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Between December 31st, and the first week of January, almost everyone has one thing in common: they desire to set New Year’s resolutions and keep them. At least for the first week, right?

New Year’s Resolutions in and of themselves are beautiful things. They encourage us to analyze our lives, edit, and make changes where needed. They inspire us to think deeper, dream bigger, and explore how we truly can be the best versions of ourselves.

The problem is this: By the second week of January, reality sets in and we fail. We eat too many cookies, skip one day at the gym, forget to take our vitamins, and forget about our goals. Life gets busy, and suddenly, we’re exactly where we left off last year. Or at least it feels that way. 

Disappointment and comparison set in and we give up. We don’t feel like trying anymore because we’ve already failed. We’ve messed up, screwed up, and it’s time to throw in the towel. But what if we didn’t have to?

1. Ask For God’s Help

If we want to improve our New Year’s Resolutions in the upcoming season, the first thing we have to do is ask God to help us. It’s not your strength that will enable you to run a 5k, lose 10lbs, eat less sugar, or break your addiction to work. 

Christ reminds us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Him and His power. The verse doesn’t say that we will be able to achieve those things self-sufficiently. It says just the opposite: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (KJV). This is why Jesus reminds us in John 15:5 to stay connected to the tree of life (Himself).  “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (KJV). 

Acknowledging that we need the Lord’s help to change and achieve these goals is just the beginning of improving our lives. Because I’m not setting New Year’s Resolutions for 2024. I’m making a list of things I would like to achieve, and then asking and relying on the Lord’s power within me to reach them. By His will, strength, grace, providence, and might alone. That means acknowledging that my goals for 2024 may not be His goals but surrendering them anyway.