New Year’s resolutions are common at this time of the year. For some of us, it feels refreshing to have a clean new slate of a year to begin with. Apparently, only 8% of New Year’s resolutions are kept. ?Whatever your resolution might be in 2015,?Judith Nyirenda shares five?ways she will be motivated to keep her resolutions this year and hopefully they will help you too!

1. Be convinced that you are a child of God and that God has all your interests at heart

God has planted dreams within us and that is why in life, we find ourselves wanting different things, making us unique in our own individual ways. Knowing?that we are true children of God, we can then allow God to?help us along the way just as a parent would guide their child. Although God loves that we take action, he is ahead of us…opening doors, giving pointers to help us?arrive at our?desired goal. (As I’m writing this, I’m watching my baby girl, Elvana-Rose optimistically trying to climb up the dining chair. Sometimes she is successful and sometimes not, her foot keeps getting caught.?When I go to help her, I try to do so without distracting her focus and I help her in a way that she doesn?t notice that I am doing so, and as she carries on with her adventure, I smile and her eyes open and glow. Two happy people!)

2. Look out for signs that God is giving you?

Remember how God has spoken to you in the past. Yes, it’s?hard to keep New Year’s resolutions when there are?thousands of other things that we must do. Over the years,?I have learnt that I need to be vigilant when it comes to things that I am pursuing. What are the signs that God is giving me? I’ve realised that as I pursue my God-given dream, it might be?harder for others to walk the same path as myself and?they may not see the challenges that I face. I have found that?God has removed?me from comfortable and enjoyable situations in the midst of my pursuit of my goals and more often than not, I have become sad and despondent but all of a sudden, something even more amazing than I imagine occurs, and I am bright and joyful once again, humbled by how He works it all out.

3. Learn to control your emotions

New Years’ resolutions, new things, new emotions. As I mentioned earlier, I have?become?sad when God is working in?me, especially in periods when it feels as if?He is closing some doors before opening new ones.?I need to master?how?not to feel?sad and out of control. At these times, I pray for emotional intelligence and aim?not to be?negative to myself and others about such?situations?and instead,?surrender to His will and if possible, even enjoy the transition. ?I know that?with hindsight I will look back and know that?God was there with me all the time.

4. Stay motivated

Further down in?the year, your clarity might get clouded resulting in your forgetting?the?main reason of why you started a resolution in the first place.?Writing down your resolutions to their?tiniest detail – why, when and what are the benefits of pursuing the resolution – because when your motivation is low, reading the resolution to yourself will remind you of?the passion you once had. Get encouragement from your close friends and most of all find verses such as the one in Philippians 4:13 which reminds as that God will strengthen us!

5. Intentionally enjoy God’s free gift of Nature

Enjoying God’s free gift of Nature is something that is inexpensive and?spiritually rewarding. I have found that by taking a walk in the park or woods, listening out for the birds, and simply being reminded of?God?s creation and harmony help me to focus on what my purpose on this earth is. Endeavouring to intentionally do the things that bring you contentment such as?spending time with family, gardening, singing, playing an instrument, bring about a sense of well-being and gratefulness to live and treasure each moment and further your resolve to see out your resolutions to the very end.??