The end of 2017 is approaching. Que the endless commercials on weight loss and exercising. Get a membership to this gym and look amazing by summer! Lose weight and feel great! The diet pills that promise fast results without any work! Or quit smoking with this gum. That pill. This patch. Learn a new skill! Sign up for this class!

And the gyms fill up. Nicotine patches fly off the shelves. And classes at community centers are full.

But only 8% of people will stick with their resolutions. Why? Most make overly ambitious goals. Girls who never work out are magically going to go to the gym every day at 5am. The soda addict is going to give up sugar completely.

Goals aren’t a bad thing, but making goals that don’t fit our life don’t work. If you are going to make a goal for 2018- make a manageable goal. A massive change in your lifestyle won’t work because it’s too much change. We don’t like change. And, generally, we don’t like tough. We will stick with things that are easy for us.

Cut out junk food one item at a time if you want a better diet. Walk your neighborhood with a friend if that’s easier than joining a gym. Join a fun small group at church to make friends or learn a new hobby.

Next, make your goal enjoyable. If you want better grades, find a study partner or plan a study schedule that won’t interrupt your time with friends. If you want to eat better, find a friend that will grocery shop or meal plan with you. If you want to learn to save, have a reward for yourself – like new shoes or a vacation.

Finally, align your goals with God’s plan for your life. Many resolutions are superficial. We are trying to look better. Have more money. Feel happier. And nothing quite works. The cost of working out doesn’t “make” us feel good enough right away, so we give up. The truth is, nothing gives us lasting joy, except God.

Now, God wants us to take care of our bodies. He wants us to be healthy. He wants us to enjoy life. But doing this just for the sake of looking good or having fun isn’t fulfilling. Instead, God says that we shouldn’t look and act like this world, but that we should think beyond the way the world does (Romans 12:2). We need to replace what the world tells us with God’s truth. While the world focuses on the temporary, God’s plan is eternal. When we ask Him what His plan is for our lives, we can make goals that we can keep, and He gives us the strength to keep going when it’s tough.

When you realize that God’s plan is for you to budget your money so that you can find join in helping others, saving isn’t as hard. When you know that He wants you to be healthy to do what He’s calling you to do, taking walks can be fun. When you understand that His best for you is to learn certain things for your future, studying can be exciting.

And success in the small goals adds up to fulfilling an amazing purpose in your life.

What New Year's Resolutions are you making this year?  Let us know by commenting below.

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About the Author

kristenhodges

Kristen lives in Florida with her awesome husband and 3 energetic kids. She earned a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and is a psychology professor at a local university. In her free time, she hangs out with family and friends, volunteers at her church and laughs as much as possible. She has a passion for Jesus, helping others and anything chocolate. Follow her on instagram @kristen_hodges_cg