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As the New Year approaches and we think about what we want the next twelve months to look like we usually start to make resolutions and plans for change in our lives.

A helpful tip in goal setting and enacting real change is to focus on positive goals rather than negative ones. Our habits are memories of actions we perform in a particular situation. We can’t learn not to do something, so if we focus only on stopping behaviors, we will never develop new habits.

Instead of looking at our failures and any negatives we want to stop doing it’s much more effective to focus on a positive goal that we want to perform and/or become.

To accomplish this we begin by making realistic plans for what we want to change and specify when and how that is going to happen. For example it’s not enough to say “I want to exercise more”. That resolution has no strategy behind it and is probably not going to happen or last. Instead make a plan to succeed and choose specific days to exercise, what exercise to participate in and where you’ll do it and then determine with God’s help to add that to your daily routine.

God wants to help us succeed in life and for us to become the best version of ourselves we can be. He is there to help us and it’s okay to call out to Him, “I need help with this,” because we were never meant to go through life doing it alone. God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Often the exact space we run out of strength is where God is able to give us the most power and resolve. As we acknowledge our weakness we can discover how to lean on His immeasurable resources and strength, instead of just our own.

As the year draws to a close determine to be kind to yourself, we all slip up and make mistakes from time to time. Choose to focus on the positive actions you want to make a part of your life rather than the negative habits you want to stop doing.

Ask yourself, “What can I do today to improve my tomorrow?”, and then thank God for His strength, wisdom and help as you step out and do it.

And remember every day, not year is a chance to make things right, to achieve your goals and to make your future better.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
 (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Prayer: Lord thank you that every day is a fresh chance to begin again. Help me to see the amazing life you have planned for me and then please give me the grace and strength to walk in it. In Jesus name Amen.