After experiencing a fluctuating year due to COVID-19, we have finally made it to the new year. Apart from lamenting the year passed, we cannot change the past, but can only face the current and future journey. How would you like to spend the rest of the time this year?
A lot of people make resolutions for the new year, some even outlined them in details to make changes or breakthrough in their life. However, the drive and motivation of reaching these milestones often diminish as time goes by, and the dream of achieving these goals somehow end prematurely. Coincidentally, I learned from an article analyzing the failure of "New Year's Resolution" that these failures are not only spiritually rooted, but even scientifically based, which is really worthy of our deep consideration.
First of all, the gap between ideal and reality is probably due to the fact that we often ignore the weakness of willpower in our high enthusiasm. Maybe we should not make too many plans at the beginning, because this is far beyond our ability. As Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41). Therefore, let’s start with something small, and specific, for example "Reduce or limit screen time every day except for work."
Secondly, we often think that we can achieve our goals by ourselves. Starting a long journey, walking on the road alone is not only lonely, but also dangerous. If we admit that setting goals is part of our spiritual life, then we cannot do without the encouragement and reminders of our fellow accompanies. Walk with others if you can. Share with others and establish the same goals, go forward together instead of doing it alone.
As children of God, we acknowledge His sovereignty over us. Thus the most important question of all: Where is God in the plan we contemplate and arrange? Is He the main determinant in our plans? According to general understanding, we believe that the steps and progress of completing the goals lies in our willpower. But in fact, if we rely on our own will, the result is naturally conceivable and often ends in failure. However, if we ask God to be in charge, we will experience the driving force behind, as Paul described, the fruit of the Holy Spirit – Self-Control.
I hope that these guiding principles will help us in the new year and also be a constant reminder encouraging each other: We will be able to achieve our goals not by ourselves, but through Him by the Power of the Holy Spirit, just as God said, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6)