Should Christians Make New Year’s Resolutions?

As this year draws to a close and the new year is upon us, its usually a good time to reflect on how well we did on our commitments from the past year and take some time and plan some goals for the new year.

If you’re prone to setting the same weight loss (or other) goal over and over again but fail to reach it then you’re stuck in a cycle and I want to offer you another approach to New Year’s Resolutions that you may not have considered before.

As Christians, we are taught to be in this world but not of it (John 17:14-16) and I think it applies in this case of New Year’s resolutions. Using a worldly view of New Year’s Resolutions, they are doomed to failure after all, statistics tell us that 92% of people will fail at achieving their resolutions.

Here are 5 reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail and 5 Christ-centered strategies to help you overcome them for 2015

In my experience from working with people over the last 25 years, here are the top 5 reasons why  people rarely achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

1. You set unrealistic goals– Many of us say things like, “I want to lose 100 pounds by June” or “I want to start exercising for 1 hour everyday”. These goals are simple too big (relative to where you are now), over-whelming, unmanageable and only keep you procrastinating.

2. You don’t really want to change– Deep down inside, many of us are not ready to change; we’re not ready to do the work that’s associated with changing; we don’t really want to give up the ‘perks’ of our present condition or we’re afraid of what the new us will look like.

3. You don’t change your thinking– Change begins in our mind. Trying to will-power ourselves to change only strengthen the negative behaviour you’re trying to eliminate.

4. You’re addicted to disappointment- many of us don’t realize it but we’ve become addicted to disappointment. We’ve been disappointed so many times that we’ve come to expect it. Like changing our thinking (point 3) we must also learn to change our expectations.

5. You don’t have a plan– Many of us sincerely want to change but we have no idea how to go about it. In the case of weight loss, the industry is flooded with contradicting and overwhelming messages. Low fat, low carb, high intensity, low intensity. We’re left scratching our heads and giving up shortly after starting.

Can you see yourself in 1 or more of these scenarios? If so, don’t feel bad. Follow this biblical approach to help you over come the one or more areas that have been holding you back.

1. Have you followed the S.M.A.R.T. principle for goal setting? Your goal should be Specific – well defined; Measurable – can you tangibly show how you will meet the goal?; Attainable – get real about what is and is not possible for you; Realistic and Relevant – are your goals in line with your Christian values and based on something that is possible based on your current lifestyle?; Time Sensitive – lastly, your goal should have a start date and an end date.

2. Allow God to Change You – There’s so much fear associated with changing. The big 3 fears that limit people in weight release are fear of success, fear of failure and fear of losing control (trust or submitting to God).  When we learn to let go of our fears then we can learn that God only wants the best for us and as His word says he will never leave us or forsake us. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deut. 31:8

When we try to change ourselves it seems too difficult and down-right impossible but when we turn it over to God, then we no longer need to worry. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ~ Phil 4:6

3. Renew your Mind– The bible talks about the dangers of putting new wine in old wine-skins. (Luke 5:37). Its a futile exercise just like trying to change your behaviours without changing your thinking. God wants our mind to be conformed to his. Spending time in His word and seeking Him about the change you desire in your health, weight or other area is a sure-fire way make your resolutions last beyond January 31st.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ~Romans 12:2

4. Expect More from Yourself – When we don’t know who we are in Christ, we look to other people for the answer. We look to food to satisfy us and falsely believe that the right size will make us happy. When we put our trust in Christ and learn that he is trust-worthy then we will learn to see ourselves as He sees us which will finally break the cycle of self-hate, self-abuse, self-judgement, self-loathing and low-self esteem.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” ~ 2 Cor. 5:17

5. Create a Consistent Action Plan– The Bible teaches us that the wayward man “will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly” (Proverbs 5:23) Our folly often leads us to try what is popular, what promises quick results or what seems right in our own eyes. Thankfully, the bible also teaches us the principle of small beginnings and consistency (Exodus 23:30) God wants us to understand that change a process that happens day by day–little by little—step by step from glory to glory. God’s goal is Christ’s fullness in our life. So if your goal is weight loss then choose 1 (maybe 2) small manageable goal(s) and execute them daily and consistently.

So, use the excitement of the new year to mark a new start and a new opportunity for growth and change but be sure to follow these biblical principles when executing your plan.

Join us to our first webinar of the year where we will talk with author and radio host,  Cindy Rushton about starting the New Year off on the right track. Register here:


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[…] 1. Get clear on your goal. What do you want to accomplish in the next 6 month. Revisit the goals you’ve set, adjust them if necessary and make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. […]