It is that time of year again, time to reflect on the year past and time to make resolutions for the coming year.
The consensus of experts is that resolutions do not work. Generally, most people adhere to their resolutions for about two weeks. As a people, our record in keeping resolutions is abysmally poor- yet, each year we make resolutions anyway. Why? I think God has put a desire for progress and success in our spirits. From the hunters and gatherers in third-world countries to the stockbrokers on Wall Street, left to our own devices year to year we have an intrinsic desire to improve, to do better.
Unfortunately, resolutions are nothing but good intentions- and we all know what road is paved with good intentions. However, there is one thing that will assure that next year is better than the previous year, and that one thing is our habits.
How our lives turn out, whether we are a success or a failure, is dependent on our habits. If we analyzed it, we would find that Donald Trump’s habits are different from the person who is chronically unemployed, which might account for the difference in their incomes. So, in this New Year go ahead and make a resolutions. One of them a resolution to change your habits.
According to Gray, failures and successes have the same feelings about their habits. Both failures and successes don’t like performing the habits that lead to success. The difference is successes go ahead and do those things (habits) anyway.
Gray believes “Successful men are influenced by the desire for pleasing results. Failures are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods and are inclined to be satisfied with such results as can be obtained by doing things they like to do.”
In this New Year resolve to cultivate new habits. How? Decide what habit you want to start or stop. Understand that at first you will not be very good at your new habit… do not quit… give it time. Psychologists believe that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit so be patient. Avoid striving for overnight success- start out slow and gradually build your new habit, consistency is the key. For the New Year here are some great habits to develop.
Develop the habit of forgiveness, forgive the people who have hurt you in the past year, leave those hurts in last year and start out the new year without harboring unforgiveness.
Develop the habit of spending five minutes in prayer each morning. Do it before the urgency of the day crowds God out.
Develop the habit of reaching out to others. Each day we are in contact with people who would benefit from the peace that comes from knowing Christ.
Develop the habit of being thankful. Focus on what you have and do not focus on what you do not have. Dwell on God’s promises to us. The habit of thankfulness will make us happier and we will be less of a drag on people around us.
Have your best year ever by cultivating new habits.