Friday, January 10, 2020

The Key to Making Resolutions Stick

By: Sarah Geringer 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

We're only 10 days into the new year. How are your resolutions holding up?

Before you hang your head in shame, know that up to 80 percent of us quit our resolutions by the end of January every year. If your resolution hasn't stuck, you're in good company.

But I have hope for you today. You can start over with greater success while using the fruit of self-control.

As I wrote about in my book, The Fruitful Life, self-control has always been the most challenging fruit for me to bear. I feel that if I could gain more self-control, the Holy Spirit would bless me with more fruit in the eight other areas.

At the end of 2019, I read a wonderful book on self-control called Your Future Self Will Thank You, which I review on this post. Author Drew Dyck explains how to gain self-control to be more effective in our Christian lives.

I encourage you to read the whole book for lots more info. But today I'll share one tip that I gained from Drew. He says that we must set up cues for good habits to stick.

For example, if you want to read through the Bible this year, you'll need a cue to make that resolution stick. Without the cue, you're unlikely to keep a good habit going.

I didn't realize it, but I already had a cue in place for Bible reading. Since 2003, I've been getting up early to read my Bible in the morning, before anyone else is up. When I drink my hot tea, I read my Bible. My cup of hot tea is my cue to read my Bible.

When you couple your cue with prayer, there's no stopping you from making your resolution stick! Pray right when you have your cue. 

Here are three ways you can pray during that cue:

1. Ask the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of self-control in you.

2. Ask God to help you follow through with your commitment, whether it's starting a good habit or breaking a bad one. Request that he lovingly convict you if you are going astray.

3. Tell God that you trust he will help you persevere.

With a new cue and prayers like these, you can renew your resolution or start a new one, today! I'm using this cue to start a new habit: After I take a shower, I do five minutes of strength exercises. It's also a good time for me to pray, and so far, it's working. I pray that these tips will help you grow in self-control so you glorify God this year.
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the fruit of self-control.
I know that the Holy Spirit is willing to bear it in me.
Guide me to choose cues that will help me set up good habits.
Help me overcome the bad habits with new cues.
Remind me to pray when I am setting on a new path.
I thank you in advance for the good fruit you will bear in me this year.
In Jesus' name,

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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