How To Pick New Year’s Values

How to pick New Year’s Values isn’t as tough as you think. This year let’s resolve together not to feel like a failure. There is plenty of time to change, fix, or give attention to those things in which we feel frustrated.

So why is it that so many people--including myself--have a hard time keeping New Year’s Resolutions?

Maybe it’s because resolutions don’t carry enough weight as a goal. Maybe it’s because it’s not realistic. For instance--you want to lose 30-50 pounds but neglect to join a gym for lack of finances or motivation. Or you want to eat healthier but gorge yourself on all holiday treats. 

As we turn the page in the calendar to start another year fresh--I challenge you (and me) to think of the New Year in terms of value. It’s pretty easy, actually.

Ask yourself the question--what do I value most?

The first and best place to look for advice for answering this question is Jesus. He said,

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT).

Take Inventory

Ask yourself three questions. Do you value work, school, a particular hobby, or relationship(s)? Is there an area of your life that’s good but not great?  How about a weakness that you’re tired of carrying around? But before you answer, pray and decide in your heart to give both weakness and strength over to Him.

Ask Jesus first. He will help you decide what you should value most this year.

Six years ago I desperately needed to take inventory of my life. I was done feeling like a failure--so I choose a few values I knew needed the most work and decided to take the whole New Year’s learning to live them out. I switched the word Resolution for the words: Life Map--and the verse I choose as my map key was Proverbs 4:25-27, NLT:

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

I bet you and I have something in common. We’re tirelessly working, but accomplishing very little. That’s why the New Year ushers in both excitement and fear. That’s why we need extra help. We need a guide.

Christ, Our Authority

Christ knows we have a terrible time sticking to what we value most over what comes easy. We need His help to transform from sinner to saint because He is the only person who crossed over from death to life is Jesus Christ--and that same power is made available to us today!

But what happens when we’re not ready to take the risk?

We know what to do but we just can’t make ourselves change?

My favorite passage of Scripture for convicting me when I stray is found in Matthew 21:23-27  Mark 11:27-32, and Luke 20:1-8  I think Jesus knows how much we wonder from the truth--that’s why He mentions the story three times in the Gospels. I encourage you to read all three.

If you are not willing to answer Jesus from the heart, and instead treat him like a Pharisee--then it says, “neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things (Matthew 21:27b, NIV84).