At the end of a year it’s not unusual for people to reflect and take stock of their life and think about changes that they would like to see in the new year. That might include: getting a new job, starting a new hobby or joining the gym. The thought is often a new year equals a new start. Many of us therefore make new year resolutions to that end. Sadly we normally struggle to keep our resolutions beyond the first week of the new year!
Although we do not need to wait until 1 January each year to look to make changes in our lives, often people feel a renewed desire to do this when the new year starts. Whilst new years resolutions are not wrong, I believe that it is more important that instead we seek to develop new habits for a new year. Habits need to be developed. They do not just happen overnight. It takes time. Developing new habits will invariably mean old habits will need to go.
For example, if you decide that you are going to get up 20 minutes earlier each day to read your bible in the morning then part of this habit will no doubt involve going to bed 20 minutes earlier each night. This means that self discipline needs to be exercised in not staying up and watching late night television or looking at social media!
It’s good to remind ourselves that as we seek to develop new habits it’s not just a case of following rules, but rather the development of godly self discipline. Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is………… self-control”
One of the new habits I want to introduce in my life in 2020 is the better use of my time. In particular I will be endeavouring to spend less time watching television and being online. I want to use the time previously spent doing those activities with undertaking more reading. I am very conscious how easy it is for me to waste countless hours looking at a screen and am reminded of Psalm 90:12:
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
As I close this post permit me to ask you a question: What new habits for this new year are you hoping to develop?