How to Make New Year’s Resolutions using Mark 12:30
Many years ago I read an article about How to Make New Year’s Resolutions. The author said that you should make a resolution in each of these categories: financial, social, intellectual, and physical. Because I was a Christian, I added a spiritual category.
Several years later, after reading Mark 12:30, it occurred to me that every goal, whether physical, financial, social, or intellectual is ultimately a spiritual goal. We are called to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) Our entire being works together in everything we do to honor our creator. This post tells you How to Make New Year’s Resolutions using Mark 12:30.
A FREE PRINTABLE 18 Page Workbook is available to assist you as you make your New Year’s Resolutions.
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions using Mark 12:30
Taking time to review the year behind and plan for the year ahead is a process everyone should undertake. As the Christmas decorations come down and we begin to rest from the frenzy of the prior days, sitting down for a few hours with a notebook, a pen, and a warm beverage to plan the year ahead is a gift we should give ourselves. Here are some steps to help you through the process:
Meditate on Mark 12:30.
“Love the Lord your God with all your HEART (relationships with others) and with all your SOUL (relationship with God) and with all your MIND (my intellect and skills) and with all your STRENGTH (my body, my finances, my time, my surroundings.)
HEART: relationships with others. Think about the relationships in your life. What do you need to do to improve these relationships? What relationships do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive? How can you live at peace with yourself and others?
Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”
SOUL: relationship with God. What do you need to do to become closer to God?
Psalm 119:175: “Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.”
I can’t recommend enough reading the entire chapter of Psalm 119 as you think on your relationship with God
MIND: A vast category of learning and expanding. It’s not a category of just eliminating the pollutants, but enriching our thoughts with good books, good ideas, new skills, new people. Learn something new this year and use that skill in service to God and man.
Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
STRENGTH: physical goals – the bulk of most resolutions – weight, exercise, diet, finances, home improvement, careers, etc. This category could be called “taking care of business.”
These items are the things that strengthen or weaken our hearts, souls, and minds. If our “business” is out of whack, it strains our relationships with others and with God and keeps our minds focused in the wrong place. If our hearts, souls, and minds are out of whack, we have difficulty accomplishing our strengthening goals.
We may even add harmful habits to distract us from our hearts, souls, and minds. Think about what business you need to take care of. What to you need to do to keep your body healthy? How are you spending your money? Are you taking care of the home you are blessed with?
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Luke 11:36: “Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
Ephesians 4:1: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”
Put your goals in writing.
The FREE PRINTABLE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION WORKBOOK is a great place to write down your goals for the new year!
Run some tests.
- Is it realistic? Is the goal reasonable and accomplish-able or is it just a fantasy?
- Is it measurable? Should it be measurable? How will you know if you have accomplished your goal or not? Some goals are easy to measure. Did you clean out the closet and give unneeded items to charity or sell them as part of your financial goals? Others are not easily measured, like relationships. While there are concrete, measurable steps that can be taken in your relationships, in the end, only you will know if you are at peace in your relationships.
- Is it about bananas? Is it a fad or a narrow dictate from an article or book? I reference the lowly banana because periodically I see an article citing the diabolical consequences of eating bananas. Having spent 7 years attending high school cross country and track meets observing thousands of abnormally skinny kids consume millions of pounds of bananas, I can assure you that banana peels make a mess, but they are not the sole cause of an expanding waistline. Realize that certain items, like health and finances, can not be improved with one gimmicky change.
- Is it a good use of resources and time? There are things that are not worth your time or resources and can become an obsession.
Make a plan – a real one.
Write it down! All the steps! Write them down!
I’m not talking about bearing your soul to everyone on Facebook; just decide who or what is going to spur you on.
Finally, be patient with yourself.
Resolve to love the person God created and not the one you wished he had created. Just keep moving forward. You can do it.
A new year is a time for self-reflection and planning. Following the instructions for How to Make New Year’s Resolutions Using Mark 12:30 as a guide will help you keep your plans and goals in perspective of the ultimate goal. May you be blessed in the new year.
Looking for ideas and inspiration to get started? Check out these previous posts:
50 Books By 50 Years Reading Challenge
50 by 50: 50 Things to Learn, Accomplish, and Experience Before I Turn 50
10 Best Books for Empty Nesters
Awesome, Laura!!! I will try to apply these guidelines & let you know how it goes.
Excellent blog Laura. Biblical mind, heart and soul… It is only practical to give them priority in our daily “organization” as we strive to live up to those standards. Otherwise we all go “bananas!”
Just this morning I woke up thinking about my New Years resolutions, then I read your blog. Thanks Laura for your thought provoking post! Happy New year!
Laura, I found lots of wisdom is this post. I especially like the way you categorized them! Now on the tissue paper issue……one of my goals for this year is to get back to some of the cost savings techniques that I relied on when we had very little money. I think this was being a good steward and I have went away from some of these because I can (we have the money to not have to do them). But if you save the tissue and bags that you receive gifts in then you do not spend the time running to the store to get these each time you need to give a gift. So that saves time and money, hence, good stewardship. It only takes me 10 seconds to fold them up and it only takes up one drawer to store them. MHO
I think I hit a nerve with the tissue paper thing. You are the second friend to tell me that she organizes her tissue paper. In my post I was referring to the very pretty Pinterest pictures I see of BRAND NEW tissue paper organized as almost a display. I have a cabinet with used gift bags and I have a plastic bucket with tissue paper in it, but it is not sorted by color or pattern. For me, it would not be a good thing to organize my tissue paper any further, but I do not have a problem with anyone who has a reason to organize their tissue paper, assuming the reason is not to brag about their tissue paper organization online. Does that make sense?
I love the idea of using this verse to form goals. I’m in the process of developing my goals for this year. Your tips are great reminders.
Thank you. I am hard at work on my goals too.
I love the idea of running our goals through a specific Bible verse. Thanks for sharing Laura.
I can’t believe it is already time to be thinking about next year’s goals! Where did the time go this year??? I know that is totally cliche, but like for real…this year zipped by for me!
This is so great. I also love your ideas at the bottom – 50 books before 50 and the 50 things to learn, do , or experience. What a great idea for personal goal setting!
This is a really good and challenging strategy for making our resolutions for the new year! I need to take some time to sit down and determine just what things I would like to accomplish in 2018 are. We’re expecting our second early in the year, so I anticipate a lot of chaos in the beginning!
I love the verse you chose for this though. It is a great guiding verse for making our plans and goals!
Great post. I have been trying to figure how to be part of the good, and this gives me lots of great ideas.