A New Year! The New Year can fill us with excitement, anticipation of what is to come, the opportunity for a fresh start, or even a do over in some area of our life. We can make our resolutions, confident that this year we will accomplish that list, and then we will be content, better, happy, loved, at peace, healthy, etc… Whatever your thing is, whatever is missing in your life, the New Year and a resolution can feel like the answer.
And yet, even one day into the New Year, many fail to keep the resolutions they just set. Just like Paul says in Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” Why is that?
I love writing lists and setting goals. It energizes me and gives me a sense of purpose. The feeling of crossing something off a list feels powerful. So as I sat down to figure out my own resolutions/goals for the year, I was surprised that I didn’t feel excited. I had just listened to Andy Stanley’s podcast message, “This One Thing,” about setting goals for the New Year. (It can be found at www.yourmove.is – I highly recommend it.) The message talks about deciding what one thing you’ve got to do this year, something that would have you in a better place a year from now. As I wrote down my goals, and I considered what the one thing is for me, I saw that it is something that was on my list last year, and the year before, and the year before that.
Maybe it is just me, but there are many areas of my life that I love and wouldn’t change, but there are other areas that continue to cause pain and struggle. They continue to be on my New Year’s resolution list. What I realized in writing my goals this time was that I don’t know how to fix those areas.
No amount of willpower or new strategy can change relationships or core beliefs about myself that have kept these areas of struggle in place. I have been trying in my own strength to change certain areas of my life, and this year I will come no closer to accomplishing those things, because I really have no idea how to fix them. I have tried everything I know to do. Anything at this point is just more of the same.
I had agreed to write this article weeks ago. I had thought that putting together a task list of things you could do this year to improve your financial situation would be the perfect start to the new year, financially. And now I can see that if you struggle in the area of finances, a “to do” list will ring hollow, just as my resolutions did for me.
So what to do? Give up? I did what every good Christian woman does as a last resort, I prayed to God. (I know, I should have done this first.) Over the last couple of days my prayer was answered. Every time I picked up a book or article or listened to a speaker in the past few days, the message was the same. In the devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, January 5th said God’s message perfectly, “You can achieve the victorious life through living in deep dependence on me.” There you have it! That is my one thing this year: complete dependence on God. You know what else? That would be my list of financial resolutions for you as well.
Kristi L. Andersen is the principal of Kristi L. Financial Partners, LLC. (www.KristiLAndersen.com) Securities offered through and Registered Representative of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Some Advisory services offered through AdvisorNet Financial. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.