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Post-New Years’ Resolutions 2017

Darren Laudenbach - Sunday, February 26, 2017

It’s now almost March, so we’ve had a couple of months to work on our New Years’ resolution list, and for thousands of people, these have already gone by the wayside for the most part. There may be a few people keeping a few of the resolutions, but very few indeed keep all of them, and many of those who even keep a few don’t keep the most important ones. Think of it this way: The average person makes resolutions along these lines each year:

  1. Financial resolution (spend less, save more, pay debt)
  2. Health resolution (lose weight, exercise more)
  3. Family resolution (spend more time)
  4. Personal resolution (go on holiday, eat out less often)

By the time March arrives, at least three of the four have been cast aside, in particular the finance and health resolutions. It’s sad to say that the other two are not usually far behind, although if any are kept, it’s the resolutions related to personal ideas for the most part.

For Those in the Minority

Let me start by congratulating you on the hard work you’ve likely put in so that these resolutions have the opportunity to change your life. Keep going, we’re about a quarter of the way through the year! It may be time to celebrate with a small treat, such as ice cream with the kids or a trip to the movies. Don’t go overboard, and don’t spend more than you can afford, but sometimes that little treat will be just the boost you need to keep up the good work.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.” - Psalm 90:17 NIV

For Everyone Else

Now, for those who have slipped a bit already, let me encourage you to go back to the reasons you set those resolutions and let’s talk about why you’re unable to keep up with them. Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Were my goals practical?
  • Were my goals reasonable?
  • Were my goals too broad or narrow?

Answer each one so that you can revise the goal if need be, but don’t completely throw something away because it hasn’t worked so far. If you planned to do it, it’s not unreasonable, and you just got tired of doing it, start over. Find ways to motivate yourself so that you don’t feel burned out. Stick with the plan so that you can reap the benefits in the future.

If you’ve discovered that the plans just weren’t practical, reasonable, or narrow enough, consider this Scripture:

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” – Luke 14:28 NIV

Sit down, rethink your resolution, and come up with an idea that works more and better for your family, but make sure you get some advice first. As we read in Proverbs, there’s wisdom in a multitude of counsel, so it is foolish to think you can do everything without help. Whether you consult your spouse, parents, pastor, or (more practical in many cases) your financial planning expert, it’s critical to find out why your plans have already failed. It could be a simple trick to revitalize the plans, or they could need a complete overhaul at this point.

Don’t just give up on your dreams related to your family’s financial future. Help is just an email, phone call, or text message away!