Well itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that time of year again when many people make New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resolutions. Whether they will be fulfilled or not, many people are still drawn into the bandwagon of drafting them anyway. In this article, PAIDA MPASO speaks to religious leaders on how one can make New Year resolutions that work.
To many January 1 marks the beginning of a New Year. To some itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a time of celebration and joyous giving while to others itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a time of the year when they reflect on their past lives for possible change.
Basically, New Year resolutions are one of the best traditions in many peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives. History claims that New Year resolutions were originally devised by the Catholic Church as devotional pledges to counter heathenish customs in which they combine dozens of cultural sources today.
Today, all over the world, the New Year represents a fresh start, a new beginning we can use to change the course of our lives.
Many people take part in the tradition, typically resolving to stop smoking, lose weight, start exercising or get closer to God.
Unfortunately, many lose track of them half way down the year-something which has made these resolutions worthless.
Assemblies of God reverend Shakespeare Mvalo said making resolutions is a great idea, but it is an even great idea for one to fulfil them.
“If we want to fulfil our New Year resolutions, the first thing we need to do is to trust God. There is no way we can fulfil them by ourselves,” he said.
Mvalo said evaluating oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life is a step forward in mending mistakes or challenges.
“As we are moving on to the New Year, we all set certain goals which we want to achieve, now if we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t involve the Holy Spirit, we can never achieve them. Not only will the Holy Spirit guide us, it will also properly guide us into the path of success,” he added.
Author of Ã¢â‚¬ËœMaking New Year Resolutions workÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Dr Piers Steel writes that compared to those who make no resolutions, resolvers are more likely to make the change. Still, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s too bad they only happen once a year. Resolutions may be better than nothing.
“It certainly makes sense that at the end of the year, we might spend some time reflecting on the year thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ending and hope for a better new year ahead.
“Typically, resolutions focus on self-improvement. Of course, most people arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t successful with their resolutions due to several key factors, including setting up expectations,” read the article in part.
Chairperson of the Muslim Forum for Democracy and Peace, Sheikh Jafaar Kawinga, believes that as they enter the New Year, people of Allah must be well focussed and pray for things which are reasonable and beneficial to everybody.
“As Muslims, we already entered the New Year two months ago but since we are all in this world and doing things for the good of Allah, we believe that goals set must be realistic and reasonable for them to be achieved,” he said. Kawinga added that the country has faced many challenges, including erratic rain fall, which need to be prayed for.
According to Christian website gotquestions.org many Christians make New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resolution.
Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honour God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honour God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honour yourself?
“If God is the centre of your New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfil it. If a resolution is not God honouring and/or is not in agreement in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Word, we will not receive GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s help in fulfilling the resolution,” states a statement from the website.
Gotquestions.org suggests the following as New Year resolutions for a Christian: (1) pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make; (2) pray for wisdom as to how to fulfil the goals God gives you; (3) rely on GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strength to help you; (4) find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you; (5) donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead, allow them to motivate you further; (6) donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t become proud or vain, but give God the glory.
Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”