Written by Madeline Kalu
New Year’s resolutions.
Some people make them, some people don’t. A few of us keep them, many of us break them by the end of the first week of January. Ah, such is life.
Or is it?
Instead of living with the gut-dropping pressure of realizing a hard list of New Year’s resolutions, how about we choose a softer, more achievable approach to making a positive change in our lives?
In that spirit, the following are 6 simple commitments you can make to help you improve yourself and your life in 2022.
The keyword being simple. For in this day and age, why make life more difficult than it has to be?
1. Try Something New (and fun!) Every Week
“And have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.”
The New Year is a great time to try out new things, such as discovering a new coffee spot, trying out a recipe you’ve had your eye on, or visiting a place in your hometown you’ve never been to before. Besides, you never know what opportunities you’re creating for God to work for you and through you by getting out of your comfort zone.
To make it more interesting, you can allocate one day in the week as your day to try something new! The key thing is, choose an activity that is easy for you to start and where you’re not put under obligation to commit, such as the case with a gym membership (How many people sign up for the gym and then never go?).
What’s most important – choose something that will be fun for you to do! Remember, we want to keep things simple!
2. Start a Dream that God has Put in Your Heart
“Though your beginning was small,
your latter days will be very great.”
Now l know l said that we want to keep things simple – and we do! However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be productive for the Kingdom of God.
God has called you to do great things on earth in His name. Therefore, step out in faith and make a start – no matter how small – in manifesting the dream that God has put in your heart.
For example, that might mean approaching your pastor to set up a street ministry, volunteering at a local non-profit organization, or applying for a job in which God wants to glorify Himself through you.
3. Encourage Someone Daily
“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing..”
Now, this is a nice, fun one!
You all know how it feels when someone pays you a random compliment, a stranger smiles at you in passing, or a friend writes you a text and you know they’re thinking of you? Well, why not make it a daily prerogative to encourage one person every day in a similar way?
A lot of people are hurting in this broken world, and your one act of encouragement could improve their day and even motivate them to change their lives for the better.
It needn’t be a grand gesture that you necessarily make. Even the smallest of actions can cause a butterfly effect that blesses many.
4. Meditate on a Weekly Bible Verse
“I will meditate on your precepts,
and fix my eyes on your ways.”
God encourages us to read the Bible in order to grow in intimacy with Him, teach us His ways, boost our faith, and give us revelation of Himself.
However, how often do we take the time to quietly meditate on His Word?
In the New Year, start a habit of reflecting on one Bible verse a week.
The following are some tips to help you meditate on the Word of God:
- Read the Scripture intentionally: Read through the Scripture of your choice slowly and carefully. If you’re unsure of it’s meaning, there are online explanations of the Bible available: Just type in your Bible verse in your seach engine and add the term “analysis” or “summary”. You can also use a Bible dictionary.
- Write out the Scripture and break it down: l find it helps to write out the Bible verse and circle the verbs, as those activation words provide us with direct life applications.
- Check nouns for their historical and metaphorical meaning: After l have studied the verbs in my Scripture, l concentrate on the nouns being used and what their historical and metaphorical meanings are.
For example, the word “bulwark” is used in numerous Scriptures and translations, such as Deuteronomy 20:20, 2 Chronicles 26:15, and more. However, what does it mean and how do l apply that word to my own life?
You can look up such unfamiliar terms in the dictionary, or more specifically, a Bible dictionary, which will help you see a parallel between the biblical use of the word and how it translates into your life.
- Appreciate the language of the Bible:The Bible is in my humble opinion, one of the most poignant and lyrical written works that has ever been created. Reading the psalms alone can convince any critic! What contributes to the beautiful wordsmithing of the Scriptures are the choice and appropriate selection of adjectives used. God speaks to us through His Word; thereby, pay attention to the deliberate application of descriptive words that can only evoke emotion in you and fill your heart with faith.
5. Write down the life applications of the Scripture: After understanding your chosen Bible verse, write down briefly how you can apply its message in your life – starting from today. It doesn’t have to be an overt change that you make, rather, it is a change of your heart attitude, which will over time be noticeable to you and others. And that is called “spiritual growth” my friends!
Once you’ve established this routine, you can increase the number of verses you meditate on.
If you’re unsure about which Bible verses you should meditate on, ask God to guide you to Scriptures based on the life themes that are currently valid to you, such as health, children, trusting in difficult times, etc.
Additionally, the YouVersion Bible App is a free downloadable Bible app that offers you daily Scriptures as well as reading plans and an online community to help you grow in the Lord.
However, to start you off, the following are wonderful New Year’s Scriptures to ruminate on:
“I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”
“For I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
or come to mind.”
“‘For surely I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.‘”
5. Pray for Others
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone.”
If you’re like me, you have a list of people you wish to pray for, but you somehow never find the time to sit down and present your supplications to God on their behalf.
In 2022, why not start allocating a set time for praying for others? It might mean that you have to get up 15 minutes earlier or pray after the rest of your household has gone to bed. You can even set an alarm clock on your phone or block out that time on your calendar to hold yourself accountable.
6. Surrender to God
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Surrendering our lives to God doesn’t end at the time of our Salvation; it is a daily process that we need to exercise in order to rid ourselves of pride, demonstrate our trust in Him, and pursue His will for our lives.
Additionally, holding onto emotions and negative thoughts can make us bitter, burden us psychologically, and even cause physical sickness.
Therefore, prayerfully approach God and ask Him to help you surrender something that is not serving you. This could mean starting the process of forgiving someone, letting go of a bad habit, or even setting up personal boundaries in your relationships.
Making positive life changes doesn’t have to be a hard, grueling process. Start with simple commitments that are easy to abide by and then progress onto more long-term ambitions when you feel you’re ready to take them on.
And remember, you don’t have to change your life overnight: After all Rome wasn’t built in a day. God is with you and He gives you His strength to do all things. So, lean on Him and abide in His loving mercy and grace, and He will lead you on a straight and direct path towards the wonderful plans He has for your life.
We at Jacob’s Ladder wish you a wonderful 2022 full of God’s mercy and grace. We believe that this year, God is going to show Himself in wonderful and miraculous ways to you and your family.
God bless you!
Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England, was raised in Australia, and currently lives in Germany with her husband, Solomon. Madeline is in recovery from burnout, chronic depression, and anxiety. She believes that God can take life’s adversities and work them out for His good; hence, she uses her writing voice to raise awareness of mental illness, as well as to spread the light of God’s love to those who are mentally trapped in the dark, and provide them with hope and encouragement.