One of my favorite holiday activities is making new year’s resolutions. There’s just something so exciting about the collective fresh start that New Years Day ushers in. While it’s true, resolutions are often challenging to follow through on after the initial enthusiasm wears off, I love the long-term reward of faithful sticktoitiveness.
While January usually steals the show when it comes to making resolutions, I’ve personally found a brand new school year to be just as motivating. January may be the dawn of a new year on the calendar, but for most students, August marks a brand new season of life. The first day of school may not come with party hats and a flashy ball drop but it’s a fresh start nonetheless. So why not embrace it with the same enthusiasm and zeal we bring into a new calendar year?
Just like it’s beneficial to set goals and make plans on the cusp of a new year, it can be equally as beneficial to do the same before the start of a new season. So, what are some healthy resolutions for students (and adults alike) to set before the start of the new school year?
1. Resolve to pray before each day begins.
WHY: This may sound like a simple resolution, however it’s a simple step we are quick to forget without intentionality. Just because it seems like an “easy” resolution doesn’t mean it’s not worthy. Imagine how your school year might look if you offered each day to God in prayer before it even began?
HOW: While resolving to start each day in prayer is a great place to begin, don’t stop there! The key to a successful resolution is making a plan. Decide where and when you will pray at the beginning of your day. Write down prayer prompts or start a prayer journal.
2. Resolve to be a light for Christ among your peers
WHY: As believers, we are called to be Kingdom influencers wherever God has placed us. Whether it’s in your school, on your sports team, among your family, or even in your youth group, God has called you to glorify Him and make Him known! That means above all else, our primary goal each day is to make disciples! (Matt. 28:19).
HOW: Being a light for Christ among your peers may seem intimidating but it’s exactly what we’ve been equipped to do as believers. Maybe it looks like praying for your team before a game or joining the person sitting alone in the lunchroom. It may look like starting a Bible study before school or joining the leadership team for your youth group. Whatever it looks like for you, make sure you take time to make a plan.
3. Resolve to pursue holiness.
WHY: Holy means “set apart” and pursuing holiness means making an effort to live set apart from the world around you. As followers of Jesus, we’re called to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). Unfortunately, however, we often spend our time trying to fit in rather than living set apart. The truth is, as believers, we should never fit in with this world. We are citizens of Heaven – let’s resolve to live that way!
HOW: Consider the areas of your life where you’re tempted to compromise in order to fit in with your peers or the world around you. Maybe it’s what you wear, the words you say, or even the places you go and the choices you make. Surrender these things to God and ask for His help as you pursue holiness this year. Finally, ask Him to put people in your life who are also pursuing holiness.
While I believe these resolutions are a great place to start, take time to make your own list of resolutions for the school year. Write them out and put them where you’ll see them every single day. Remember that your resolutions don’t have to be complicated to be significant – sometimes simple is best.
Finally, let me encourage you with this: you will not be able to accomplish your resolutions in your own strength, no matter how simple they may be. Instead, rely on God’s strength to help you live for His glory this school year. On our own, we are not enough, but through His power we can do all things. (Phil. 4:13).
Taylor Cage is a Nashville native, currently living in Oklahoma City with her husband, Baron, who serves as a student pastor at Trinity Baptist Church. After college, she spent three years as a Girls Minister and she’s passionate about building gospel-centered community among women of all ages. Taylor is the Social Media Coordinator for Well-Watered Women and a regular contributor for the Lifeway Girls blog. Most days you can find her writing about God’s Word with a cup of coffee in hand or chasing around her Goldendoodle, Posie. Connect with Taylor: Instagram