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Have you ever thought ... You have just one day short of 360 mornings to work at being a new person in 2020?

What changes do you really want to make in your life?   The opening days of a new year is a great time to answer that question and to get busy moving to create those changes.

Probably sometime last week end most of us drew up a list of resolutions for the new year.   Some are already casualties of our inability to make the change we set as one of our goals. And some seem like old friends as we have dealt with them year after year.  Why do we really think this year will be any different?   

2019 is your opportunity to make the change you want to make.   Don’t start off expecting to be defeated.   J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, said, “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”  Make you goals challenging but allow yourself to give it the focus needed.  Allow yourself to reach for more than you ever imagined.  A part is being patient with yourself, it give yourself the opportunity you need to grow in the direction of the change you are seeking.   May your 2019 be a blessed year for you, if are becoming the person you need to be.

For many our top resolution will deal with our weight.   You can see this in the increase in ads pushing weight loss programs.  And yet step on the scales and if you are lucky, you don’t weight more than when 2018 started.  It seems to be a battle that we fight every year but are slowly losing.

For some it will be a habit that we know we need to change.   Again, that is why the push to stop smoking that seems to come with each January.  It is truly a matter of life and death.   Again, I ask you, if you are a smoker, have you really been able to tackle that problem. 

Look at your own life and ask what I would like to change.  Name the habit you have that you know you need to change, and then ask why it seems every New Year’s you know the needed change.   But you also seem to be helpless make the change

Ask yourself, why have I failed repeatedly to reach this goal in my life?  Year after year, it would seem clear to me that the new year would be greater than past years if this new direction became the way I live.  You resolve to do it but year after year you have been unable to maintain your resolve to accomplish that goal.

Instead of changing your goal, change the way you are going to seek the change.   Perhaps you have tried to accomplish too much change for the first step.  Ask yourself what is the overall change am I seeking?  Maybe there is a first step or two you could take to be in a better position to reach your overall goal. Make the initial steps your resolutions for this year.   May be in a year or two you will be ready for some steps that will get you to the change you have failed to reach before.   Or maybe you will no longer see that old goal as a necessary change in your life.   Thus, you can move on to another change to work towards. This might open the door to more change down the road.   Better to be part way to success than failing again.

But we are barely in the New Year.   Maybe you need to create a new resolution to be patient with yourself.  If you give yourself more time, what change could you seek to get you started.  Not giving up too soon could be the key to success in 2019

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.   Whatever the change you need might be, spend the next few days looking for a more creative way to reach your goal.

Ask yourself, why have I failed repeatedly to reach this goal in my life?   Instead of changing your goal, change the way you seek to reach your goal.   Perhaps you have sought to much change for the first step.   Look for the part of the change you would want and create a first step. This might open the door to more change down the road.   Better to be part way to success than failing again.

B. Wiley Stephens is a retired United Methodist Minister and author who now resides in Covington.