The New Year brings opportunity for new beginnings. We all know this as we are encouraged to make New Year’s resolutions. People will soon make health goals, financial goals, and even spiritual goals. With a new year comes new possibilities; it provides an impetus to start again, to refocus, or even wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.
Yet, I was reading recently an article in the Huffington Post in which the journalist reported that less than 8% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolution. We can all guess the reasons why. Our goals are too lofty. We get derailed by a few failures or we don’t exactly see the results we hoped to see, and we give up. It is easy to become discouraged when things don’t change quickly enough and results are small.
I’ve felt the same when it comes to my life of faith. Often at the beginning of the year, I will set a resolution for myself regarding my spiritual walk. One year I set a goal of reading 100 Christian books. When I realized I was only going to complete 20 (I know I should have rejoiced), I gave up. One of the suggestions from the article, which I think is good to borrow for those of use wanting to take a step deeper into our life of faith, is to make small, incremental changes rather than try to fulfill one gigantic goal this year. The larger goal should be long term, maybe 3-5 years, while the yearly goal should be incremental. Thus, if our spiritual goal is to be have more prayer time. Maybe the incremental change would be to pray 5 minutes before leaving for work, and then add another 5 minutes in a couple months. Before you know it, your prayer life will be strong and fruitful.
As the New Year begins, consider one small change you can make in your spiritual life which will have a lasting impact on your habits. Happy New Year!