Every year, the week before New Year's Eve, so many individuals worldwide begin to reflect back on the year's events, mistakes, joys and sorrows. This is also the time where many of us kick into high gear ferociously trying to gather resolutions that will catapult us into a new life once the clock ushers in a new season and a new dimension of time. Yet, as we jot down these resolutions, we forget to confer with our God for his will and instead expect Him to cosign on our jotted list of newly thought of bullet points to have the life we created. We should question: Do we ask God to plan our lives or do we just want him to cosign our plans?
Recently, The Christian Post spoke with Christian Life Coach, Brian Williams concerning this very topic. His experience with helping individual's lead better lives has brought him to some very interesting findings concerning God and our personal goals. In this interview Coach Williams explains how we can incorporate our resolutions with God's that will empower us to ultimately lead a life that is filled with happiness, integrity, joy and is biblically based.
CP: What caused you to look further into the study of the commitment to New Year's resolutions?
Williams: As a Christian Life Coach I work with people every day to help them set and achieve their goals and I know it really takes vision, commitment and time to make these change. What always fascinates me is what happens at the beginning of each year. All of us decide that now is the time to change our lives (because we put up a new calendar) and we make the big commitments to do it starting January 1. I was really interested to see just how many of these commitments really stick long term.
CP: Do you find that New Year's resolution has a place in the believers psyche?
Williams: Yes, I do think it can be a spark to start making changes. I don't really think the problem so much lies in that it is a "New Year's Day" resolution. The bigger problem is that these resolutions aren't really thought out, planned for and most importantly for believers - not prayed about. As an example, God desire us all to spend more time with Him and walk closer with Him daily, but that doesn't mean I can go from spending no time with Him daily to setting a goal of an hour a day beginning January 1. It is always better to make realistic smaller changes first, gain momentum and add to it later. I believe God is pleased when we set realistic commitments and keep them than if we set pie in the sky goals and can't make it past a month
CP: Why do you believe that so many Christians rush to make huge changes for the New Year instead of committing to make settle changes each day to become a better person?
Williams: I believe there are lots of reasons for this, but one of the biggest is that usually the goal is something that person has been thinking about doing off and on during the previous year and it's probably something they really do want. In our minds, what better time is there to make a new commitment than when all the holiday and social events are over (and we may also be feeling some guilt from that) and the new year starts. The problem is that our brain doesn't adjust well to huge and immediate changes. Small and gradual changes allows for new habits to be set and a lifestyle change to happen. We all want bad habits gone and new habits in place over night. However, most people forget that bad habits didn't just happen overnight, nor will new ones be set up that fast. The good news that it only takes about three weeks to start forming a new habit, at which time that changes starts getting easier to stick with.
CP: Do you feel that many pastors encourage New Year's resolutions instead of improving upon a biblical lifestyle?
Williams: That would be in interesting study. I don't really know what percentage of churches do this, but I have seen it happen and what I notice a lot of times is that the Pastor is in the same boat. There is something he/she has been wanting to change and also makes the New Year's Commitment to do it. A practice that I have found very helpful myself (and for other Christians I coach) is to bring in the New Year with thanks for God and prayer together, reflecting back on the good things He has done. On New Year's Day (or soon after) I have my quiet time with God then ask Him what He wants me to focus on and change (I do this every six months). I record what He shows me, find a scripture to go with it and keep it in front of me each day. I set small achievable goals in this area as I review it daily and pray about it. Another big key is to have Christian support and accountability through a friend, small group or even coach (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
For further information about Coach Williams, visit www.coachbrianwilliams.com