It is common for people to make plans towards the end of the year and I have often heard people give a verbal list of plans or ‘resolutions’ like;
1. To start going to the gym
2. To eat healthily
3. To spend more time reading the Bible
4. To spend more time praying
As laudable as these plans may be, it is no surprise that by the end of the second week of the new year, a lot of those who made these plans would have given up on some or all of them.
From my observation in the gym where I work out, January is usually the busiest month of the year, especially the first week. Many of those who start the year resolving to start working out, throng the various gyms.
For those who are consistent gym members, this period is often a nightmare because there is often a high demand for work-out machines and weights. In spite of this however, the consolation gym veterans have is that it will soon be over. The joke usually is, “by the end of the second week, only the serious ones will remain” and that is so often the case.
I can’t remember the last time I have made a resolution. They have never worked for me. That is not to say I don’t make plans, its just that I don’t wait till the end of the year to make them. Whenever there is something I need to do, I make a plan and just do it.
One of the things that has helped me in making plans and actually accomplishing those plans is that I tend to write them down. Most of the plans I failed to accomplish are the ones I did not write down. Making plans in your heart or just verbalising it is not enough, no matter how serious your intentions are. You need to write them down!
There is a reason why companies and countries make and publish their budgets. When you write your plans down, it is a visual affirmation of what you intend to achieve. Our minds are constantly filled as we go through life. Storing plans in the mind without writing them down therefore, is a panacea for failure because as new things engage you, whatever you plans you had in mind gets pushed into the background.
Writing down plans, while good, is not a guarantee that it will succeed. There are many reasons why plans fail and there are many books and articles that deal with these. Some of the reasons easily identified are;
Ambiguous plans; these are plans that negate other plans More Help. In other words, the success of one plan means the failure of another plan you made.
Unachievable plans; Some people make plans that they are unable to achieve within a set period.
When you make plans, ensure that they are achievable for you within a certain period. The fact that someone else makes a plan does not mean you have to make the same plan. The goal may be the same but your plan may be different.
Discouragement: You may have a brilliant plan, well written out but get discouraged when you discuss with others and they poke holes in your plan.
Making plans is one thing but for those of us who are Christians, we must take another step; we commit those plans into God’s hands. Why do we do this? We do this because we know that the best of plans often fail. This is why the Preacher encourages us;
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Psalm 16:3)
There is a difference between making a plan and establishing the plan. When a plan is established, it is as good as done. It means that no matter what the surrounding factors may be, the plan is bound to succeed.
In committing our plans to God, we receive help and direction. We may have resolved to pursue our plans in a particular way but in handing over that plan to God, most often than not, we find ourselves approaching it in another way as God opens our eyes to things we did not envisage while make the plans. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Prov 19:21)
Of course, making plans alone does not guarantee success. You have to execute the plan. It is not enough to make the plans and pray about it. You must take conscious steps to achieve those plans. In other words, Do the work!
As we begin another year, by all means, make plans but ensure that you write those plans down and break the plans down into simple actions. But most importantly, commit those plans into God’s hands then go ahead and execute the plans.
May you succeed in all you do!