Commitments Determine Who You Are!
It’s a different year. Have you made plans to transform your life? Are you taking on a different nature to create a different you? It seems this is the time of year that many of us attempt to transform our life into something new or different. With the passing of the old year and the fresh beginnings of the new, the timing certainly appears perfect for change. But many people simply are unsuccessful with keeping New Year goals and commitments.
Statistics say the only 9.2% of people achieve their new goals or resolutions set at the beginning of the year with most dropping out by February. It appears that the underlying issue is that a lot of us set too many different expectations and create unrealistic goals. We want instant success and attempt to try to accomplish all of our resolutions at once, using our own emotions as our motivation.
Relying on our emotions as our motivational tool though sets us up for failure. Our emotional makeup can ebb and flow during a day depending on what is happening around us. It is all too easy to convince ourselves that the change is too hard, not important, or that changing our direction this one time won’t make a difference. But our commitments do make a difference in our life. No matter how small they may be, the commitment choices made in our life shape the path we take in this world. If we look back at the commitments we accomplished in our life, we can clearly see how they determined where we are today.
Getting the Help, You Need for a Different You!
Therefore, if commitments can change our life path, shouldn’t we depend on something greater than our emotions for our motivation? When we seek a different life, nature, or to be a different person we need a helpmate, coach, or guide. Someone that can transcend our circumstances. It is only through the mighty power of God working within us that we can accomplish all that is necessary for our lives to become different people with different natures.
We can change our direction and stay committed only with God’s help. By surrendering, trusting, and obeying Him; our thoughts, attitudes, and actions will change and grow us into different people; the people God created us to be. When we truly desire to be different and take on a new nature, we must recognize that this is not just a one-time commitment but a daily commitment of surrendering, trusting, and obeying. This is the only way to live as children of the Light.
Put on your new nature, created to be like God ”“ truly righteous and holy.Ephesians 4:24 (NLT)
Don’t Attempt to Commit Alone
So, as you think about your commitments or goals for the new year, recognize first that you can’t do it alone. Invite God into the mix and let Him help guide you in the direction He wants you to go. Recognize too, that your commitment to God and your commitment to change is one that must be reaffirmed every day. Taking on a different nature to become a different you doesn’t happen overnight or instantly. You should begin by thinking of the one habit that will create the most change in your life and begin with just that one.
When you make one small change in your daily routine, you take a giant step to help overcome the resistance that comes with change. Real change comes with time, effort, patience, and most importantly help from God. According to research from the University College of London, it takes approximately 66 days to completely break old habits and can take even longer to master something new. By involving God to help you commit to put on a different nature and move in a different direction, you obtain a different way of thinking that only the Holy Spirit gives.
Committing to be a different person starts on the inside as you are re-created in Christ. Therefore, commit to letting your conduct match your faith. A different nature creating a different you must take more than just a different resolution or having good intentions. For it all centers on choosing the right actions with Christ as your lead.
It may take 66 days to break a habit or even longer to master something new, but there is also an adjustment period to achieve. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that when moving into a different way of doing things it typically takes 21 days to adjust to the new change. This is according to Dr. Maxwell Maltz. In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, he discusses how his research discovered the human mind takes almost 21 days to adjust to most major life changes. Though his research originally conducted was on traumatic life events, he claims the principle applies and works on positive changes as well.
No matter the research, change takes practice, ongoing review, patience, and concentration to stay in line with His will. One day of failure just means you continue to move forward the next day with your ongoing commitment, celebrating your small victories as you reprogram yourself for continued success. One different change in your nature soon replaces your motivation to become a consistent part of your life. This is the success of a different nature that creates a different you.
Be More than a Jellyfish
I once heard a speaker point out that you can just drift along in the ocean of life as a jellyfish and place your life at the mercy of all that surrounds you, or you can be purposeful as the shark. Sharks use their surrounding resources to move their life forward. There is no justification to be a jellyfish when God gives you the ability to be a shark using the resource of the Holy Spirit as your guide, mentor, and motivation. By continuing to learn and obey God’s will, success finds you as you move through life.
Your personal goals of health, relationships, and success are important and hold value to God. But ultimately, Christ wants us to succeed in Him to become different people with different natures, so we are more like Him. He wants our best, so He can use us for His purposes. So, whatever goals you desire for a different year, be sure to align them with God.
Challenge yourself to be a different you in this very different year. Commit to taking on the nature of Christ in your life allowing your convictions to spur you to surrender your life to Him. Find your motivation in knowing that the real treasure in life is growing in Him. Won’t you surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that because He loves you so much He provides a way for you to accomplish and hold commitments that allows you to be all you can be for Him?
Love in Christ,
If you haven’t chosen any goals to create a different life in this different year perhaps the Paradoxical Commandments written by Kent M. Keith will give you a place to start. Mother Teresa was so inspired by them, she wrote them on the wall of her orphanage in Calcutta.
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.Kent M. Keith
What are Your thoughts?
Do you desire a different you with a different nature in this different year? Have you included a commitment with the Holy Spirit to achieve your goals? Share your thoughts, commitments, and goals for this new and very different year.
Jaarsveld, C. H., Lally, P., Potts, H. W., & Wardle, J. (2009). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. London: European Journal of Social Psychology.
Maltz, M. (2015). Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded. New York: TarcherPerigee.