It’s that time of year again to make New Year’s resolutions. Are you someone who makes them only to break them by February? Me too. The New Year feels like a chance to start anew.
Yet God is the one who gives us new chances, but not only each year, each day of the year. He’s the God of second chances. He’s the God who makes all things new.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
You might ask yourself what is the spiritual meaning of the new year? A time to make new goals and changes. To start afresh.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Jesus offers us a fresh start to renew our strength. When we wait for Him and his guidance to direct our plans and path for the year, he renews our strength to get the job done. Whether it be flying high with the excitement of a new project, through the messy middle as we get bogged down in the details or as we walk through perseverance to get the job done. Jesus is with us each step of the way.
How can you make your new year spiritual?
Spiritual Resolutions for 2022
Below are some examples of spiritual resolutions for 2022.
- Add one new discipline such as: Meditation; Prayer; Fasting; Study; Simplicity; Solitude; Submission; Service; Confession; Worship; Guidance; Celebration; Fellowship; Journaling; Stewardship.
- Pray more often
- Read books on topics of interest to enhance your spiritual life
- Choose a one-word theme for the year like: Prayer; worship; grace, gratitude; mercy; forgiveness; etc.
- Service project: Find a service project or two to be a part of for the year.
- Read scripture more
- Join a Bible Study – One your church offers or online.
- Walk closer to Jesus
- Forgive someone
Making Spiritual New Year’s Resolutions the SMART way
Spiritual growth as a phrase is so vague it’s useless. How do you know if you’re growing spiritually? There’s no measuring stick for it. Yet 2022, you can apply SMART goals to your spiritual life to ensure progress. You can act on spiritual goals and move forward in a tangible way.
For those of you who don’t know, SMART is an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
To start, ask yourself the following questions as you look at your SMART Spiritual Resolutions:
- S – What do I want to accomplish? Where will I do this (physical place)? Why do I want to do this?
- M – How will I know I’ve succeeded? How many steps will it take? Write the steps down.
- A – Do I have the resources I need? Is this too easy or too hard for me to achieve? Will the steps planned above help me reach my goal?
- R – Can I commit to this? Do I have enough time in my schedule?
- T – When is the deadline? When do I need to act?
For example, if your goal is to read more scripture, your SMART goals might look like this:
- S – I want to read my Bible more regularly, so I know what God’s word says. I will do this for 10 minutes in the morning while I drink my coffee (or evening before bed).
- M – I want to find a Bible reading plan that will only take 10 minutes each day. I will take Saturday and Sunday off. I will write the passages to read in my calendar, so I don’t forget. If I miss a day, I will use Saturday as a catch-up day.
- A – I need a Bible, a reading plan, a pen, paper, calendar, highlighter. The steps are doable with some flexibility in case I miss a day.
- R –Reading only 10 minutes is something I can commit to. I can make it a habit if I drink my coffee at the same time.
- T – I will start January 1 and continue through the year. I will read Monday through Friday with make-up day(s) on Saturday or Sunday.
Or if you want to increase your prayer life your SMART goals could be:
- S – I want to pray more because Jesus tells us to pray, and I feel it’s important.
- M – I will start with finding a prayer practice I can do online or a book to find examples of how to pray. I will spend 5 minutes in prayer for the first month. I will increase this time every two months, so by the end of the year I’ll be praying a ½ hour at a time. I will use a kitchen timer to know when I’m done praying.
- A – I need to find a prayer practice, book on prayer or other printed prayers as examples. Kitchen timer.
- R – Gradually increasing the amount of time in prayer and using the kitchen timer will help to keep me on track and gradually introduce longer prayer time.
- T – I will start with 5 minutes in January and gradually increase the time by five minutes in March, May, July, September, and November.
Remember, the above are just two examples. Answer the questions so the responses make the most sense for you. Otherwise, you set yourself up to quit and we don’t want that! The goal of this is to make progress, however that looks for you. Take a few minutes to set a goal and then answer the questions. If you can’t come up with the answers immediately, don’t worry, give it some time and prayer. God will guide you to the best answer for you.
Let us continue with prayer.
Prayer for the New Year 2022
You are the God of second chances and forgiveness. You have given me a fresh start for this year. Renew my strength each day that I may walk with my step not hampered, and if I run, I will not stumble. When I stumble, thank you for forgiveness and the chance to start anew.
You promise you will lead me and will turn the darkness before me into light and the rough places into level ground. These are the things You do, and You do not forsake me. I cling to this promise for the coming year. You will be with me every single day and I take comfort in that knowledge. You are my rock and redeemer.