Recovery 4 minutes to read

For 15 years of my life, I became an expert at breaking promises and destroying resolutions. Countless times, I committed to friends, mentors, and eventually my spouse that I was going to change my bad habits and start walking in purity and freedom. I failed miserably over and over; and over.

If you are looking to do the same in 2018, follow my advice! This list is tried and true from my own personal experience, and many others, who have discovered the secret to staying stuck and not messing with pesky resolutions and change.

Here are 10 sure-fire ways to guarantee your New Year’s resolutions will fail:

1. Do It Alone

You don’t need other people! You got into this mess alone, and doggone it, you can get out alone. All you need is a little more isolation—for people to just leave you alone and get off your back about accountability and vulnerability. The only “ability” you need is more time to yourself. Do this and you will be on your way to a change-free year!

2. Don’t Ask For Help

Asking for help is horrible. You have to admit your weaknesses and be honest about what you can’t to. You have to trust other people and their desire to help you. They may even ask you to do things you don’t like or aren’t sure how to do. So don’t ask! If you can’t figure it out, just Google it or keep trying the same thing over and over. The definition of a genius is someone who keeps doing the same thing, believing they can get a different result!

3. Set Unrealistic Goals

Nothing is more certain to fill you with disappointment and dread than a goal so lofty and far-off that, you are positive, you can never achieve. The higher, the better. If you put your goal so incredibly far beyond where you are now, you’ll have a great excuse to throw in the towel before you hardly get started. There, now isn’t that better?

4. Just Try Harder

If what you have been doing isn’t working, then just keep doing more of the same. Thinking about it more, wanting it more, and talking about it more—how you’re going to change—is certain to keep you from actually making any changes. Grit your teeth and find your inner gumption! Trying harder probably won’t get you where you want to go, but at least you’ll look busy and serious while failing to get there.

5. Don’t Change Anything

Keep the TV on all the time, waste hours on the Internet, and leave sugary snacks in every room of the house. What you need is constant temptation and triggers to prove how serious you are about this change. Believe that you can change by simply setting your mind to it, and then show how strong you are by avoiding all those hazards right in your path.

6. Ignore Personal Application

Listening to sermons, podcasts, and radio shows is easy. Sit back with a cold drink and a few snacks, and let the words of change begin to wash over you. Their nourishing quality will make you feel good and are quickly forgotten when you get up for another drink. If you try to make personal application, you might do it wrong or differently than the speaker intended. You might mess it all up. It’s best not to try. Just keep listening to others talk and wait for that one day when you wake up changed.

7. Ignore Any Progress

If you find yourself making any steps in the right direction, make sure to minimize those advances. You’re not in this for any “baby steps.” You want the real deal—total change or nothing at all! Recognizing that you have made progress and are moving in the right direction could make you overconfident and complacent. So, make sure to let your feelings of guilt, over not being perfect, carry you all the way to the finish line!

8. Compare Yourself To Others

There is no truer standard by which to measure your progress than comparing your life to the glorified lives of others around you. No matter how serious you are about change, you can always find someone further ahead. As you spend time considering their life and all the good things about it, your feeble efforts at change will disappear. You’ll be able to sit back and complain that God didn’t make you more like them!

9. Hide Any Setback

You’ve told people you plan to change, so that is exactly what they expect. They want you to show up in A+ perfection. Until then, you had better act like you have arrived. “Fake it ‘til you make it” is a slogan sure to keep you from any real efforts of change.

10. Keep Changing The Target

Most of all, make sure you settle for less. Your aspirations for health and freedom were probably made at times of unusual clarity. You can’t live that way all the time, so continue to adjust the goals as you go. You’ll change the target so many times; soon you won’t remember what goal you started out with anyway. One day, you’ll run across a small sheet of paper containing your original goal and it will shock you to discover how low your standards have fallen. Quickly crumple up that paper and toss it away. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Go back to making a new target that you can attempt to hit.

This list should easily carry you through yet another year of more of the same. Isn’t that what we all want? We can become a new version of ourselves in 2019. You know the saying: Just put off until later what you don’t feel like doing today.

Seize the day!

The views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are those of the author alone and do not reflect an official position of Pure Desire Ministries, except where expressly stated.

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Nick Stumbo

Nick is the Executive Director for Pure Desire. He has been in ministry leadership for over two decades. He was in pastoral ministry at East Hills Alliance Church in Kelso, Washington, for 14 years. Nick has a Bachelor in Pastoral Studies from Crown College, an MDiv from Bethel Seminary, and is a certified Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional (PSAP) through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). He has authored two books, Setting Us Free and Safe: Creating a Culture of Grace in a Climate of Shame.

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