Oftentimes, when we hear the phrase, “New Year, New You,” we begin thinking of what type of New Year’s resolutions we might make this year. Will we commit to being a “healthier you” by eating nutritious food and exercising more often? Will we commit to being a “wiser you” by spending less and saving more? Will we commit to being a “better you” by being a better parent, a better friend, or a better colleague?
At the beginning of the year, we make plans to become a newer (and better) version of ourselves, but we seldom follow through with them. Within six months into the year, most of us have given up on (or forgotten about) our New Year’s resolutions.
But this year, what if we were intentional about our New Year’s Resolutions? What if we chose something that would change our life for the better? Something that went beyond just ourselves? Something that would help us become the people we were created to be?
Here are three New Year’s resolutions that have the power to change your life.
1. Building Healthy Connections with Others
To kick off the new year, make the resolution to build healthy connections with others (e.g., family, friends, and colleagues). There are two different approaches to take with this resolution. The first approach is to take the time to build healthier relationships with people that are already in our lives. For example, if you feel distant from your spouse, you might choose to focus on building or rebuilding a healthy relationship with him or her. If you have a rocky relationship with a sibling or an in-law, take the time this year to repair and rebuild this relationship. Focus on one person at a time, and as your relationships become healthier, focus on another person on your list.
Another approach to this resolution is to take time to build healthy connections with new people. At Chase Oaks Church, one of our DNA statements is “we don’t go it alone.” Therefore, there are many opportunities to connect with others who are in your same stage of life.
Established groups meet for 10 weeks and will take you on a journey through the foundational elements of Christianity and discipleship. LifeGroups are small groups that come together as they are, seek transformation with God and one another, and make a difference as a team. To find out more information about joining an Established group (launching in January), check out Established. Or to find a LifeGroup near you, use our LifeGroup Locator Tool.
Taking the time to build healthy connections with others can have a positive effect on your life. During difficult times, it can make you feel supported and loved rather than stressed and alone. During happy times, it will give you people to celebrate with. Experiencing positive emotions lead to a “healthier you” as it has been linked to an increase in emotional and physical health.
2. Serving Others in the Community
Another one to put on the top of your New Year’s resolutions list is serving others in the community. There are so many ways to put this resolution into action. First of all, you could pick one organization with which to regularly volunteer throughout the year. Local organizations include Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center, Agape House, and Samaritan Inn. For more information on one of these local organizations or for more organizations like these, visit Local Partners, where you will find opportunities to serve children, adults, and families in our community.
Another great way to serve is to become a mentor in a local school district. Plano ISD, Allen ISD, and Wylie ISD all have great mentor programs that are looking for adults to make a difference in a child’s life. Most districts will require an application and background check before becoming a mentor. For more information, contact your local school district.
Finally, if thinking about adding “volunteering” to your calendar on a regular basis is making you feel overwhelmed, consider taking advantage of one of the seasonal serving opportunities Chase Oaks has to offer. Throughout the year, we have three 2gether campaigns that offer easy opportunities for anyone to get involved. For more information on our 2gether campaigns, visit 2gether.
Serving others can help develop positive relationships with people in our community and can help us feel more fulfilled as we join God in His mission in the world.
3. Pursuing Spiritual Growth
One resolution that often does not make our list is pursuing spiritual growth. We tend to focus on our families, careers, and health when making New Year’s resolutions. But sometimes, we forget that our spiritual lives affect all areas of our lives, including our families, careers, and health.
There are many ways to pursue spiritual growth in our lives. And the pursuit will look different for everyone. Some of us might focus on prayer. For a prayer focus, we might plan different times of the day we can talk with God about what’s going on in our lives such as in the morning, during lunch, or at night before bed. Remember, prayer is just a conversation with God. It is a space where you can praise God for who He is and what He has done in your life, where you can pray through hard times and take specific requests to Him, where you can ask for forgiveness and find grace, and where you can ask Him questions about who He is or His purpose for your life.
Another way to foster your spiritual growth is to read and study God’s Word. We can pray anywhere, but we have a hard time reading and studying the Bible anywhere. Therefore, your goal might be to set aside time every week or every day to read God’s Word. You can set a study plan on the Bible App or find a daily devotional to read. Chase Oaks offers a great daily devotional that will deliver a short passage of Scripture and a reflection written by a fellow Chase Oaker right to your inbox. To sign up to receive Vertical devotionals today, visit Vertical.
Let’s begin this new year by making resolutions that will have a positive impact in our lives. Remember, to make room for grace as you make mistakes this year or you find yourself too busy for your resolutions. No matter what, don’t give up on your resolutions. Just pick up where you left off and move forward. We are all in this together.