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Did you know gym memberships skyrocket on January 2nd? As we usher in a new year, people make various new year’s resolutions to: lose weight, make amends, go to church more, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, most resolutions fade and old habits quickly return. Why is it so hard to stick to new beginnings?

New beginnings without God are like planted seeds that never get watered.

As the new year approaches and you start thinking about making resolutions, think about the end goal of your resolution. So many of us make promises, resolutions, and goals but never see real change in our lives because we never bothered to consult God on our new course. If your resolutions are not rooted in God’s purpose for your life, they will not last.

When Gary and I were living—or, rather, surviving—in poverty, debt, fear, and panic, it was because we did not understand that God had already given us what we were seeking. We were drowning in financial tsunamis and didn’t see that there was a lifeboat waiting to pick us up.

God is waiting for all of us to seize our inheritance and start walking in our purpose.

If you feel you have to make changes in your life, first lean into God’s promises. Our God is the God of new beginnings. Without Him, there can be no real changes in our hearts and minds. Second Corinthians 4:16 tells us, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (ESV).

It all comes down to knowing your priorities.

Rick Warren once said, “Living in the light of eternity changes your priorities.”

You may want to see some outer changes like a smaller waistline, new haircut, or nicer car, but even the most radical, awesome changes to your body and life will fall short of the ways God wants to renew your spirit and mind. Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV).

The end of the year is a great time to evaluate what has happened in the past 12 months. It is also a great time to think about your goals for the next 12 months. Just be sure to include God in the process; our God is the God of new beginnings. He knew you before you were born; He knows where you need to go, and He desperately wants to show you how to get there.

Are you ready to get HAPPY? God has an incredible plan for your life, but it starts with discovering your joy in His presence. Embark on a journey toward a happier you today by preordering my new devotional, The Happy Life: Notes from God HERE!

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