Shifting From New Year’s Resolution Mindset

“Shifting From New Year’s Resolution Mindset to Thoughtful Planning Mindset”by Modise Moloi


In the beginning of every year alarge number of people habitually write their resolutions which are hardly achieved at the end of the year. A resolution is defined as “solving of doubt, problems or questions” or “formal expression of opinion by a legislative body or public meeting; form proposed for this”. A plan is defined as a “formulated or organised method by which thing is to be done” or “A series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished”. In the light of these definitions I wonder who said that we should have yearly resolutions instead of yearly plans or goals. In most instances when the year begins everyone have “resolutions” without detailed steps on how to achieve the set goals. I believe we need to shift from “resolutions” to thoughtful plans.


Proverbs 16:1 says “the preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD” and Proverbs 16:9 says “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps”. These two verses do not mean that people should not plan but clearly indicate that the plan is in the heart of man. However, it is the lord that directs the steps and gives an answer. Due to misinterpretation of these two verses many people have great dreams but have no plans and structures for translating their ideas into reality. Many people write a long “shopping list” of things they want to achieve every year without having a detailed plan on how and when to achieve such goals.


Hence, many years have passed without them achieving an inch of what they saw in their minds. The missing element is the detailed plan of how to translate their ideas into reality. This is one of the things that cause so much frustration in the lives of so many people in the world.One of the leadership gurus Dr Myles Munroe says “The most frustrated person in the world is someone who has a dream but does not know how to bring it to pass”.


A plan is a roadmap and a blue print of how a dream can be translated into the reality. It gives you details of what has to be done, how should it be done, what is required, when should it be done and who should do it. If you do not have a plan it is a clear sign that you are not prepared for the greater opportunities. It is better to be prepared and not have an opportunity rather than have an opportunity while you are not prepared.


 It is said that there are three types of people in life, firstly those who seem not to be aware that things are happening around them; secondly those who asks what happened; and thirdly those who make things happen. The ones that make things happen often have a plan about their lives while the other two kinds of people do not have an inch of a plan.


Some of the plans that people intend to achieve relates to the following:


v  Financial Freedom[Investing/Paying Off Your Debts]

v  Career Growth [Starting Your Own Law Firm]

v  Family Security [Building a House/Mansion]

v  Business [Owning Your Own Accounting Firm]

v  Ministry [Buying A 5 000 Capacity Tent For Evangelism]

v  Personal Development [Having An Executive/Leadership Coach]

v  Organisational Growth [Re-Branding Your Organisation]


Whatever we do in life should be done based on goal/plan. If we don’t have a goal/plan, then we don’t have a direction and we will be someone else’s plan. We must understand that things don’t just happen. We can dream of possibilities and the future, but it will not happen unless we design a plan with weekly, monthly and quarterly goals on how to achieve them. Your goals can either be short or long term.


In order to shift from mere resolutions to thoughtful plans the first thing we need to do is to set time to be away from people and obstructions, secondly we need to write our visions or goals in a goal list book, thirdly we need to calculate the cost and lastly we need to commit our plans to God.



  1. 1.       Set Time To Be Away From People and Obstructions


Developing a plan is not like a wishful thinking that can happen impulsively but one has to set time to sit somewhere alone without being disrupted by anyone and anything. This can be done as often as possible. It does not have to be a once off activity.


Our Master Jesus Christ has shown us a pattern in spending time alone to seek the face of God. I personally believe that this gave Him sufficient space to clearly know what has to be done and how should it be done. It was a deliberate decision for Him to spend time alone although at times He would be with James, Peter and John and at time with the twelve only. Mat 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.Mar 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.


Chat rooms, too many friends and spending a lot of time watching television have the potential of wasting your time that was supposed to be spent on important projects and seeking the face of the Lord. If Our Lord Jesus Christ could set time to be away from multitudes including his very own disciples, we surely should set time away from people and things that easily defocuses us.


It is very simple to spend time away from people daily. You can have an hour to meditate for an hour before you sleep or wake up an hour earlier just to meditate and gather your thoughts or take a walk or jog for an hour while you think or book yourself to a guest house for a weekend or visit a prayer campsite and e.t.c.  The whole idea here is to get time to be with yourself and God so that he can share His thoughts with you.


  1. 2.       Write A Vision/Dream/Goal in A Goal List Book/Prophecy Journal


A Vision is the Ability To See and Touch The Future. It is about how things can be as opposed to how things are at the present moment. Vision is the function of the heart not the function of the eye. The natural eye focuses on the reality of the situation but the heart zooms into the possibilities of life.


There are many people that have eyes but do not have visions for personal visions and ambitions about life. The fact that you have vision does not mean everything will fall on the silver platter. Every vision will have a fair share of oppositions but one has to persist until the vision is accomplished.However, we have courage and confidence that every vision that is from God has an assurance of a divine protection and provision.


One of the reasons people live miserable, frustrating and unfulfilled lives is due to the absence of clearly written visions. It is stated very clear in Proverbs 29:18that wherethere is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. “Very Few Things Are Ever Achieved Without A Vision Of The Future And A Plan Of How To Bring It Into Existence”.


If you intend to achieve something great in your lifetime it is always very astute to write it down in your vision book or prophecy journal. It is easier to keep track of your progress if your vision is written down. Every constructor or clothing designer understands the importance of a written pattern. A vision is always like your written pattern for your own goals.


The Lord told Habakkuk to write the vision, to make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it. It is impossible to run the race of your life without reading the written vision of your own life. If you do not have your personal written vision of your life you be misused and abused by other people for the sake of their personal visions. If you can spend quality time away from people and distractions you can writea vision that touches One Year, Five Years, 10 Years, and Thirty Years Or Even Longer than that.


Writing a vision down is not the end by itself but a means to an end. For every vision there must be a mission and goals that spells out what has to be done. Every goal that is written down must be S.M.A.R.T meaning that it has to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. This can be written down in a new book that you can call A Vision Book or Goal List Book. In this book you do not write anything that is not related to your vision and goals.


  1. 3.       Calculate The Cost Needed To Achieve Your Vision


In His very own words Lord Jesus admonished his followers to calculate the costs. In Luke 14:28 He asked a question and said“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”


If you plan to do something you need to sit down and calculate the cost of what you need to achieve. In other words every plan has a cost and a price to be paid to achieve it. There are three major costs or sacrifices for achieving anything in life.


The first cost is Your Effort, the Second Cost is Time and the Third Cost is Money. If you need to achieve anything you need to sit down and calculate all these three so that you can clearly see the bigger picture. Your vision may cost you some sleepless nights and make you work over the weekends when everyone else has gone partying. You need to study and research continuously so that you can be on the cutting edge in relation to your vision.


THE PRICE THAT YOU NEED TO BE PAID FOR SUCCESS IS CALLED HARD WORK AND DILIGENCE.Ecclesiastes9:10 whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. Hard Work Is Not An Option But The Only Option To Achieve Greatness.


  1. 4.       Commit Your Plans To The Lord In Prayer


In as much as you have done all the three things mentioned above, committing your plans to the Lord in prayer is the uttermost important thing that you need to do. This is not supposed to be a once off activity but has to be done without ceasing as stated in 1Thessalonians 5:17.


In most instances people are consumed in planning and strategizing on how to get the vision fulfilled and in the process neglect to do that prayerfully. In the natural, dedicating time to pray may look like a waste of time. However, if you are a prayerless person you are like a naked soldier going to fierce war.


We can have good plans in our hearts or good strategies on paper but as long as we did not marinate them in prayer they may not come to pass. Apostle Paul says we are not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. Committing your plans to God is your humble expression of dependence in God. It is vanity to build a house without God or to guard a city without God. Psalms 127:1; Psalms 37:5 and Proverbs 16:3.


I like to admonish you never to do anything without committing it to the Lord for He is the source of all your strength, courage, protection and divine wisdom. If the Lord is the integral part of your plans, I can assure you that He will shower you with a season of favour.


In as much as you have planned properly sometimes you will face discouraging and demotivating moments. In such time you need to continually go down on your knees and call in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.


In conclusion, it is the will of God for you to have a plan that is aligned to His purpose about your life. It is important to remove obstructions for you to plan, write down your vision, missions and goals, and commit your plans to God through prayer. If it gets tough in the process all you need to do is to encourage yourself in the Lord. May You Have A Fruitful 2013 in Jesus’s Name.

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