Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Count
“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Every January 1st, people conspire to put together a New Year’s resolution they can stick to but by the end of the month, 99% have given up on trying to implement their resolutions and go back to their old habits and ways of thinking and doing things.
Why is this so?
Old habits die hard for most people but even if they truly believe in their resolutions the will is too weak to follow through.
If you are one of these people, I have a novel idea that can transform your resolutions into a way to bring happiness, joy, and love to others. The idea stems from my own problems trying to implement past year’s resolution and failing like everyone else.
I decided to think outside the box and try to find a unique way to give back this year. I figured that if I make my resolutions about helping others I would have a bigger incentive to carry through and actually get something accomplished this year.
Making My New Year’s Resolutions Meaningful
“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.”
Most people think in terms of helping themselves first and if they have time giving back to others as an afterthought. To me, that just doesn’t cut it! I believe we need to start giving from the heart and do something to give back for all the good things we were blessed with from the year before and what better way than to put others first.
Instead of doing things I know I will never finish, I decided to put my energies into giving God all the love He has shown me over the years. God’s unconditional love is so great that he gave His only Son to save us. I thought long and hard about how I could give back and God revealed to me what I should do.
If everything is all about you, what master are you serving? For me, God is who I serve and I live by this saying; “It’s never about me!”
Here are some positive things we can do to give of ourselves to others:
- I aim to listen more and talk less – The more I listen the more I can learn about others. The best listeners become the best type of friends.
- Respond to opportunities to serve – We show love and compassion by giving practical help to those that really need it. When you go looking to help others opportunities usually appear at the right times. It is our duty to respond to God’s call. Anything less and it’s not real service.
- Reach beyond my comfort zone – Self sacrifice is at the heart of service. Self-sacrifice is the essence of true Christianity and when we forget our own self we become like Christ. We are tested and strengthened with going beyond our own comfort zone. In Matthew 25:36 we are told, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me..” This goes to the heart of where we need to go to serve others.
- Go the extra mile – Service is not just about saying you’ve helped but getting yourself dirty in helping others. Rolling up your sleeves and opening up your heart and giving of yourself.
Ways To Make Things Happen In The New Year
What’s in your heart? Are you following what your heart tells you or do you follow what God wants of you? We have been given opportunities to serve God in every situation and we see beautifully executed it in the Good Samaritan story from Luke 10:30-36. Being a good neighbor brings us closer to God. If we can find a reason to serve in the new year and become a good neighbor we can show our unconditional love to others.
God never said it would be easy but he gave us his strength to want to love others. Loving others is our response to loving God. If you have trouble serving others, focus on God and he will give you the strength to serve others.
In 1 John 4:20-21, it states, “If anyone says, “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
Love is action so do something today that shows that love. But action is only part of the equation. Forgiveness and compassion are just as important. Without them we cannot truly love. One of the goals I put forward for the new year was to show more mercy and compassion to those who have hurt me as well as forgiving them for what they have done to me in the past.
Service means nothing if there is nothing to stand behind it. The ability to show compassion gives us reason to serve others. It is this compassion that carries more weight than any other type of virtue. Each New Year’s resolution carries it’s own chance to make a difference in both our own lives and the lives of others.
According to life coach, Erin Lanahan, “The simple act of making a shift within has completely transformed the type of relationships I’m attracting. When you live from a place of self love, the world mirrors love and compassion back to you.”
You have a choice this new year to make a difference in the world. Which choice will you make? As for me, I follow God’s word and begin my my new year deeply committed to his service.
Do you want to serve God? Then support those things that bring God’s word the the forefront.