The pressure of a new year is alive and well! Maybe you have made BIG PLANS and HUGE GOALS and you will not be deterred. But for some people, this is a time of discouragement. December may have left you just plain worn out. You may be dealing with struggles that have nothing to do with the new year. Give yourself a reality check and consider these strategies when you are considering your goals for this year.
Stop comparing yourself to other people’s social media highlights. January’s scroll can be discouraging as you see people start sugar fasts, workout routines, organizing kicks, or rigorous routine. If you can find inspiration rather than encouragement from this, then keep at it! But I often find myself discouraged as I compare myself, my goals, and my circumstances to these perfect pictures on the internet. The truth is, we don’t see the pictures of the failed goals. We only see our own failures. I unfollow brands and public figures who discourage me in some way and I might snooze or mute a Facebook or Instagram friend (honestly , usually an acquaintance) for a while. I get overwhelmed when I have too much input – social media then, can be way too much! As with everything, use it wisely.
Lean into the Word and find encouragement from it. Whether I am working on a goal or just living my everyday life, I find joy and comfort from Lamentations 3:22-23 NASB. “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never case, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” And as if that weren’t enough, it’s followed up with verse 24: “‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’”
If you do resolutions, try to enjoy the journey and the process. Most people will fail at some point. I’ve heard “progress, not perfection” many times and it is true! See what you can do to ease into a goal, rather than to eliminate something all at once or several changes at one time. I realize that some goals to stop destructive behavior or sin don’t fit with this approach, so carefully consider your situation.
The point of goals is not usually just to be able to check them off your list, but to reap the benefits of a new habit, mindset, or lifestyle. Pray about your goals, and make sure they glorify Him.
This post is part of a weeklong series for the #hopewriterlife New Year Writing Challenge from @hopewriters. Today’s theme was #new.