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Good Morning Grace and Mercy

"Edify, Encourage, and Comfort Me"

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New Year's Resolutions/Life Long Resolutions

Posted on 31 December, 2011 at 12:40
Philippians 3:10,I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death; (NIV)
 
Romans 12:2, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

Every New Year, many of us make vows to change AKA “New Year’s Resolution” to make changes in our lives for the better. Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are: lose weight, eat healthier, start a exercise regimen, get organized, get out of debt, save money, spend less, spend more time with family, quit unhealthy habits etc.
 
All of the above are great, and we should desire to enter into a new year carrying less baggage and making positive changes in our lives. It is reported, that after the first month of attempting to fulfill these New Year’s resolution, 50% don’t make it.  Although the thoughts were good and positive, most just don’t succeed.
 
Researchers have proved that it takes 21 days to create a habit.  So, if we continue in a pattern of doing things, whether good or bad, for 21 consecutive days, it becomes a habit.  Some of us, in our attempts to make positive changes in our lives, after the first couple of weeks we start slacking, lack persistence, perseverance and patience and before you know it, there goes the New Year’s Resolution we’ve vowed.  Then there are some of us, who make positive affirmations without doing something or even attempting to try. This is called wishful thinking. The bible tells us that faith without works is dead. We have to do something to get results, as well as, speak it.
 
Additionally, why most people fail in sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions is because there’re not really ready to make the change in the first place, also some make unrealistic goals making it impossible to achieve, therefore, setting themselves up for failure.
 
This year I’ve decided to take on a lifelong resolution that supersedes all New Year’s Resolutions I could attempt to make and will be the catalyst in aiding me to fulfill all individual positive changes, and that is to take on the heart’s desire of the Apostle Paul found in Philippians 3:10, I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
 
What a powerful lifelong resolution made by the Apostle Paul.  With prayer, perseverance, and persistence with patience, will undoubtedly help us to achieve positive changes in our lives.
Most of us are freely willing with the first part of the above scripture, but the ladder… fellowship in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, are not appealing words. But truth be told, this is why most of us don’t succeed in fulfilling our New Year’s Resolutions; we don’t want to suffer… dying daily to our flesh desires is not easily achieved.  But with God all things are possible. But first we must want to make a change.
 
Through researching, I have found that some brain scientists and psychotherapists have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by “not trying to do it,” in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.
 
New Year’s Resolutions are not just speaking mere words (positive affirmations), but it is a made up mind, it is changing behavior patterns through our thinking processes. In other words, we must rewire our brain.  The Apostle Paul says it better in Romans 12:2, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
 
THE CHANGE IS… “INSIDE OUT”
 
I am reminded that all things are possible with Christ.  Sometimes, we try to attempt to make positive changes in lives in our own strength instead of depending on the strength and power of Christ that dwells within us; it is the power of Chris’s resurrection, the power of His Holy Word  and our free will of wanting to change, that is, to conform our lives willingly and obediently to the Word of God. 
 
So, if you're going to make New Year's Resolutions/Life Long Resolutions, here are some tips I found to help you make them work:
 
  1.  Focus on one resolution, rather several;
  2. Set realistic, specific goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be;
  3.  Don't wait till New Year's eve to make resolutions. Make it a year long    process, every day;
  4. Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too big requiring  too big a step all at once;
  5.  Have an accountability buddy, someone close to you that you have to report to;
  6. Celebrate your success between milestones. Don't wait the goal to be finally completed;
  7. Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits;
  8. Focus on the present. What's the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal?
  9. Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future.
 
And finally, if and when you slip, don't let the slip hold you back from working at your goal.  Be Prayerful, be Persistent, and Persevere with Patience.
 
 
HAVE A HAPPY, JOYFUL AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!
 
P.S. The young lady in the photo on this page is by beautiful daughter. She's a professional model.
 
 

Categories: December 2011

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