Here are some tips to turning your New Year’s resolutions into lasting changes in your life:
1. Make a list of your goals and select the top three to five that are the most important to you. Pray for God’s guidance in the process. He knows best.
2. Be realistic. Reaching for a goal should stretch you, but it must be doable. Decide on a reasonable time frame for reaching each goal.
3. Don’t try to do everything at once. It may help to focus on your top goal for a set period of time. Then move to goal number two, while maintaining the progress made toward reaching the first one, and so on.
4. Pray. Prayer brings into play the spiritual help you need to reach your goals.
5. Work with God. Change involves overcoming past thought and behavioral patterns. This is never easy, but change for the better is possible if you ask God to help and you follow His lead.
6. Chart your progress. Keep track of how far you’ve come, using a journal or chart. Keeping records and reviewing them periodically can also help you to identify weak areas.
7. Get help from others. Share your plan with a friend and ask for his or her help. Being accountable to someone will give you added incentive to stick to your resolutions even when it’s tough.
8. Don’t be discouraged by your mistakes. You will have some setbacks and “off” days. Take these lows as a reminder that you can’t do it on your own. Draw closer to God and depend more on His help. Tomorrow is a fresh chance to do better!
9. Be in it for the long haul. If you are truly serious about making a change, you will be willing to see it through, no matter how long it takes.
10. Visualize victory. Periodically visualize what your life will be like once your goal is reached. Picture the advantages you will gain and how much happier, healthier, or more productive you will be.
11. Reward yourself for each goal you reach. The greatest reward will be the feeling of accomplishment and the benefits you’ll experience from the change you’ve made, but having a physical reward attached to a specific goal can make it even more enjoyable.