Ditch the New Year's Resolutions

growth mindset Jan 06, 2021
Ditch the New Year's Resolutions Focus on Your One Thing


(I've updated this post for 2023. Click to read the one version here: Ditch the Resolutions. Instead, Focus on Your ONE THING for 2023.)

It’s the first week of the New Year 2021. The time when many of us are making…and probably already breaking…our New Year’s Resolutions.

And feeling the disappointment and guilt of not achieving the thing we had hoped for.

So this year, let’s ditch the New Year’s Resolutions, which don’t work for most of us, and instead ask ourselves this question: What’s the One Thing You Need in 2021?

Welcome to episode 10 of the More Than a Pastor Show. In this episode, I share a super-simple, yet effective way to turn your hopes and dreams into reality, by focusing on your one thing in 2021.

Top New Year’s Resolutions

Every year, approximately 50-60% of Americans – and probably that many pastors too – make New Year’s Resolutions.

And every year, for at least the last ten years that I’ve been tracking, the list of top 10 New Years Resolutions has essentially remained the same.

If I asked you to name them, I’ll bet the chances are good that you could guess them all, or at least get 8 out of 10 right.

But here they are, just in case, in no particular order:

  1. Get organized
  2. Save more/Get out of debt
  3. Lose weight
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Quit drinking
  6. More time with friends and family
  7. Enjoy life more
  8. Learn a new skill
  9. Read more
  10. Travel more

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

New Years Resolutions seem like a great idea at first. I mean, if we aspire to do, be, or have something different in our lives, what’s not to like about that?

Unfortunately, by the first week of February, most people have already forgotten about their resolutions or just decided to give up.

What’s the problem with resolutions?

Psychologists tell us the problem isn’t with the idea itself, but in its execution…

  1. We make resolutions that are too general or broad. Just look again at the list of top ten resolutions. They are way too broad, and there’s no benchmark to indicate when the goal is achieved.
  2. Our resolutions aren’t motivating enough. We don’t create a clear, driving vision of why we want to achieve them, and what they will do for us.
  3. Deep down, we don’t believe we can achieve them. Or worse, that we’re not worthy of achieving them.
  4. No discipline or follow through. We don’t create a doable plan for putting our resolutions into action. Or stick with it.
  5. Busy schedules. We don’t make time. Or decide what things we will need to say no to in order for us to say yes to our resolution.
  6. The mere act of setting a resolution or goal gives us a psychological “high” or sense of accomplishment that is similar to having achieved it.

What Does Work: Focusing on the One Thing You Need in 2021

If you want to make changes in your life in the new year, go ahead and ditch the resolutions, and instead focus on the One Thing you need in 2021.

Here are a few simple steps to help you discover and achieve your most important goals in 2021.

1. What’s the ONE THING you absolutely need to happen in 2021…In your…

  • Life – Your biggest goals and dreams
  • Health – Physical, emotional, mental
  • Family – Relationships with your spouse and kids
  • Spiritual Life – Your walk with the Lord
  • Work – Your ministry and business or side hustle
  • Finances – What you earn, spend, save, and invest

2. For each one, describe the ONE THING you need with as much detail as you can. Exactly what do you want for this life area? What it would mean to you if you achieved it. What will your life be like after you achieve it.

3. Why have you not been able to achieve it yet at this point in your life? What’s been holding you back, and why?

4. What new actions or habits will help you push past the obstacles that have held you back so far?

5. Why would God want this for you? Doubts create delays and distractions. So create in your mind the belief that God is for you and he wants you to grow and live into your full potential in this life area.

6. If you had to choose just one life area to focus on, which one would it be and why? Sometimes, we complicate things by starting out with too many goals. So if you had to just pick one – which one would it be? Focus on it for 90 days. And once you’ve begun to master it, add another goal for the next 90 days.

7. X-Factor: Can you combine any goals and work on them simultaneously? While working on two different goals can complicate things, working on two complementary goals can create more momentum and accelerate your success.

For example, if you need to improve your health this year and lose 20 pounds, and you need to spend more quality time with your spouse, what if you could combine them together to help you achieve both goals at the same time by walking with your spouse four times per week?

8. Review your ONE THING list at least once a week. Or even every day if you can. The problem with most resolutions is that they’re out of sight out of mind because people don’t create a plan or review it regularly.

So the more you review your progress, the better your chances of success.

And by using this One Thing method of goal achievement, each time you review your goals. you remind yourself of why it is important, because each of your goals has context.

Get your FREE PDF download of the ONE THING Action Guide

The ONE THING Action Guide is a simple framework for discovering and achieving the goals that are most important to you.

In just a few minutes, you’ll create clarity around your biggest goals, and learn how to build momentum that will move you farther and faster toward achieving them.

Download Now at www.morethanapastor.com/onething.

In the End, It’s Not Just About Your Goals…But Who You Become in the Process

For me the best part about this One Thing method of goal achievement isn’t necessarily about the big goals we may hope to achieve, but who we become in the process.

Because as we crystallize our thinking about what’s important to us and why, create our action plan, and follow our action steps, we gain successes along the way and build “muscles” that will serve us well anytime we have a goal we want to achieve.

And as we gain new success in one area of our lives, we are equipped with the ability to create success in all other areas as well.

So, what’s your ONE THING in 2021?

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