One Problem with New Years Resolutions, And How to Fix It

open Bible

I used to make resolutions like “read my Bible every day” but no matter how many days in a row I stuck with it, I always felt like a failure the first day I didn’t manage to keep it up.

Since missing one day meant breaking my resolution, there was usually little motivation left to keep trying.

I might have read my Bible 30 days in a row but my focus was on my one failure. How crazy is that? 30 to one is a pretty good ratio.

Imagine if I’d kept up that pace for the rest of the year – I’d have stuck with my resolution 353 days and only failed 12 days! That’s an impressive amount of success!

Even if we “fail” half the time, that’s still some 180 days in the year of moving in the right direction. I call that a success.

If you’ve made a resolution to do (or not do) something every day, don’t set yourself up for failure by going for a streak. Instead, set yourself up to win with this little change:

Try thinking “I am the kind of person who reads the Bible every day” instead of “I will read my Bible every day.”

With this change of thinking, one off day doesn’t ruin a streak. It’s a just a bad day – an anomaly. You save yourself all the negative self-talk that will rob you of getting back on track tomorrow.

By thinking “I am the kind of person who . . .” you can also bypass procrastination – there’s no room for “I’ll start tomorrow” because you are already today the kind of person who acts.

One other bonus with this variation on resolutions: if saying “I am the kind of person who goes to the gym” doesn’t get you excited, then maybe you’ve picked a resolution that isn’t a good fit and it’s time to think about why and make some changes.

Wishing you all the best in 2016, and may you do and become all you dream of!

4 thoughts on “One Problem with New Years Resolutions, And How to Fix It”

  1. I’ve seen the fruitlessness of New Year’s Resolutions for a long time, and have not done them for many years.

    But this year, I am working on the Best Year Ever course with my husband, and had already written my goals before I read this post.

    One of my goals is “Do 10 push-ups every day in February.” I figured it was challenging but doable (not for a whole year, but still an every day goal).

    Then I read this post and your “I am the kind of person who…” resonated with me.

    I made that goal because I want to be (I am!) the kind of person who does push-ups every day.

    But I am leaving that goal there because the kind of person who does push-ups every day can benefit from a jump-start in habit forming.

    In February, I will do 10 push-ups every day, and it will start in me a pattern that I will continue throughout the year. And if on one day here and there I don’t manage my push-ups, that’s ok! I am still a person who does push-ups. And likely, I will increase that number, too!

    Thank you to the kind of person who writes encouraging, inspiring blog posts every week. (:

  2. I love the idea, but I’ve struggled with “I’m the kind of person who…” when I know it’s not (yet) true. So for now I’m trying out, “I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t leave dirty dishes on the counter, but washes them or puts them in the dishwasher as soon as I’m done with them.” Hopefully I can change the wording after a while. 🙂

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