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"Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:10-12

It is popular to usher in the New Year with resolve and proclamations about making changes and achieving goals. The feeling of renewal and fresh starts symbolized by the new calendar prompts many of us to focus on transformation. In fact, Time Magazine reports the majority of New Years resolutions focus on personal change and that only a few (8%) of those sweeping statements and vows will be realized only to be repeated again the following year.

Why are these resolutions so short lived? Perhaps it is the method we use to achieve the results that is flawed. The calendar cannot bring us success or money; nor can it improve relationships or self image. Real change—real relief comes only through Christ; believing otherwise is an excercise in futility. When we place ourselves at the center of change, we accomplish nothing that lasts (John 15:5).

Resolutions can be a good thing when done in Christ and through Him (Romans 11:36, Philippians 4:13). Approach change realistically with prayer (Philippians 4:6), wisdom (James 1:5), persistence (Galatians 6:9), and patience (Psalm 37:7a). Renew your affection for Jesus. Lean on Him and rest at His feet; recognize true and lasting change can only be accomplished in His strength.

The following article By Ann Voskamp offers a printable GRACE plan to help focus and satisfy your soul cravings for the New Year:

When You Don’t Need Resolutions as Much as You Need Real Solutions, Soul Solutions: A Real GRACE Plan for a New Year, A New You: With Printable