Well, we’ve made it to Day 10 in “This Year Will be Different.”
I’m so proud of you for committing to make a change in your life. My prayer is that at some point in the 10 days of this series, God highlighted something for you that will help you stay strong. Maybe you had an aha moment. Sometimes that’s all we need.
With God’s wisdom and strength, and your commitment to do things differently, you can change some area of your life. Just don’t try to make too many changes at once. Let success build upon success.
Today I want to share one last suggestion for lasting change, and that’s to find support. Share your struggles and your hopes with someone you trust. And let me be clear that social media isn’t a good replacement for true face-to-face support.
It’s too easy to make a bold declaration about our intentions, only to find it backfiring on us. I once announced on my blog I was going to lose weight, and gained five pounds.
Announcing your goals to the world isn’t the same as having an accountability partner. This is where we get mixed up. We think just sharing our intent with someone will motivate us to get it done. However, that’s not the truth.
It’s dangerously satisfying to set goals. According to several scientific studies, it seems some of us get enough mental gratification just by talking about our goals without actually doing the work.
There have been times when I’ve taken pride in myself for identifying a worthwhile goal. It’s like there’s this striving little part of me that puffs up ever so slightly when declaring what I’m going to accomplish. Do I imagine your admiration just in the speaking of my goals? Does it make me seem more intellectual, or bolder, than I am?
The Bible is quite clear that actions speak louder than words.
There’s an interesting proverb found in 1 Kings 20:11 that rings true. It’s spoken by Ahab, king of Israel, when he faced attack by Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram. Ben-Hadad sent threatening messages, trying to intimidate Ahab. But Ahab wouldn’t be shaken. In the face of the final threat, Ahab says to Beh-Hadad’s messenger, “Tell him: ‘One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.’”
The Bible is also clear we are to guard against a prideful heart, and boasting is a clear sign that something’s not right. Proverbs 27:1 gives this wise warning: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”
And Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
As we seek to finally make a change, it’s good to have a humble heart. And one way we keep ourselves humble is to confess our weakness to another person, and ask if we can be accountable to them with our progress.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
This verse can be confusing. But it’s important to note that it doesn’t say confess your sins to each other and you’ll be forgiven. Only God through Christ can forgive us. But it says we “may be healed.”
I believe the key to this healing is humility. It’s not easy to confess weakness to someone else. I’d much rather appear to have everything under control. But confessing sin, and weakness, breaks the hold pride has over me.
Maybe pride isn’t your issue. Maybe you’ve felt like a failure for so long, you aren’t sure you have it in you to succeed at anything. Sharing those feelings with someone else can open the door for healing of your wounded emotions. To make a connection with someone who passes no judgment, can breathe hope into our hopelessness.
A key to accountability partner working is to pick someone who is both tender and tough. Both a prayer warrior and a cheerleader. And someone who needs your help as much as you need them. Someone who will commit to pray for you, as you pray for them.
A few years ago I was struggling with something, and knew a friend was too. I asked her if she would hold me accountable each week, by allowing me to text her my progress. She agreed and asked if I would do the same for her. Just knowing I was going to text her kept me motivated and during that time I made good strides toward my goal.
We really weren’t created to do this life alone. God has given us each other for a reason. Maybe we need to lean on each other more in order to make changes.
That’s it for this series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have, I’d love to have you leave a comment below.
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So until next time, may the Lord lead you and guide you in all your ways.
In His love,
If you have enjoyed this series, you might enjoy my most recent book, Taming the To-Do List.
If you’ve read my book, thank you! And if you liked it, I’d love for you to leave a review on Amazon.