Ahh, the beginning of a new year – many of us have a love/hate relationship with this time.
Whether the past year has been fruitful or challenging, January is often a time for reflection, planning, and aspiring to bigger and better things. We all want to become better versions of ourselves, and what better time than the start of the year to make some positive changes towards being the kind of person who talks about Jesus.
Setting (and keeping) New Year’s resolutions is easier said than done. In fact, research has found that up to 80% of New Year’s resolutions are dropped by February! If you want to live a life on mission and have influence in your sphere, what changes do you need to make?
More importantly, how do you keep consistency?
Perhaps it’s prioritising your relationship with God more by spending more time with Him. Maybe you’d like to delve deeper into the Bible and theology so that you’re equipped with answers when friends ask questions about your faith. Or maybe you’d like to grow in confidence to tell your friends about Jesus. Whatever it is, here are some keys to help you to stick to your goals:
1. Start small
Set small, achievable habits that will lead to a lifestyle that reflects Jesus.
When setting new goals or habits, people can often fall into the trap of “thinking big”, and setting goals that are unrealistic and unachievable. All this does is lead to setbacks, feeling disheartened, and eventually giving up. On the other hand, research shows that “thinking small” is actually the key to success – by breaking goals down into very small, achievable, incremental changes and doing them consistently, you’ll find that they naturally become a habit and lead to big changes over time.
2. Don’t expect perfection
When it comes to new habits, nobody is perfect. We all stumble from time to time. However, your success isn’t determined by whether or not you stumble, but by how quickly you get back on track. Remember, a setback is not a relapse; the faster you get back on track, the faster you’ll gain momentum again.
3. Know your ‘why’
We call this having intrinsic motivation. When we know the ‘why’ behind the change, it helps us to push through even when we’re tempted to slip back into old habits. When you set goals that are meaningful and are aligned with your values and faith, the intrinsic motivation will propel you forward and maintain momentum.
Here are some small, yet powerful habits to help you to live a
life on mission:
- Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and start your day with God
- Incorporate prayer alongside other habits (e.g. while you’re walking the dog, driving to work, even washing your hair!)
- Replace your evening Netflix with listening to an inspiring podcast
- Start journaling (if you’re not sure where to begin, simply start by writing out your prayers to God)
- Set a reminder on your phone to call/text one person each week that might need a friend
Article supplied with thanks to The Journey by yesHEis.
About the Author: yesHEis provides various resources to help share your faith in relatable ways.