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A New Start for the New Year, part 2
The areas people most often resolve to change are fairly consistent: lose weight… exercise… get out of debt… spend more time with family… quit some bad habit like smoking… and without fail… the numbers of folks joining groups like Weight Watchers… or gym memberships skyrocket in January. It is simply human nature to WANT TO do better.
Unfortunately… It’s ALSO human nature to fail. Most resolutions last about three days to three weeks… and certainly the majority have ended by February. And then we are right back in the old ruts we had promised ourselves we’d get out of. It doesn’t take long for reality to snuff out what little bit of willpower and enthusiasm we might have had. Research has found that less than 10 % of us succeed in our New Year Resolutions.
Why??? Why is it so hard to change???
Well… Because the truth is… people, most often, set unrealistic goals for themselves. Instead of setting a goal to lose 10 pounds in a month or three; they determine to lose 75 or 100 over the year. OR, they make too many resolutions at once – like eating right… quitting smoking… reading their Bibles every day… and spending X amount of time in daily prayer – all of which are very wonderful things very good things to do – but two days or a week into it they find themselves overwhelmed by the number of changes they are trying to make all at once.
We often fail because we underestimate just how difficult it actually is to change.
SOME fail in their resolutions because they lack the commitment necessary to follow through. They have developed a pattern of quitting whenever they experience difficulty – and so they have grown to accept and even EXPECT to fail.
All of this has led many to reject New Year’s resolutions altogether. The thinking goes something like this… “Why attempt something that is doomed to fail??? Why pretend that change is possible… when you already know you will blow it?” To some… resolution-making is a waste of time… because it leaves them feeling worse about themselves.
I understand the fear of failure is real and can be very significant – but at the same time… all of us have areas in our lives that NEED improvement… all of us have things we should do better. And January, well, January has been considered the perfect time to make those changes for centuries. The month was originally called “January” because the Romans named it after their god Janus. Now Janus is depicted as having two faces… one looking back at the old year, with regret… and the other face, looking forward to the New Year with hope. The Romans understood that at the start of a new year, we can’t help but be hopeful of improvement.
Maybe you look back at 2017 with sadness. Maybe you saw failure in 2017. And so now you are looking hard at 2018 because you have a desire to do SOME things very different. This week… I want to try to show us from God’s Word – How you CAN get a fresh start here in these early days of 2018. Over the course of this week we will look together at 3 things… the Apostle Paul would say we should do for that to happen.
Medication: A Merry Heart: 15 EXERCISES WE’D BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT IN 2018
~ Jumping on the bandwagon
~ Wading through paperwork
~ Running around in circles
~ Pushing your luck
~ Spinning your wheels
~ Adding fuel to the fire
~ Beating your head against the wall
~ Climbing the walls
~ Beating your own drum
~ Dragging your heels
~ Jumping to conclusions
~ Grasping at straws
~ Fishing for compliments
~ Throwing your weight around
~ Passing the buck
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Philippians 3:13-14 ESV
Today’s readings: Genesis 4 – 7