Looking at signs for the new year

The Only New Year’s Resolution You’ll Ever Need

Aren’t you tired of the same old New Year’s resolution ideas that never seem to make a difference?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried a lot of things that didn’t stick: dieting, exercising, screen time limits, etc… What I’ve discovered is that even if I don’t get it perfectly right, there is only one thing will ever guarantee me success in the new year: placing God first.

What Does Putting God First Look Like?

For a long time I asked myself this question. I knew that going to church wasn’t optional, nor was giving to the church. But my shoulders drooped when I heard others talk about doing their devotional time every day. As a busy homeschool mama, I always made excuses. “I don’t have time to sit and read my Bible like that.” Or “I’m too tired to pray by the time I crash at night.” Then guilt hung around me like a cold, wet towel. 

Little did I know, but I was the one missing out. 

 Guilt hung around me like a cold, wet towel.

It wasn’t until God took many things away from me—starting with my health—that I learned the value of putting Him first. In 2019, He began leading me down a path that I couldn’t traverse on my own. Only then did I realize my utter need for and dependence upon Him. Once I discovered that sitting in God’s presence unlocked everything I could ever need, I finally put forth the effort to prioritize that time.

Now My Days Flow Differently Than Before. 

New Year's resolution to stretch and pray

When I wake up early, I try to sit on the floor and give Him the first few minutes in prayer. Many times, I’ll do stretching exercises while I’m praying to keep me focused. If I’m having a hard time concentrating, I’ll write my prayers in a journal.

At night, I’ve found that listening to my Bible instead of sitting and reading works better for me. I use an app to listen to the Word for about 10-15 minutes before drifting off to sleep. So on a near perfect day, I’ll start with prayer and end with the Word. 

My husband and I also began to carve out 15 minutes each day to have a Bible reading and devotional time with our children. Very simply, we read a short passage from whichever book we are studying and discuss it. Then we each take time to pray out loud. Reading the Bible and praying as a family binds us closer together and teaches my kids more than I’ll ever be able to explain in words. It’s the best daily 15 minute investment I’ve ever discovered.

Praying and reading Bible

But Don’t Start Thinking I Have All of This Down Perfectly.

Sometimes if I oversleep, I miss my valuable prayer time. If I remember, I’ll try to find a few moments to slip away to talk to God. But I’m human. Occasionally I forget completely. Other times I’m simply lazy or distracted by media or life. In busier seasons, it’s more easily missed, and I have to be intentional with my time. It’s the challenge of living in a super-paced culture.

Thankfully, guilt no longer nags me even when I do forget. God doesn’t get mad if I don’t remember to do all the “right” things. Jesus took care of that on the cross. However, He does promise that if we put Him first, then He will bless us beyond our imagination (Deuteronomy 28). When I skip my personal time, or we miss our family devotional time, He faithfully makes it evident that we’re the ones who missed out.   

Regardless of How Each Day Goes, One Thing Has Changed.

My perspective about dedicating daily time to God has shifted. Now I want to spend time with Him, but not because I have to check off a box. I do it because God loves me (and you), and I love Him (I John 4: 9-10). He’s shown me that I’m always a better person when I’ve been in His presence and washed with His Word. 

Therein lies the motivation.

Pursue God because He loves you.

Friend, I encourage you to begin a new habit for the new year. While you’re considering your New Year’s resolution, make sure you put God on top by giving Him some of your time each day. You will see how He blesses you because of it. But don’t do this out of guilt or compulsion. This shouldn’t be something we simply check off our to-do list. Pursue God because He loves you.

New year's resolution to understand God's love

Ponder the fact that He gave His son Jesus to enable you to have a better life (John 10: 9-11). Our Heavenly Father desires to help you. He wants to change you. But the only way that can happen is when you make time for Him. I found that once I understood how much He loves me and how much I’m indebted to Him, keeping this habit has been much easier.

No more excuses, Friend.

Making God first in your life is the only New Year’s Resolution you need.

Have you discovered the secret of spending time each day with God? Or do you feel that this is something you want to make a priority for the new year? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

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Published by

HR Hook

Lover of Jesus. Wife. Mother. Writer. Poet. Novelist. Teacher.

4 thoughts on “The Only New Year’s Resolution You’ll Ever Need”

  1. Spending time with God because He loves us quickly morphs I to spending time with God because we love Him. Such a joy to move past “should” to “want to.” But it takes time for God to confirm our desires and help us want what he wants. We must be patient with ourselves as He does the work.

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