself, but how might you effect change in others’ lives, your church, your community?


10
Resolve to visualize an improved you.

 

Choose five or six important occasions that are sure to take place in 2011 — your birthday, summer vacation, your niece’s wedding. Now, write them down and keep those events in the forefront of your mind. Visualize how you will feel on those dates when and if you stay true to your commitments throughout the year.


11
Resolve to love yourself more.

It’s not you against the world. It’s you and God working in a loving relationship. Accept the fact that you are beautiful, loved and accepted just the way you are. Any changes you attempt are simply steps to grow in your acceptance of that fact.

 

 


12
Resolve to live by grace.

 

Your worth is more than your ability to live by lots of rules. Forgive your failures, but learn and grow from them. January 1 is just a date on the calendar. February 1 and March 1 can make excellent start-over points.

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