By Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Sunday, January 2, 2011

Have you made a New Year’s resolution? If so, is it one that you think you can keep?

Most resolutions involve setting personal goals that only benefit the person that sets them. Such goals may include exercising regularly or getting to bed earlier.

An image of a person sleeping.

In the past, I have believed that I didn’t need to make such resolutions as long as I disciplined myself throughout the year. However, a few years ago, I broke with tradition and made a New Year’s resolution.

Are you curious as to what it was?

You’re looking at it now! It’s our website.

Here’s what I learned about making a New Year’s resolution and what I can pass on to you.

One of the first things I did was to enlist the help and support of another person. In this case, I discussed it with my husband.

Asking another person to assist you may help you stay with your objective and see it through to completion. The Bible confirms this concept in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NKJV) when it says, “9) Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10) For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.”

Second, whatever you have stated as your New Year’s resolution, write down the ways that it will benefit your family, your roommate, your friends, your students, your co-workers, or others. When you write your purpose in terms that will state its benefit to others, it will strengthen your determination to succeed and see it through to completion.

Perhaps one reason that I kept this particular resolution is that it is not just for my personal benefit. We gave it my name so that people that know us or have heard of us would be able to find it and remember it. However, my husband and I both resolved that it would benefit more than just us. It is for you. That may be one key to successfully keeping a New Year’s resolution: Set one that will benefit others as well as yourself.

Third, look for the best way to approach your objective as well as the best way to complete it. We did this when we sketched out a format, wrote down ideas, visited other websites, noted the features that we liked or disliked about those websites, and found a reference book to direct us in designing our website. In other words, we did our homework.

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That’s right! The assignments your teachers gave you in school were merely training for the homework that you must continue to do throughout the rest of your life in order to wisely use your money, time, energy, and other resources.

An image of someone working late.

Jesus addressed this necessity in Luke 14:28-30 (NKJV) when he asked, “28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29) lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30) saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”

Fourth, whatever your goal may be, keep at it.

I speak from experience because we did not launch it the first year that I resolved to start it. That homework that I mentioned in the previous step required a great deal of time and effort. We made more preparations than we have space to list here. Consequently, this website is not the result of a spontaneous decision. It is the result of careful planning, study, and preparation. Therefore, not succeeding the first year did not mean that I had failed to keep my resolution. It was not something that my husband and I rushed into.

The same may be true for you and a resolution that you made last year, or the year before. The fact that you have not yet met the goal doesn’t mean that you won’t or that you can’t. If it was a large goal, as this one was for us, it may take more than one or two years to complete. If you gave up on a particular goal last year, try again this year, but resolve not to give up if you haven’t accomplished it by year’s end. What have you got to lose?

Most of all, we hope that you will pray about the resolutions that you make now and for the years ahead. Include the Lord in your plans. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) advises this when it says, “5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6) in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

An image of praying hands.

We hope we have encouraged you to keep your New Year’s resolution because yours can be far-reaching, as this one is. It can be one that can lift up and encourage others, as we hope this one is doing and will continue to do so.

Let the Lord guide you in the goals you set. Then you are sure to succeed.

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