Did you know that 42.4 % of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail at them year after year? *
Maybe you can relate. I sure can! I have made countless resolutions and goals, but rarely do I ever achieve them. Recently, my strategy has been to ask God for just one word. This word is my main purpose throughout the entire year, and normally comes into play in nearly every aspect of my life. This year, my word is FOCUS.
At the beginning of the year, I started a series on this blog called “A Mindset Makeover.” I was motivated to tackle my bad habits and take baby steps toward my goals. I never really concluded this series. Why? Because I genuinely thought that, yet again, I had failed at conquering my bad habits. What I did not realize, however, is that I once again approached it the wrong way.
The Bible has some things to say about habits. Every time God commands us to get rid of something in our lives, He always reveals something that we must replace it with. If you think about it, this is logical—if you eliminate something without replacing it, what is going to fill the gap? When life gets rough, you are most likely to resort back to that nasty old habit. However, if you continually replace it with something better, then the better behavior becomes habit.
My word this year is focus because, rather than trying to “fix” my habits, focusing on the right things in the first place will prevent bad habits. For example, if you tend to get stressed out easily, then switch your focus from yourself and your circumstances onto the Lord. See the daily hassles of life as opportunities placed there by God. With the correct focus, you can live a less stressful life. You replace stress with gratefulness to God for the opportunities that He has placed in your life.
Recently, I have been reading through the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah has taught me so much about focus. Building the wall of Jerusalem was no easy task, especially when there was constant opposition! Despite all of this, Nehemiah was focused solely on the Lord, resulting in great success every step of the journey.
This concept has showed up in my life again and again as I make the transition from childhood into adulthood. The real world can be overwhelming, but, when my focus is on Christ, I do not have to worry. I have continually found that when I focus on myself and my circumstances I feel overwhelmed and lifeless.
The number one way that I am working to keep my focus on Christ is by consistently spending time with Him. I know that we hear this again and again, but it is absolutely vital to spend quiet time with our Savior. How are we supposed to pour ourselves into our jobs, classes, and relationships if we are not being filled by something else?
Another way that I am striving to implement this into my life is through praying without ceasing. I’ve heard this called living “above” our circumstances. I like to picture myself as a little child being led down a narrow, rocky path. I do not have to be scared because I am gazing up into the eyes of my Father. I am completely focused on Him and trusting Him to keep me from falling. Striving to live with this perspective each and every day makes all the difference.
Focusing on Christ will look different for every person. In my case, I try to keep my focus on Christ by humming worship songs while I work, or praying for the customers that come into my workplace. Use whatever works to pull your focus off of yourself and your circumstances and onto the face of your Father. What will you do today in order to focus on Christ?
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” -Romans 8:5
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” -Proverbs 4:25