By: Marcela Ordaz

Para leer la versión en español haga clic aquí

Almost everyone makes new year’s resolutions. As a new beginning, it is a time to evaluate life, and set specific goals or resolutions that will help us reach our objectives in this new year.

Normally, the most popular resolutions are weight loss, eating healthy, traveling, paying off debts, learning a new language, reading more, playing a sport, finding a partner, having a better job, quitting destructive habits, or for the most disciplined people: reading the bible in a year.

However, this tradition of new year’s resolutions comes with its challenges.

Has it happened to you that the end of the day comes and it seems that you did not achieve anything? Or that weeks go by and you feel a frustration of not having completed projects? Or that the beginning of a new year arrives and you did not fulfill the “new year’s resolutions” of the previous year?

Here we are at the beginning of 2023, and the overwhelming tradition of setting new year’s resolutions is upon us again. I’ve been there. It feels like the days go by without achieving anything. And at the end of the day, one is exhausted.

But what if I told you that there is a way to not only follow these popular new year’s resolutions, but to also live an abundant life?

You may ask: How is this possible?  I invite you to explore some of these ways with me.

Jonathan Murcia describes in his Facebook page: “A life of abundance is not just a life filled with material wealth. But a life filled with the grace of God, and the growth of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God’s Word offers a variety of ideas that inspire us to live an abundant life, much better than what we can plan or imagine. Jeremiah 29:11 states: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

The letter to the Philippians (chapter four) also offers instructions that we can take as part of our new year’s resolutions, which will lead us to live an abundant life:

  •  “Stand firm in the Lord” (4:1).
  • Rejoice in the Lord always” (4:4).
  • “Let your gentleness be known to everyone(4:4).
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6-7).
  • “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (4:8).
  • “As for the things that you have learned and received and heard and noticed in me, do them…” (4:9).

And verse 4:19 stands out as it affirms: “And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

In addition to the Bible, there is Christian literature that also offers us ways to live an abundant life. Rick Warren in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, suggests the following:

  • You were planned to delight God. Develop your friendship with God. Make yourself God’s best friend. By doing this, you will make God smile.
  • You were made for the family of God. You have a place to belong to. Restore fellowship and cultivate communal life. Take good care of your church.
  • You were created to be like Christ. Grow, be transformed, and defeat temptation. Take the necessary time to cultivate this.
  • You were made to serve God. Accept the task, use your tools, strengthen your service mentality, and allow God to be manifested in your weaknesses.
  • You were made for a mission. Share the message of your life, balance your life, remove envy and the desire to please other people.

It is always good to recap a little when we feel lost or when we experience moments of stagnation.

I recently read in a New York Times article that we tend to think of the dishwasher as a dangerous place for delicate items. However, the makers of the slimmest and most expensive wine glasses recommend putting them in the dishwasher, rather than washing them by hand. The reason: They are more likely to break or get damaged if they are banged against the sink or squeezed from being scrubbed with soap.

If the instructions for delicate glasses say that we should use the dishwasher, why do we necessarily want to wash them by hand? Do we think that our own methods are better than the original instructions?

If God’s Word mentions more than once that God’s plans will always be better than our own decisions, why insist on doing it our way? Proverbs 16:9 says: “The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.”

How about planning our future by focusing on God’s purpose for our lives, maintaining spiritual, mental, and physical health?

Perhaps you are like me, and you did not make a list of new year’s resolutions. So, let me suggest that you apply the CREC method (Continue, Resolve, Evade and Confront):

CONTINUE: Go to your phone and take a few minutes to look at all the photos you took in the past year. Review which moments you enjoyed and which ones made you smile. In a few words, which moments would you like to repeat? Choose one and continue it.

RESOLVE: Think for a moment that you have one year to live. What do you need to resolve? Resolve it.

EVADE: Think about one thing that would make you a better person if you avoided it, for example, something that would make you healthier or more___? Thus, you already have what you need to evade.

CONFRONT: Choose one thing you have not done out of fear. Something that definitely needs to be confronted. Define it and confront it.

Maybe it will be easier if you set short and achievable goals. You can also break these goals down into smaller parts, so you will be more likely to achieve them. Start with a few small steps, such as deciding not to drink soda or calling your loved ones more often.

It is common to feel scared when starting a new project, but it is also normal to feel excited and hopeful. Getting started is always the first step to achieving goals. If you are feeling stuck this new year, maybe it is time to take a leap of faith and set some goals—starting now!

God invites us to live according to God’s plans and to taste the abundant life that God offers. Let’s accept the invitation with much excitement and hope.

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts”
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Marcela Ordaz, a professional in the area of Organizational Communication, has worked as an international leader as a Tradeshow Director for FABTECH Industrial Expo, Mexico and Latina America for the past 15 years. She is a CLLI Graduate and now serves on the CLLI board and is a member of the leadership team at CLLI Monterrey. Additionally, Marcela has led in ministry for the past 25 years in Monterrey, Mexico.    

Categories: Blog

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