The Secret to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution: Make Decisions Against Yourself

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You are a master negotiator. You can negotiate yourself out of any good decision. And what’s somewhat ironic for me is that any bad decision in my life has one constant—I was there. Feel that way too?

This will help.

We all have ways to pushback. “It’s too cold to workout.” “It‘s too late.” “Let’s make this happen tomorrow,” and so on. It certainly doesn’t help to turn on the rants of some self-proclaimed success coach who just tells you, “Get up and kill it … you’re unstoppable … you’re the beast no one can conquer,” and more. It’s just easier to turn that stuff off. What we really need is a mindset reset. A spiritual resolve that becomes our center. Our true self.

The great golf instructor Harvey Penick was asked by one of his students, “Help me to get out of the sandtraps.” Harvey replied, “I’ll eventually teach you that. But first, I’ll teach you how to stay out of the sandtraps.”

Life is full of traps. Some we see, and still walk into them, others are unseen and we are surprised when we are captured by them. Regardless of whether we are caught or not, they are all around us every day.

The first trap right now is making New Year’s resolutions.

Here’s why. We all negotiate deals with ourselves and give ourselves reasons to quit. We are master negotiators, making ourselves feel better about not accomplishing a goal by accepting the reason we didn’t.

Here’s how to accomplish your goals: Make decisions against yourself.

That’s right—don’t take your own excuses. Just get up and do what you need to do to accomplish your ideas. Adjust your mindset when you’re strong to undergird you when you’re weak.

What one action could you take today, that will move you further toward your goal? Make the decision today for what you need to do tomorrow.

Last year I started using You Version Bible reading programs for my early morning workout routine. I do two things. The Bible and pushups.

Some days I get up with a lot to accomplish, a huge “to do” list, urgencies, or I’m just too tired. There’s “reasons” that I can’t read the Word or move my body. But, I already made the decision, so now I have to decide against myself, refusing my own excuses, I just do it. It has become part of my daily regimen and ritual. And, it has strengthened my life.

What are your large goals? What small thing could you do today to move closer to it? Moving closer to God will keep you out of the sandtraps of life. Having godly wisdom and resolve will keep you from falling into the traps of self negotiation and self justification. God’s strength will sustain you and rescue you from the traps, but not falling into them in the first place is indeed wiser.

 More on Paul Louis Cole:

Paul Louis Cole is President of the Christian Men’s Network (CMN), a highly effective global movement of pastors and leaders dedicated to changing the hearts of men. Founded over 40 years ago by his father, Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, CMN has trained over one million men to be leaders in 138 nations to date. CMN recently launched the 10-Day Detox, a new breakthrough video series that will help men (and women) launch into a new decade with a renewed mind, a re-energized heart, and powerful habits needed to build a fresh, new nature in Christ that faces the chaos of our world with strength, stamina and courage.

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