Just like Groundhog Day - it's a replay from the year before. The New Year and all the anticipation that it brings hangs in the balance...
But this past year was different. Our lives were turned upside down. We had to adjust to things that were not of our choosing or in our control...
We make resolutions, we start diets & exercise, we begin healthy habits and quit things that we've decided not to do anymore, all in an attempt to start afresh with a clean slate...So - why do we feel like all the effort never pays off? What can we do differently THIS YEAR to make our goals and dreams a reality?
Remember, you are in control of your own spiritual destiny with God. It is a personal relationship between you and your Creator. Your mind, will, and emotions play an important part. Your volitional level involves your will (or willingness). Your emotions and intellect carry out your desire. Make sure you aim for success by making the decision to follow through with your plans. Here are a few tips to get you started...
First of all --- Don't stress out! God's Word declares His mercy and compassion are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). When we fail (and we will) we know He is a God of fresh beginnings and second chances. These are two of my favorites verses for encouragement:
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, go give you a future and a hope."
Secondly --- Map out your overall strategy for the year ahead. Start out with small steps towards your goal. Keep reminding yourself that you're doing better than the previous year. Stay focused on the "big picture" and not on your failures. You will have setbacks and disappointments, so be ready for bumps in the road. Thank God for your progress and ask Him to help you in your spiritual journey.
Thirdly --- Keep on keeping on! Don't give up or let the enemy of your soul taunt you. Every day that you set your mind and affection on Jesus Christ is a winning day! Bask in His Word, keep on praying, and stay in fellowship with other believers. Isolation is one of Satan's greatest weapons. Encourage yourself daily in the Lord. Ask Him to help you succeed by producing good fruit in your spiritual life (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).
As the Apostle Paul states in Philippians verse 13-14, “but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”