New Year’s Goals: Pastor David Bowen discusses ways to make 2015 the year you’ll stay on track
Pastor David Bowen discusses ways to make 2015 the year you’ll stay on track.
Too often, people bought last year’s gifts with this year’s money. Beginning the New Year with old debt is not a good way to celebrate. It causes people to get to the point where they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. So when do habits change? Better question, how do habits change?
Retailers say more treadmills are sold in January than all the other months combined. Two of the New Year’s resolutions have been the same ones for decades: losing weight and getting out of debt. Another common one is to help people and be more generous. Obviously, the beginning of a new year is an ideal time to make new plans to launch a new you—to make better choices and to improve your lifestyle. Yet people are afraid to commit to a commitment. Why?
Everyone knows that New Year’s resolutions don’t last. You get off to a flying start, but by the end of the first month, you feel like you have failed, which means you feel worse at the end of the month than you did when the month started.
About 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Around 75 percent maintain their resolutions through the first week, but just 8 percent are successful in achieving their resolutions. Why so few? Maybe it’s because they are trying to go it alone.
Let me suggest that you don’t make resolutions but set goals instead—small ones at first. Set yourself up to succeed, not to fail. Then, incorporate your family into the equation.
Want to get out of debt? Place a family debt jar in your kitchen. Every time you want to go out to eat as a family, stay home and put the money you would have spent going out into the debt jar. You’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll be further in the black.
Want to lose weight? Take the kids to the park. Let them play, but make sure you walk to the park and walk home. You’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll be playing at the park with them!
Be more generous in 2015. This will take the focus off yourself and place it on others. Have your kids look for ways to help those in need. Have a family game night playing board games, with the winner picking the next act of kindness. Set a goal of collecting food and delivering it to a local food bank. Foster an animal from a shelter. Sponsor a needy child in another country. Do a kind deed for a neighbor. The possibilities are endless, and doing them as a family will be priceless.
Let the hope of change be an encouragement. Let your New Year’s goals be a time of new bonding as a family—a time of setting and achieving small goals that turn into reaching long-term goals. This is not making resolutions that seem to fizz out—it’s changing habits and creating a new lifestyle.
Resolution means “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict or problem.” Let 2015 be the year when past conflicts and old problems are solved—for good!