Ditch the Resolutions. Instead Focus on Your One Thing for 2023

growth mindset Jan 17, 2023
Ditch the New Year's Resolutions Focus on Your One Thing

So, it’s the third week of January 2023. The time when many of us are already abandoning our new year's resolutions. Are you tired of the stress and guilt that come from making resolutions that just don’t work?

What if, this year, you could ditch the new year's resolutions and discover a simple, yet effective way to turn your biggest hopes and dreams into reality? Well, I believe it is possible. And I’ll show you how in this episode of the More Than a Pastor show. Let’s get started!


Links for Today's Show


January 17 - Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day


Did you know that today, January 17, is Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day? Go ahead, Google it, I’ll wait...

Yeah, it’s the day when most people have ditched or abandoned their New Year’s Resolutions.

Do you ever get frustrated by resolutions that just don’t work? I know I do. And I hate the stress and sense of guilt that comes from not achieving goals I set.

Actually, I realized that pretty much all of my past resolutions were actually more like wishes than goals.

The problem was that I hadn’t clearly defined exactly what I wanted and why, and I didn’t have any kind of strategy or system to help me achieve them.

Then one day I discovered a simple framework for turning resolutions into meaningful goals, and these goals into reality.

What this did for me was create more alignment and integration in my life, which created more momentum that propelled me closer to achieving my goals.

Now, Instead of having several disparate goals that I’m pursuing independently, I strategically map out a way to align my biggest goals together so I can pursue them in a unified way.

So how exactly does that work? I’ll show you how in just a minute.

But first, let’s say a few words about new year's resolutions, and why they don’t work for most of us.


Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

Did you know that each year, approximately 50-60% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions? I wonder if it’s that many pastors too?

And every year, for the last ten years or so 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. Get in shape
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Spend less time on social media
  6. More time with friends and family
  7. Enjoy life more
  8. Learn a new skill
  9. Reduce stress
  10. Travel more


Why Resolutions Don’t Work

At face value, the concept of New Year’s Resolutions seems like a great idea, don’t they? I mean, if something major is not working in our lives and we want to change it, that makes sense, right? Or if we aspire to do, be, or have something different in our lives, what’s not to like about that?

So we resolve to do something different this year. We’re going to make a change. Because we want to see different results.

But unfortunately, by mid- January, many of us have already forgotten about our resolutions or decided to give up on the change we were hoping for..

The good news is that it is possible for us to create the change we want to see. We just need to do it in a more effective way.

We stretch out the time…we have a year so we wait a long time and then we forget.

So What’s the big problem with New Year’s Resolutions?

Psychologists tell us the problem isn’t with the idea of New Year’s Resolutions themselves, but in their execution…

  1. We make resolutions that are too general or broad. They often pull us in different directions. 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 realistic plan for putting our resolutions into action. Or we don’t stick with the plan we do have.
  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. Have you ever experienced this yourself, or seen someone else do it? I know I have.


So if New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work, How Can You Create Change in Your Life in 2023?


Today I want to share with you a simple framework for turning resolutions into meaningful goals, and goals into reality. This framework will create more alignment and integration in your life, and more momentum that will propel you closer to achieving your most important goals. 

Now, Instead of having several disparate goals that you’re pursuing independently, you can strategically map out a way to align your biggest goals together so you can pursue them in a unified way.

I call it the ONE THING 90-Day Goal Framework. And I’ve put together a free PDF of this framework, so you can fill in the blanks and customize it for your biggest goals this year. You can download your copy today at morethanapastor.com/o-n-e (again, morethanapastor.com/o-n-e.


The ONE THING 90-Day Goal Framework


Step 1: What’s the ONE THING you absolutely need to happen in 2023 in each of the six key areas of your life? 

In your…

  • Personal Growth – Your goals, personal challenges, dreams
  • Health – Physical, emotional, mental
  • Relationships – Your spouse, kids, friends, others (neighbors)
  • Spiritual Life – Your walk with the Lord, calling, mission, purpose
  • Work – Your ministry and business or side hustle
  • Finances – What you earn, spend, save, and invest


Step 2: Describe each 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?

Step 3. If you had to choose only to focus on for the next 90 days, which one would it be and why?

This becomes your ONE THING focus goal for the next 90 days. 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.


Step 4. Now that you’ve selected your ONE THING 90-Day focus goal, let’s work to align all the other areas of your life in support of this.

Brainstorm 3-5 goals or action steps over the next 30 days that will impact your 90-Day Focus Goal, and especially look for ways you could “kill two birds with one stone” by identifying goals/actions that help you achieve your focus goal and also align with your other life areas. This will build momentum and help you move farther faster toward your 90-day focus goal and your other goals as well.

For example, if my 90-Day Focus Goal is to exercise more and eat better so I can lose 20 pounds by March 31, 2023, and my Relationships goal is to spend more time doing things with my wife, I could easily think of ways to accomplish both at the same time. I could get up early with my wife and do a work out together in the mornings. I could walk with her in the afternoon. We could prepare meals together so that I’m eating more healthy for my lunches, etc.

And suppose I had a spiritual goal of spending at least 15 minutes a day praying, reading God’s word, and reflecting on what I’m reading. I could accomplish both at the same time by listening to an audio Bible and pray a couple of times a week while I’m out for a run. Or I could listen to a devotional while I’m stretching and cooling down after a workout. You get the idea.

While working on two different goals can complicate things, working on two complementary goals can create more momentum and accelerate your success.

Something magical happens when we combine goals and do actions that achieve both at the same time. We can go farther faster. Build momentum. So pick some you can do for 30 days. After that, you can choose to keep it going, or do something different.

5. Identify weekly action steps. Break down your monthly goals into weekly action steps. Schedule time in your calendar to accomplish these steps.

As mentioned earlier, one reason why we don't achieve our resolutions it that we fail to dedicate time for them in our schedule. Another is that we don't take other things off our schedule to make room for the new resolutions.

6. Review and Repeat. Review your progress weekly to identify new action steps, monthly to identify new 30-day goals, and quarterly to renew your 90-day focus goal or identify a new one.

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 of why they are important to you.

Get your FREE PDF download of the ONE THING 90-Day Goal Framework

My ONE THING 90-Day Goal Framework is a simple tool 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: The ONE THING 90-Day Goal Framework.


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 do you think, could the ONE THING 90-Day Goal Framework be the thing you need to help you accomplish your biggest goals in 2023? 

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