4 New Habits for the New Year

How do you feel about New Year resolutions? Do you make them? Do you break them? Do you feel guilty because you don’t make them or because you make them and then break them?
People make resolutions because they want something to be different in their life. It could be that they want to accomplish more in their job, or they want to improve themselves or improve a relationship. The reality is that most resolutions are broken long before they are ever achieved. January comes and we decide we want to do something different, but by February many of us have gone back to our old habits and life resumes with all of its busyness and our old habits return.
I have a suggestion. If you want something to be different in your life this year, rather than making resolutions, try making new habits. F.M. Alexander said, “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.”

Here are four suggestions for new habits to make this year.

1. Gratitude

Practicing gratitude helps us gain perspective in our lives. Life has a way of feeling overwhelming and at times it is easy to start looking at what we don’t have, what we want. When we make gratitude a habit it helps us recalibrate our lives and remember all of the blessings in our lives.
If you want to make gratitude a habit, start by listing three things everyday that you thankful for. As this becomes a habit, it will help you see the many ways God has blessed you.

2. Spend time with God

Another great habit to incorporate into your life this year is to spend time with God on a regular basis. Make it a priority to spend time with God through Bible study, prayer, or even silence this year.
Some people spend their year by reading through the Bible. You may want to do that or you may want to read a devotional book or Bible study that leads you to God. No matter how old we are or how many years we have been studying the Bible, we can always learn something new about our God and what He desires for His people.
I need to be more intentional in my prayer life this year and make prayer a priority. I also want my prayer time to include more silence and listening to God. In her book The Cultivated Life Susan Phillips says, “Through listening, relationship is cultivated and refreshment received.” If you want to grow your relationship with God this year make a habit of spending time in Bible study, prayer and in listening to Him.

3. Serve Others

Another great habit to develop this year is the habit of serving others. This past year I helped begin a new ministry at my church that serves the homeless in our community. Serving the homeless has brought more joy into my life than anything I have done in a long time.
Maybe you have a neighbor you need to serve or maybe you can volunteer in your community to serve the poor. I challenge you to make a habit of serving others this year.

4. Try something new

It is easy to get in our routines and not try new things. Making changes in our lives often means that we need to try something new. We are often hesitant to do new things because they make us uncomfortable and they challenge us to get out of our comfort zones.
Maybe your new habit this year is to volunteer for a ministry that you have not been a part of before. Maybe its time to try something new by taking a college course or even getting a new job. Maybe you can read a new book or try an art class. Maybe it is time for you to go back to church and reconnect with godly people. Make this the year you try something new.

If you want next year to be different start by making some new habits.

What new habits do you need to make this year?