I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. There are all the typical reasons: when I make them and don’t keep them, I feel guilty. When I make them and do keep them, I feel proud. If I don’t make them, I feel like a failure. While I’m being a bit dramatic, the reality is that New Year’s Resolutions end up fizzling out by February–ask any gym how their traffic count decreases from January 1 to February 1!
However, the New Year shouldn’t be wasted on us. Let me encourage you to consider New Year’s rhythms: practices that will change your life a little bit at a time. You should think of these as changes in your daily or weekly routine. Studies show that you need to do something for 70 days in order for it to become a habit–to become second nature.
Think spiritual disciplines: practices that will help you grow in your walk with God. In 2019, I found great encouragement from Justin Earley’s book Common Rule. He advocates four daily habits and four weekly habits. Let me encourage you to use these as a template and develop your own rhythms.
His daily habits are:
- Scripture before phone: before you touch your phone, get in the Word.
- Kneeling prayer three times a day: nothing elaborate, simply humbling yourself before God throughout the day. Frames the day.
- One meal with others: engages you with someone else who can speak truth into your life, or simply enjoy life with you.
- One hour with phone off. We all need a break.
His weekly habits are:
- Conversation with a friend: a meaningful conversation with someone who knows you and loves you.
- Curate media. Determine how many hours a week you’ll take in media. This is hard!
- Fast: from food typically, but can be something else.
- Sabbath. If you work with your mind, Sabbath with your body (do manual work) and vice versa.
The joy of developing rhythms is that you can easily course correct. If you get off track, simply get back on track the next day.
I’ll write more about this in 2020…check in with you to see how you’re doing. Praying this is the best year ever, and that by the end of it, you will know Jesus better than you ever have.