The “newness” of the year already feels over, doesn’t it? We are probably back in our old habits, old routines, old ways of thinking. Because the truth of it is - new beginnings feel difficult. At times they feel impossible. We want to change something about ourselves but we feel discouraged. We don’t feel like this is the time to start over. We don’t feel hopeful about something new.
The Lord desires for us to be refreshed, to be steadfast in him. He does not desire a life for us that feels stale and tired.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
The Lord desires that we keep faith. That we do not lose hope. And that, even as we grow older each day, our inward selves are renewed. The potential for change is always alive in us.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
The Lord desires that beauty comes from even the worst circumstances. That we have gladness instead of mourning. That we praise him instead of giving up. That we are steadfast in our belief.
To grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 ESV
It is never too late for us. It is never too late for the Lord to do great work in us. Through him, the time for new beginnings has not passed. His time is forever, and always, now.
Sometimes changing something about our lives begins with help from someone else. A counselor can be a great resource for someone hoping to make a change. To learn more about the counseling services we offer at Bethel Haven or to make an appointment call us at 706.310.9056.
If I had kept all of the new years resolutions I’ve made over the years I would: weigh less, drink more water, exercise more, watch less TV, read more books, eat less sugar and volunteer more. Because I have made a lot of resolutions - a lot of good resolutions that would produce positive, healthy things in my life. And I haven’t kept any of them. Why? Because I didn’t make them the right way. I didn’t make SMART goals. Here is how you can avoid falling into the trap of making goals that you can’t keep:
Goals should be SMART - meaning specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific. When your goal is able to meet this criteria you are going to be much more likely to meet your goal. Maybe this sounds boring so let me make it practical with an example.
Let’s say my new years resolution is to “get more exercise.” How will I know when I’ve met this goal? What does “more” mean? If I change the language of my goal it might make more sense.
Specific - For my goal, exercise means 30 minutes of physical activity
Measurable - My goal is to exercise 4 times a week. I can measure the amount per week that I exercise
Achievable - I realize that four times a week is probably not achievable with my work schedule. I decide that I can probably work out one-two times a week
Relevant - Getting more exercise is important to me because I want to improve my health this year
Time-Specific - I want to do this all year. But I will start by saying that I want to do this in January to make it more time specific and achievable.
My old goal: Exercise more.
My new goal: Exercise for 30 minutes 1-2 times a week in January.
Do you see how a goal like "exercise more" will fail so quickly? If we don’t define for ourselves what our actual goal is, the goal posts seem like moving targets. Keep your resolutions by making goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-specific.
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing