The Chicago Cubs, New Year’s Resolutions, and Making Life Changes
It’s January 2nd, which means two things: 1) most importantly, it’s my wife Kara’s birthday. Happy birthday, Babe! How in the world did I get so blessed?
And, 2) probably 95% of New Year’s Resolutions are on life-support. Maybe the percentage isn’t that high, but the stats are outrageous. According to a 2014 study by the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 45% of Americans regularly make New Year’s Resolutions and another 17% jump into that mix from year-to-year.
Of the more than 180 million Americans who fall into those categories, guess how many of them actually succeed in their New Year’s Resolutions?
8%. Eight percent!
The Chicago Cubs have the same odds of winning the World Series this year that an average American has of keeping their New Year’s Resolution. (Vegas Insider MLB Futures) You’re welcome, I’m glad I can give you a great laugh to start your day.
The whole reason I say this isn’t to be some Johnny Raincloud. The truth is you don’t need a New Year to become a new you. Some of the most successful diet plans are started in September and October. You need life change. You need dynamic, intentional series of future-building decisions to turn away from who you’ve been to become the best person God’s called you to be.
Life change only lasts through the power of Jesus. I’ve tried to change myself on my own horsepower before. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work. It doesn’t last. Sure, it may last for a little bit, but I need the power of the Gospel transforming my life to become a more complete person in Christ. For all the times I’ve tried and still screwed up, I find my second chances (and third and fourth and fifth) in knowing Jesus is fighting for me to succeed in becoming more like Him.
Life changes need a road map to happen. In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Covey shares the principle, “Begin with the end in mind.” A lot of people say they want to lose 10-15 pounds. Joining a gym doesn’t lose the pounds. Going to the gym and actually exercising, changing your diet, drinking plenty of water instead of soda, coffee, or other sugar-packed crap, and managing your sleep and stress levels is how you lose weight. Failure to plan is a plan for failure. Lasting change happens when your plan is detailed, accountable, and measurable.
With the grace of God, you can step into new opportunities, lose that weight, think more positively, build new relationships, open conversations for better business, better community, and closer connections with others in your life. Life change is less “I hope to…” and more “I’m going to!”
You can commit to change your life today and your New Year’s resolutions may be a part of it. 2015 can be your best year yet if you choose to make life changes based on the power of God, the grace of the Gospel, and a road map of what steps you need to take to get there.