If you are like me, you started out 2020 with some resolutions. And if you’re like me, it’s January 10, and you’ve…already…failed. Maybe you’ve even given up!
I’ll be honest, mamas. One of my resolutions was to step up my workout game. It wasn’t the frequency of my workouts that I wanted to improve. It was the intensity of them. My goal is to run two miles, five days a week. A great goal! But my resolve? It wore off as soon as I sweated up my new workout gear.
As a professional counselor, I’m trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies. If you’ve ever been in therapy, I’m sure you’ve learned about CBT. Through the years, however, I’ve witnessed that while CBT is helpful, other things are equally as helpful in achieving goals.
One of the most powerful tools—one that is often not talked out—is your inner knowing. Christians understand this as the leading of the Holy Spirit. It comes from a deep place within your heart, and it is the pathway to the abundant life that God has promised for you.
Romans 8:14 says that “those who are led by the Spirit” are children of God. But in a loud, busy life, it’s hard to hear the quiet whisper that wants to lead you. It’s much easier to log on to social media, go to your job, or even go to the grocery store, and let your mind devise goals based on standards set by the world around you. (Think standards of beauty, standards of achievement, and standards of “good parenting.”)
When your mind sets goals based on external factors, you are more likely to fail because the resolve comes from a shallow place. When your heart develops goals from your inner knowing—from the voice of the Holy Spirit—your resolve comes from a much deeper place. Your entire being is knitted together in solidarity, and you move forward in faith and determination toward your goal. Even if you fall off the proverbial wagon, you can brush off the dust, get back up, and keep going because your determination comes from within.
Your inner knowing is the pathway to the abundant life God has promised for you.
Inner knowing is recognized by doing exactly the opposite of what the culture teaches you. You learn to recognize it by being still—by quieting your mind and accessing your heart. It is in these moments that you are filled with the Spirit, and the truest messages emerge about who you are and how God wants to lead you.
Okay, time for honesty again. Yes, I already failed at my 2020 workout goal. But tomorrow morning, I’ve resolved to get out of bed and sweat up my 2.0 miles on the treadmill. I will do it because I know that this is the next step (goal) on my health journey. I didn’t develop my goal based on the latest and greatest fad diet or exercise science research. I developed it by listening to the Voice that leads me. It’s that Voice that propels me forward—even when I don’t want to do it, and even when I’ve already failed.
Guess what else? Tomorrow morning I’ll be thinking of you when I’m on the treadmill. I’ll say a prayer that you will be moving in resolve toward your goal too. You can do it, sister! Let’s move in solidarity together.
Take a few moments to be still and listen. Where is the Holy Spirit leading you? How could this pathway become a tangible resolution for you? Is it a different resolution from the resolutions with which you began 2020? Share your experience below!