– by Mary Ogundimu.
I hate New Year’s resolutions.
Please don’t give me that look, I know what you’re thinking. This is not a spoiler; I promise you.
OK, forgive my manners. First, let me calmly say Happy New Year to you. Welcome to your year of supernatural breakthroughs and divine enlargement. In fact, the person with the loudest “Amen” will get a new car by Jan 31st, 2024!
Did I hear you scream? Lol.
Now let’s get back to reality.
The reason I say I hate New Year’s resolutions isn’t that they’re no good. It’s because they usually don’t work. Let me ask you: what happened to the resolutions you made in previous years? Didn’t they end up as a list of wishes that never came true? Did they automatically make you change or turn a new leaf overnight?
If you answered no to my last question, keep reading because, in this article, I will be sharing practical ways you can make this year your best yet.
7 Practical Ways to Get the Most Out of 2024
1. Align with God’s plan:
Dear friend, as a child of God, your desire should be to know and fulfil God’s plans for your life, not your dreams, desires, and aspirations (2 Cor 5:15). Yes, you can have your resolutions and set big goals., but you must pause and talk to God about them, because like Proverbs 19:21(NIV) says; “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
Let God be your guide. Ask Him to show you what you should do per time and how you should do it. Get your blueprint from Him rather than lean on your own understanding.
Commit thy way unto the LORD;
Trust also in him; And he shall bring it to pass
– Psalm 37:5-7 (KJV)
Before you set new goals for this year, take a moment to review your goals for the previous year, and ask yourself –
- What made it possible for me to achieve the goals I achieved?
- What hindered me from achieving the goals I failed to achieve?
- How can I change my approach to succeed in reaching the goals I didn’t achieve last year?
Don’t just think about those questions and move on. Take out your journal or open your note-taking app on your phone and write down these questions along with your answers to each of them. I’ll wait 😀
By outlining the challenges, you faced, you can come up with a plan to tackle those specific challenges. And by documenting other lessons learnt, you know what to do and what not to do to help you achieve your goals in the new year.
3. Set clear goals:
Yes, your New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t be wishful statements you hope to achieve in the new year. They should be clear, specific, and measurable goals for different aspects of your life, such as spiritual growth, career, health, relationships, and personal development.
Example of a poorly defined goal: I will evangelize more this year.
Example of a clear, specific, and measurable goal: I will win 12 souls for Christ this year.
Try not to set more than 5 goals for now. The fewer the goals you set, the more time and energy you have to focus on achieving them.
4. Break your goals into smaller manageable tasks:
After setting your clear, specific and measurable goals, break each goal into smaller, measurable tasks.
Big specific goal: I will win 12 souls for Christ this year.
Smaller tasks to help you achieve your big goal:
- Share the gospel with one person every day as I commute to and from school/work.
- Pray for 30 minutes every Saturday with my prayer partner for the souls I met during the week
- Be accountable to my pastor/mentor about my evangelism goal and send him/her a weekly report of my activity and progress.
Can you see how breaking your specific goal into smaller tasks makes it easier to know what you must do to achieve your big goal?
Finally, stick to your plan but also be flexible enough to know when to explore alternatives that would get you to your desired destination.
5. Create a vision board:
A vision board is a visual representation of your dreams, goals, and aspirations. It typically consists of a collage of images and words that reflect the things/progress you want to see in your life. They can also help you clarify your goals and stay focused on them.
Stick images, quotes, and symbols that represent your aspirations to a wall or surface where you can see them daily. This way, you stay conscious of what you’re trying to achieve and are motivated to keep going even when it gets tough.
6. Get organized:
A cluttered room, desk, or home will usually leave your mind cluttered and unable to focus long enough to do productive work. Make it a duty to organize your life. And when you start something, finish it!
The discipline you develop by completing small tasks like making your bed in the morning or preparing for the next day, the night before, will strengthen your ability to follow through on other bigger tasks.
7. Don’t let challenges deter you:
We all will face challenges in 2024. That’s the reality of life so be prepared. Build mental toughness and view challenges as opportunities for growth. Instead of avoiding difficulties, approach them with a positive, faith-filled mindset.
God is our confidence. He is at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philpp 2:13). Also, the Holy Spirit is always with us as our Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Standby, Counselor and Strengthener (John 14:26 AMPC). We cannot fail because we have Him. Glory!
I wish you an amazing year.
PS: Which of these strategies will you be using for the first time? Please let me know in the comments. Thanks.