Making a New Year’s Resolution You’ll Actually Keep

Making a New Year’s Resolution You’ll Actually Keep

As I get older, I love the transition into a new year. I love being able to reflect on the past year and focus on ways to better myself in the next one. [Side note: I also REALLY love the way your house looks and feels when all the Christmas decorations come down – minimalistic, clean and new.] In the past, for my resolutions, I had all these abstract ideas and good intentions of making a commitment to be someone better, and there was always some number I wanted to to see on the scale. I typically would get to March and think, “Well… darn. That didn’t happen, did it?” Over the past couple of years, I’ve adopted a new strategy to create and stick to a well-rounded new year’s resolution throughout the entire year, and it’s actually worked!

The reality is, we should be committing ourselves to growth and betterment year round, but the beginning of a year gives us a fresh start, a new perspective, perhaps, and the perfect opportunity to reflect on the people we were last year and how we can make those people better. I love to use these reflect + refocus worksheets by my dear friend, Jenn Jett, to consider who I was in the year behind and who I want to be in the year ahead. Once I do that, I like to use what I call the Luke 2:52 formula to design a resolution that I can apply to my life now and continue over the course of an entire year. This formula, coupled with a plan of action when I fall off the wagon [I call that the grace plan], makes for a much higher likelihood that my lifestyle change will stick around for good.

And today, I’m sharing the Luke 2:52 formula with you.

We choose a new year’s resolution to focus on the aspects in our lives that we want to grow in. How can we become better? What lifestyle changes can we implement to move forward in some aspect or another? The purpose of The H is For… is to inspire, encourage, and equip others to keep this way of thinking at the forefront of our lives. How can we live this life well and make the most of it?

So, how can we consider growing in a holistic, well-rounded way? Let’s take a look at Luke 2:52:

Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man.”

There’s only one verse in the Bible that tells us anything about what Jesus was like and how He lived during his young adulthood and adolescence, and this is it! That’s the only verse. It’s our only guide into the man Jesus was between the ages of about 12 and his early 30’s. I grew up attending a summer camp that put a focus on this verse as a model by which to design our lives. [Just FYI…these four categories of growth are what have inspired the 5 H’s of The H is For…].

So often say we want to model ourselves after Jesus but it’s hard, sometimes, to take a man who was also God and to model our very not-God lives after Him. How do we model our growth as a person who seeks after Him? I believe this verse is an easy template we can use to try to grow into the person we want to become. Isn’t that the heart behind making a new year’s resolution? How will I be a better person this year than I was last year? So, why not use this verse as a template when making your new year’s resolution?

When making a new year’s resolution, I like to pick a way I can resolve to grow in each category:


wisdom // How do you want to grow mentally? What do you want to learn more about?

stature // How do you want to grow physically? Find a goal you can con definitely reach, add a tiny bit to it to push you out of your comfort zone and stick to it!

favor with God // How do you want to grow spiritually? Don’t let the growth in your relationship with your Creator fall by the wayside in 2017!

favor with man // How do you want to grow relationally? What is one goal you can make to grow in your relationships with your friends and family?

BUT, that’s not all.

You need to plan to fall off the wagon. It’s inevitable, but not the end of the world. As a perfectionist, I used to allow one bad day off my diet to keep me from continuing track on the following day. Jesus’s story is chalk-full of grace. Not only do we need to accept that and extend it to other, but we need to be able to extend that grace to ourselves when we don’t stick to our guns every single day of the year. His mercies for us are new every single morning – Each day in 2020 can be a New Year’s Day if you need it to be. What’s important is that you set this resolution as a basis of a year-long priority you’d like to reach and extend yourself an immense amount of grace when you fall short, then start over the next morning.

So, how do we actually make this happen? I’ve created a worksheet that helps you focus your big ideas and goals into simple steps that can become habits for you in 2020 – in each category. Enter your info here to get the worksheet:

    Need some ideas and inspiration on what to do for your resolution? Head back over to The H is For… every day over the next few weeks – every post is focused on simple things you can do to make your life better in 2020!

    In the meantime, here are some ideas:

    1. Keep up with current events daily with The Skimm
    2. Take an online class this year
    3. Learn a new language
    4. Master a new skill
    5. Make a goal to read more

    1. Remove toxins from your home by switching your cleaning supplies to Branch Basics
    2. Set a new workout goal (a number per week)
    3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day
    4. Switch from candles to essential oils
    5. Finally implement that clean-eating diet you’ve been wanting to do

    1. Commit to a daily reading of the Bible (we’re reading the whole thing in one year this year – join us!)
    (need something a bit less overwhelming? Start with this devotional through Proverbs!)
    2. Finally join that church, tithe and serve!
    3. Pick someone to disciple or join a community group/small group/life4 group at church
    4. Make consistent prayer a priority with these ValMarie Prayer Journals
    5. Make a goal to memorize a new verse every month

    1. Put your phone away during all meals
    2. Make point to call a friend once a week
    3. Make a point to be the person who remembers birthdays
    4. Commit to a date night once a week
    5. Invest in a new friendship

    Once you’ve filled out your worksheet and created your resolution, share it with us by emailing [email protected] with your well-rounded resolution you can actually stick to. We’ll be sharing some of them on New Year’s Day with you all!

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