Forget Your Resolutions

resoluition

I woke up in the night with this thought: “Actions flow from values. That’s why resolutions usually fail.”

At this time of the year, there is a lot of pressure to come up with a “new you” for the new year. There is a tradition for many people of making a resolution to change our actions in January, but very few of these make it into February.

We do the things we do because we value them in some way. To find out what are the important things in your life mark on a calendar everything you do in a typical month. Then write down what you spend your money on. That is the map of your values.

We all have 168 hours every week. Knock out 100 hours for work and sleep and you still have 68 hours every week that is yours to spend or invest, to waste or do something fruitful with.

People say, “I should pray more” or “I need to go to church more often” but they don’t do it because they don’t really value what they are saying they need to do.

To change your life you have to change your values and priorities, because you will do what you value.

Want to pray more? Read books about prayer until you love praying and can’t get enough. Then set aside a time every day and just do it.

Want to get fit? Find some activity that you really enjoy and you won’t have to worry about a fitness plan. I’ve tried a few things, but riding my push bike is the best exercise ever- if I miss a couple of days, my body and brain just miss it.

Need to go to church more? Well what stops you? Is it because you feel entitled to the Sunday morning sleep in, or coffee with friends? Go to bed earlier. Reschedule the coffee time. Determine in your heart that church is higher priority than anything else on a Sunday morning and put it in your phone calendar.

Don’t make resolutions you won’t keep because that just doesn’t work. Instead look at what your time and money say about what you prioritise and make a decision to value more highly the things that are really important. Cultivate a love or a passion for the good stuff and then go for it.

 

 

 

 

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Beneath the Surface

sydney-harbour-fireworks

All over the world last night there were events such as this, where millions of people gathered to celebrate a new year.

While they had the public’s attention, the real power in 2014 was being unleashed in thousands of smaller gatherings ranging from 5 or so to perhaps a thousand.

New Year’s prayer vigils in every little town and many little churches invoked God’s blessing in their communities in the year ahead.

I took part in such a meeting, from 9pm to midnight- and it was the best three hours I have invested in a long time.

Happy New Year!