It’s that time of the year. You know what I’m talking about. We get all fired up and motivated to change the world and decide to start with ourselves. Every wellness center and health club operator can tell you that the worst time to join the gym is the first couple of weeks in January when the resolution crowd pops in for their few days of exercise for the year. They’ll also tell you to just wait a few weeks. The masses will clear out just as fast as they came in.
The reason people never seem to follow through on their resolutions is because people know how to make resolutions but they do not know how to make quality decisions of dedication. There is a vast difference between making a quality life-changing decision and making the annual knee-jerk, heartless resolution. The term “resolution” itself indicates nothing more than the formal expression of our intentions. Intentions. Quality decisions of dedication, on the other hand, are about follow through and action. If you would like to convert your resolution into a quality, life-changing decision that will produce real results, follow these tips:
First, a quality decision is limited in scope. It’s impossible to fight on multiple fronts and expect success. It’s probably not a good idea to try to recover your high school weight, change your career, meet someone and get married, up your level of education, quit smoking, stop gossiping, become the next Billy Graham or Joyce Meyer, and get delivered from wii all in the same year. We need to limit our changes to 1-2 key areas and focus our faith and energy on bringing them to pass this year. It’s better to have victory in one or two areas than to experience defeat in ten areas.
Second, a quality decision is Word-based. John 1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word and that the Word was God and with God. This powerful truth that reveals the nature and eternity of Jesus Christ also reveals a very important life principle. If we are going to start anything in life, start or begin it with the Word. Find the place in the Bible where that area is discussed. You’ll be surprised how many life issues and challenges are actually addressed directly in the Word of God. Why is this so important? Because you need to approach substantial life change with faith in your heart and we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. When you feel like quitting, the Word that has the power to bring itself to pass in your life will spur you on.
Third, it is the action that separates the intentions of the resolution from the results of the quality decision. If you are truly serious this year and want to make the change you’ll need to understand that quality decisions require diligent action. The individual making the resolution may initially exert some energy or action in the direction of the resolution, but more often than not the enthusiasm wanes and he or she just drops the ball. Quality decisions require diligence and diligence is steady application toward any endeavor. It is constant effort exerted to accomplish something. Notice that diligence is continuing to work toward the goal day in and day out regardless of feelings or pronounced change.
Finally, a quality decision is one from which there is no retreat. You begin the journey with the mindset that quitting or throwing down the goal is not a possibility. A mindset (the resolution mindset) that says I may or may not complete this goal is doomed to failure from the beginning. You have to decide from the very beginning that you are going to see this thing through to the end regardless of the nature of the decision. If you limit the scope of the decision, base the decision on the Word, apply diligent action, and make up your mind that retreat is not an option, you’ll find yourself changed by this time next year.