January 1st is the day for many that self-improvement resolutions are made. Most will be financial, business, or personal fitness goals.
There is nothing wrong with any of that.
In fact, Proverbs 21:5 states that the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty.
Yet as children of the King we should be cautious of the motivation behind any resolutions we might make. Are our goals generated from a state of discontentment?
To say "I won't be content until this happens" means God is not enough for us now. And if God is not enough now, it means we'll be striving to accomplish that resolution by our own strength.
Paul says, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." Phil 4:11 NKJV
Paul knew who he was. Paul was aware of his identity as a child of the King. When we say to ourselves, "I'm lacking", or "I'm insufficient in my current state", then we are living below our privileges. The prodigal son left his father's estate to work by his own strength. That didn't turn out well. The other son stayed, but lived below his privileges because he was waiting on something he already had access to.
Remember, godliness with contentment is great gain. Unlike the riches of the world, the riches of God cannot be taken away from you. When we are content we put ourselves in a position for God to bless us.
Once we know who we are in Christ, every resolution we set should be in Him and for Him. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve our situation for the Glory of the Kingdom. In fact, God commissioned us to go out and do the work of His Kingdom. And when He commissioned us, He also equipped us with everything we need.
Perhaps a good practice for the start of this New Year is simply deciding to be content.
Before setting any goals or resolutions, spend some quiet time with the Father thanking him for what He has done. Thank Him for who He is, who you are, and acknowledge that He is more than enough. Regardless of your state: in debt, deployed in the military, family health issues, homeless… God is enough for you. It's important to find that place. It may be difficult at first. It may only come through prayer and worship. But God would rather have you be complete in Him with zero resolutions than discontent in Him and hit every resolution you set.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:4
Another way to look at this scripture is that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, our desires will begin to align with his desires.
So find that special place of contentment where the Father can show you just how complete in Him you are. Delight yourself in His ways. When you do this, any goal or resolution you set will be one that God can bless!