At the beginning of a new year, people everywhere tend to look at the year ahead and try to make some decisions which they hope will improve their lives. Some of these decisions are popularly referred to as ‘New year resolutions’. Unfortunately, many of those who make these resolutions give up on them barely weeks into the new year.

People make decisions for various reasons; It could be as a result of something they read, something they heard or what they saw in others. I have since discovered that decisions not backed by purpose and commitment tend not to have any strong foundation no matter how well intentioned they might be.

I remember a couple of years ago when I started going to the gym. I knew working out was good for me but I was just satisfied with working out within my comfort zone. I soon realised that there was very little change in my stamina or strength. I would look at other people and wonder how they could lift so much and run so much and do the things they do team project management. I would often comfort myself with the excuse, ‘They have been doing this a long time and I didn’t start until later in life’.

I later met some guys in the gym who became my gym buddies. These guys pushed me beyond what I thought I could do. That was when I began to realize the purpose for my going to the gym. It was no onger something I did merely because I wanted to show that I worked out too. It had now become a result-oriented exercise. That purpose led to commitment. I began to record my achievements and also made some lifestyle changes with regard to my diet. Now at age 51, I can see the result of that commitment and the purpose is still very strong.

The life lesson I learnt from this experience is that results only come when a decision is backed by purpose and commitment.

The God who who made us is a God of purpose. When He made man, His purpose was clear, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (decision) and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”  (Purpose) (Genesis 1: 26)

So God made a decision and follows it up with a commitment. “So God made man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1: 27)

After the purpose came the commitment and after the commitment came the results.

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31) Prior to this time, God’s evaluation of the other things He created was that It was good But when He created man, it was not just good, it was very good The results were excellent!

If we are indeed made in the image of God, then we should be expected to follow in our Father’s footsteps. We should make realistic decisions after we have determined the purpose for the course of action we want to take. The next thing is to commit ourselves to it and most importantly, stay committed until we see the results.

Many Christians pray into the new year and that is good but even as we pray we also need to pay attention to what He is saying to us. God will answer our prayers but we have a responsibility to commit to doing our part to ensure that we are well positioned for the results of answered prayer.

Just like me, I am sure many of us have plans for the year. I believe the answer is in discovering purpose, making a decision, committing ourselves to it and we can be sure that we will see results!

Have a wonderful and happy new year!