New Year resolutions are all the rave every January. That’s when we make them. Whether or not we live by them is another thing, but that is only because we forget what it takes to make it work. It’s not just about writing them down in your dairy or year planner.
New Year resolutions are a way for you to scope out the year and give you a general vision of what you want to give focus to in the year ahead. You will likely not say every single thing you want to do; it’s the things that you either want to change or make a priority that you deal with.
And yet, with all that drive, most people fail at keeping new year resolutions long before the year is out. It’s important to evaluate yourself as you go along, to see where you’re making it, where you’re missing it, and what you should recommit to, so your year can be fruitful through to the end.
Here are some practical mid-year resolutions for everyone to make and live by.
1. Recommit to walk closely with the Holy Spirit
One of the most important things you can do for yourself as a Christian is to develop a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. God gave the Holy Spirit to the Church for the purpose of building it and strengthening it to be effective in the world.
And I mean that literally. First, the Holy Spirit is the one who makes you a Christian. When a person receives Jesus Christ as His Lord, the Bible says it’s the Holy Spirit who recreates your spirit and gives you the authority to be called a son of God.
And then, going forward in your life, the power to live how God wants you to live, you need to constantly rely on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. It is His presence and His ability in your life that makes you able to walk in God’s righteousness and do whatever God requires of you.
In this New Year, one of your most vital commitments must be how to grow your personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit will give you clarity and purpose for the year. He will guide you into the unknown and show you the future.
Many times you will discover that the determination to walk with the Holy Spirit, that you may have had from the start of the year, will wane as the months go on. You may start to relax in your pursuit of Him. The cares of life may also set in, and give you more to worry about and less time to spend in fellowship.
Make up your mind to walk with God through relationship with the Holy Spirit. That means spending time with Him, speaking to Him and hearing Him speak with you, and relying on His strength and counsel for your daily life.
2. Resolve to study God’s Word more
Every Christian knows, or should know, the place of the Word of God in the Christian life. It is central to life. The Word of God was given to be the instruction manual for the everyday life with God.
One of the most important priorities of any Christian man or woman is to have accurate knowledge of the Word of God. That is how we will live in God’s will and purpose and please God. You can please God by doing His Word.
If you haven’t given so much attention to the Word of God in your life, you should do that. It’s a good decision to make. Or even if you’ve been serious with God’s Word, there’s always room to improve yourself.
Perhaps you decided to do your quiet time everyday this year, but then you started to miss some days, and now it’s very inconsistent. That’s not the end of it.
In your mid-year resolutions, make up your mind to be more consistent with your study of the Word of God. Plan it. Then do it. Most times, we plan to study God’s Word, but that’s all it is. Plans. Two months on, we get back into our rut and we forget what we resolved to do.
Plan it. Do it. Track yourself and keep at it. Especially when all the lush of the new year has worn off. Remind yourself of the vision you saw at the start of the year, and keep at it. Your knowledge of God’s Word will give you the advantage.
3. Resolve to live a healthy and balanced life
Well, I could have talked about prayer, or anything else here, even give you some prayer topics to use. The reality is, many Christians don’t know how to correctly live in the Word of God concerning their physical health.
Physical and medical health practices were a part of the Old Law for God’s people, and even in the New Testament there is some instruction about healthy life practices. God’s Word is not against doctors, hospitals, medicine or natural health practices.
It is important to take good care of your physical body. As a Christian, God is counting on you to preserve your physical health and not do anything to compromise the quality of your health. He needs you with your able, physical body and health to practically do the things He requires of you.
Some Christians go all out and are against any discussion about medical health in the name of faith. I think that is incorrect. I think the Scriptures teach amply about maintaining a healthy disposition. Besides, adhering to sound medical health practices does not mean you don’t have faith for healing or divine health.
In fact, your faith is only one-sided if you cannot do the natural things required to keep you healthy and strong. You need to be aware of good health habits and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes, we back ourselves into a corner by living ignorant of these, and put ourselves under undue pressure. If ever sickness or any health problem came up, because of our ignorance or neglect of the basic things we should do to stay healthy, it would not be God’s desire for you. So, do what is in your power to be healthy and physically strong.
Did you plan an exercise regiment at the start of the year? How’s that going so far? Maybe you slipped up on it after the first few weeks.
No matter. You can redetermine to take it up again and see it through to the end of the year. That’s what mid-year resolutions are all about.
4. Resolve to forgive quickly
Going hand in hand with the need to stay physically healthy, is your need to remain emotionally sound. One of the ways you introduce a lot of pain, frustration and discomfort into your own life is when your emotions are spiking all over the place. An example is when you keep grudges and refuse to forgive.
Don’t let someone’s offence linger in your life and disturb your heart. Forgive them. Take a look and notice anything that you’re holding on to – disappointment, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger or malice of any kind.
Let it go now; it’s not worth your time or your life. By keeping your heart free of such emotions, you’re helping yourself to be strong. You’re reminding yourself that the quality of your life doesn’t depend on other people and what they may do, even if they do it against you.
By controlling your emotions, you take away from others the power to hurt you and to leave painful scars on your life. As you look over the first half of the year, clean up those wounds, bind yourself and refuse to be drawn back into the pain of the past.
5. Resolve to read a new book or two
Every year, we are poised to improve on ourselves. Mostly, that takes the form of resolving to read new books and gain new knowledge. That is a most worthy pursuit, but one that we fail at sometimes.
Maybe you planned out the books you need to read, even began with a few of them. But as the pressures of life increased, you found you gave up your reading time for other things that appeared more urgent every time.
Remind yourself why you needed to improve certain aspects of your life with new knowledge, and get back at it. Get back to the books you left midway and finish them. Give yourself time to complete what you’ve started. It’s well worth it.
New Year resolutions can be tricky. Perhaps, the reason you don’t live up to some of them is because you decided to take on too much at the start of the year. During your half year review, you can take a look at your initial expectations of how much time you expected to have, and simplify your goals and expectations to be more realistic.
You’ll be more confident as you come out with new resolutions, a refreshed resolve to get things done, and a new drive to finish those things that you’ve left hanging. And you’ll be the better for it.