the shape of leadership

Seven Lifelong Habits for 2023

They will make a deeper impact on your life than resolutions

Kent Ingle on January 9, 2023

The new year rings in with fireworks, a countdown and, for many people, a list of resolutions that will go unfinished. Year after year, millions of people set goals of becoming a “new” or “better” version of themselves. However, the majority don’t follow through — only 9% feel successful in keeping their goals.

Most people choose resolutions that aren’t attainable or require extreme life changes. Instead of making a list of unrealistic goals, focus on establishing habits that will positively impact God’s call on your life.

Before you write out your plans for the upcoming year, ask Christ to lead your steps. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Below are seven lifelong habits to practice in 2023.


1. Carve Out Time for Daily Self-Reflection

Take time to think about what you would like to accomplish, who you would like to meet, and how you can establish expectations for the day. Then, reflect on everything that happened. How did you impact God’s kingdom?

2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” Self-reflection is vital for your faith. It creates space in your heart and mind to discover your purpose in life.


2. Embrace Every Moment

Every day is an opportunity to learn more about Christ, God’s purpose for your life, and the specific problem in the world you are uniquely designed to solve. God uses each moment to prepare you for life’s journey.

Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Instead of trying to breeze through your day, be present and intentional about finding ways on how Christ is speaking to and using you.


3. Take Risks

Instead of making a list of unrealistic goals, focus on establishing habits that will positively impact God’s call on your life.

Moving toward what God has divinely designed for your life requires encountering and embracing elements of risk, which can help you grow and progress on your journey. It allows you to gauge the probability of success and what the potential payoff might be.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Let go of your fear of failure and recognize that mistakes are essential for development. When Christ calls you to make a bold move, He will empower you to see it through.


4. Manage Your Spiritual Health

The urgency of life can often take priority over our spiritual lives. But we were created to have a vibrant relationship with Christ. Our spiritual health requires daily attention.

Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Maintain your spiritual health by designating time to pray and read your Bible. Build a support group with fellow believers who can encourage and keep you accountable.


5. Be a Voice of Encouragement

Criticism, negativity, and despair are some of the loudest voices in our society. You can make an impact in the lives of others by lifting them up with your words.

Proverbs 18:21 reminds us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Be the first person to cheer someone on, show appreciation to an individual close to you, or offer an encouraging word to a stranger. Serve as the positive change you want to see in the world by being intentional about building others up.


6. Volunteer With Your Church

Make a difference in your community by giving of your time. Many churches offer outreach opportunities where you can minister and serve locally and globally.

1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Christ calls us to speak words of life and to act in a way that demonstrates His love.

When you volunteer, you contribute to God’s kingdom and broaden your perspective as you serve others. Search for opportunities to participate in a missions trip or local outreaches sponsored by your church.


7. Learn Something New

Always ask yourself how you are growing, learning, and developing into who God has designed you to be. A part of doing so is discovering new things, broadening your scope of knowledge, and challenging yourself.

Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Developing a fundamental curiosity or appetite for life will help you keep learning.

There’s nothing more fulfilling than accomplishing what God has called you to do — and it requires implementing various disciplines into your daily life. Before you get out your pen and paper, ask Christ what He has for you this new year.

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