Every year, the majority of Americans make resolutions about things they want to change for the better in the coming year. The most common resolutions, of course, are related to weight loss, exercise, healthy eating habits, and saving money. While each of these areas are important to a happy and healthy life, more than half of them will be broken by February. This begs the question — how do you make resolutions stick?

In today’s post, we’ll share some tips for making your New Year’s resolutions stick, so that you can look back and be proud of your accomplishments. At Encounter Church in Denver, we know that you might also be making a resolution to attend church more often. We invite you to join us at our church services to discover our warm, welcoming, and diverse community of Christ-followers. Please contact our church office for more information about our church ministry.

1. Set Goals, Not Resolutions

There is one primary difference between goals and resolutions. Goals are specific items to be accomplished within a specific timeframe. Resolutions are quite a bit more nebulous. Additionally, goals are more actionable. When you take a minute to think about resolutions you have made in the past, you might begin to see how they were neither very concrete in nature nor intended to be established with a more specific timeframe than the next 12 months. With that much gray area, it’s no wonder you weren’t able to stick to your resolution.

This year, instead of making resolutions, determine to set goals. Clearly establish what it is you want to accomplish and break it down. For example, if your goal is to make more money in the next year, determine first how you plan to make more money — are you chasing a promotion, changing jobs, or starting a side business? Plan out the steps you’ll need to take, assess whether or not you’ll benefit from a mentor, and expand your network. The more specific you can be with the smaller steps you need to take, the more likely you’ll be able to reach your goal.

2. Establish an Accountability Structure

An accountability structure is more simple than it sounds. Simply put, figure out who or what will best help keep you on track toward your goals. If you have some important goals that you want to reach this year, then you must be intentional about the way you aim for them. One of the best things you can do is to share your goals with a trusted friend who will encourage you, inquire about your progress, and offer advice when you need it. When you hit periods of time where you’re not pushing as hard, your friend will be able to step in to give you that push you need and remind you of the goal you want to reach. Without the benefit of a supportive friend, you might fall short of your goal.

Additionally, a planner, spreadsheet, or vision board can also help keep you on track to hit your goal. There are many different ways to organize the steps you need to take to reach your goal, so be sure to choose the one that works best for you. If you are a visual person, then a vision board might be ideal so that you have continual pictures and images of your goal in front of you. If you are more logical in your approach to a task, then a spreadsheet or planner may be your best option.

The key to choosing your accountability structure is to make sure that you have the right outside support to keep you motivated and moving forward toward the goals that you want to achieve this year.

3. Address Your Internal Fears

If you have set some big goals for yourself this year, then you might be surprised to learn that on some level, you might actually be afraid of reaching them. Consciously, you want to achieve these goals, but subconsciously, you’re so afraid of reaching your goals, that you do things that prevent you from being successful.

Perhaps you feel that you are undeserving of success.
Maybe you feel that achieving your goal will be disloyal to those who have supported you in the past.
You could struggle with the belief that more success brings more burdens.

No matter what type of internal fears you may have, it’s important to identify them so that you can address them and then continue to move forward toward your goal. The longer you choose to ignore the possibility of internal fears getting in the way of your success, the longer it will take to reach your goals.

4. Determine Your “Why”

As you sit down to think about the goals that you want to achieve this coming year, it’s important to think about why you want them. Once you can pinpoint why you want them and what motivates you, you’ll be able to address any fears you might have about achieving them, plan out clear steps towards reaching them, and begin the process of goal hunting. The great thing about reaching for goals is that, even if you fall short, you’ll be able to look back at your journey to see just how far you’ve actually come, reassess the goals you want to hit, and continue to grow and move forward.

At Encounter Church in Denver, we want to share the love of God with the people in our city. If you are looking for a church home, we invite you to join us at one of our Sunday services to learn more about our diverse community of believers. Whether you are interested in learning more about the Bible, have never been to church, or have been in church since you were a child, we welcome you to join our church family this Sunday.