Why Will 2009 Be Any Different?
- Kathleen Hardaway Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2009 1 Jan
Have you made New Year's resolutions in the past and they didn't last? Are you looking for something that will work, something that will help you move forward with accomplishing your goals?
What changes would you like to see happen in this New Year? During the past presidential election the most popular word used among the candidates was CHANGE. People desire change in our country and also in their own personal lives. Ask anyone, "Is there something in your life that you would like to change?" Most will easily begin giving you a list of things they would like to see changed.
How about you? What changes would you like to see happen? Have you given up on certain areas in your life? I want to encourage you: DON'T GIVE UP!
Have you ever wondered why change is so hard? I have. I think about it a lot. Certainly there are countless reasons why so many people fail at bringing about change. We're now seeing Oprah continue in her battle with keeping her weight off. She appears to still be looking for the answers in this area in her life.
There are countless books on weight loss, exercise, financial bondage, relationships, and reaching your dreams. These subjects seem to always find themselves on the best sellers' list. We purchase these books because these things dramatically affect our lives.
I personally own books on all of these subjects and have found them helpful. But I have also found that all the knowledge in the world on a subject will not make you change. Why? Satan has one goal for your life:
"The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy…" (John 10:10).
Satan desires to destroy your life in any way that he can. And one of his biggest ways is to keep you discouraged. He would like for you to continue to believe thoughts like: "I will never change, I've always been this way, this is as good as it gets; I'll always be single, there's no hope for my marriage, my children." On and on the lies flood your mind. Lies, all lies. Change these lies to "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Cling to this verse when the fiery darts come. Stand on the fact that change is possible.
Change happens every day, with singles who find their mates, with broken marriages, with messed up teens, adolescents, and even with seniors. I have a good friend whose parents were dramatically changed and found the Lord very late in life. Change is possible for everyone, at any time.
The key to change is to recognize when Satan begins to speak his lies to you. Do you ever hear yourself say, "I'm stuck. I've never be able to do this before; it's just to hard"? Do you feel stuck, as if change will never happen? Maybe you've never been able to make this change before. Remember, it's never too late. We know "with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27). Making change can be hard, but not impossible. You must believe this.
Look back over the past year at the changes you made. What are some of the good things that happened in 2008? Thank God for all that He has blessed you with this past year. I had some disappointments, but I also had some unexpected blessings. How about you?
What will make 2009 any different? Write a plan for the year. If you don't set a target, most likely you won't hit one.
- Begin in prayer. Set aside time to seek the Lord about what He would have you do over the next year. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5). Be sure and ask Him.
- Make a list of three short-term goals that you want to accomplish in the next three months.
- Make a list of three things you want to accomplish in the next six months.
- Write down your Dream Goal for 2009. (Write one Dream Goal and the plans for accomplishing it.)
- Put these lists on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, and on the calendar you use. If you place these goals in all three places, they will be constant reminders of the goals you desire to reach this year.
- Start a support prayer group for the year. Meet at least once a month. Encourage one another and pray for each other.
- Select the person who will be your accountability partner through this year. Give them your list of goals. Weekly go over the goals and share your progress for your first your three-month goals, then your six-month list, and your Dream Goal.
- Celebrate each goal accomplished.
- Remember that each goal is important to God. It's important to Him how we spend our time.
"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-16).
When you sit down to watch TV, ask yourself, "Is this really the best use of my time?" Certainly there is a time to relax and possibly watch some television. But watch out, as it can be one of the biggest time wasters. Start being more conscious of how you're spending your time.
My friend, may the Lord bless you mightily this next year. Remember, He rejoices as you're walking in righteousness and as you're accomplishing goals that impact His Kingdom.
"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I d forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14).
Kathleen Hardaway is a gifted conference speaker and author with a passion to encourage and equip women to be all that God calls them to be. She exhorts women to dream big, never give up, and live the life God created them to live. Kathleen speaks with sound biblical truths on relevant topics that touch women of all ages.
She's been featured on At Home Live, and Celebration's nationally syndicated television programs. She has been a guest on Moody Radio's "Midday Connection" Dr. Gary Chapman's "Building Relationships," and many other radio broadcasts. She is the Station Relations Director for Precept Ministries International.
**This article first published on January 29, 2009.