Do you think it does any good to make a list of New Year's resolutions? I do it just about every year, but a month later I've usually forgotten all about them. — D.J.
It's good to examine our lives from time to time to see where we fall short, and then resolve to bring about some changes, with God's help. The psalmist prayed, "Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind" (Psalm 26:2).
Unfortunately, most lists of New Year's resolutions are actually little more than a wish list—what we wish would happen to us to make our lives better. But often they aren't realistic—and as you have found out, they are easily forgotten. One reason is because they are seldom linked with any practical plan for reaching them. It's one thing to have a goal, but we also need to have a realistic plan for getting there.
However, instead of making the same list you've made before (and promptly forgotten), let me suggest something different this year. As you stand at the beginning of this new year, pause and ask yourself (and God) this question: What does God want to do in my life during 2006? What are His goals for me?
Let me suggest what two of them might be. First, God wants you to know Him more fully. If you have never asked Christ to come into your life, why not begin this year by opening your heart to Him? And if you do know Him, resolve to spend more time with Him this year in prayer, Bible study and fellowship.
Then He wants you to serve Him more fully. Ask Him what He wants you to do this year to serve Him—in your church, your family, your community—and then do it with God's help.