What’s your new year’s resolution?

If you’re among the 36% of people surveyed by Forbes Health that cite improved mental health as their top priority for 2024, here’s a heads-up: attempting to tackle it with traditional New Year’s resolutions can immediately set you up for failure.

Ever noticed the crazy hustle at the gym in January, only for it to dwindle as the year rolls on? Yup, that’s the New Year’s resolution effect – tough to maintain.

The thing is, resolutions often create stress, and that’s not the kind of mountain most of us are ready to climb. It’s crucial to set goals that are doable while nurturing our mental health and spiritual well-being.

Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons New Year’s resolutions fail, and talk about better, more faith-centered ways to approach personal growth.

    • The Burden of Expectations
      Resolutions usually come with high hopes. We aim for a perfect outcome: shed weight, kick bad habits, read stacks of books, or deepen our faith. Admirable, yes, but they can lack flexibility. Setting rigid goals creates a pass or fail scenario, leaving little room for life’s natural ups and downs. Proverbs 16:9 says it best: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Understanding that life might not always match our plans is vital for peace of mind.
    • The Pressure of Perfectionism
      Striving for perfection is a common resolution pitfall. The drive for flawlessness can drain us mentally and spiritually. As Christians, we know only Christ is perfect, and our earthly attempts will always fall short. When we aim for perfection, we set ourselves up for disappointment and self-criticism. Ecclesiastes 7:20 reminds us, “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.”
    • The Mirage of Instant Change
      Resolutions often come with the hope of instant transformation. But hey, real progress takes time. When it’s slow or not a straight line, we get discouraged. The Bible teaches us patience and endurance. James 1:4 encourages, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Change is a process, not a quick fix.
    • The Comparison Game
      Social media and societal pressures can worsen the resolution struggle. We compare our journey to others’ highlight reels and feel behind or inadequate. Galatians 6:4-5 advises, “Each one should test their own actions… for each one should carry their own load.” Focusing on our unique path and relationship with God helps avoid the comparison trap.
  • Guilt and Shame Cycle
    Stumbles in resolutions often invite guilt and shame, harming our mental health. But as Christians, we live in God’s grace, not in the success or failure of our goals. Romans 8:1 assures, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Embracing this truth breaks the cycle of guilt and shame.

A Faith-Focused Growth Approach
So, how do we grow without falling into the resolution traps? Here are some faith-centered strategies:

Graceful Goals: Ditch strict resolutions for flexible goals embracing life’s curveballs. Setbacks are part of the ride.

Process Matters: Celebrate small wins and progress; growth isn’t just the destination but the journey.

Growth Mindset: See challenges as chances to learn and grow closer to God, not failures.

Community Matters: Share goals with a supportive community for encouragement, accountability, and prayers.

Spiritual Growth First: Above all, prioritize your relationship with God. Let your goals flow from that.

Prayer and Reflection: Incorporate prayer and reflection into your daily routine.

Scripture and Meditation: Engage with scriptures that focus on mental well-being, peace, and strength. Meditate on passages that bring solace and encouragement during challenging times. 

Serve and Connect: Consider volunteering or engaging in acts of service within your community or church. Serving others can foster a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and interconnectedness. 

Ultimately, personal growth isn’t a sprint to the finish line; it’s a continuous journey, a marathon of faith and perseverance. By intertwining faith with your mental health resolutions, you’re not only nurturing your spiritual well-being but also cultivating a stronger foundation for achieving your goals. So, let’s run this race with a healthier, grace-filled stride!


Research shows that much of the change people experience during their time in therapy is because they felt heard and understood by their therapist–that their therapist “got them” and that the guidance they gave was relevant and applicable.  Because of this, it is critical that you find a therapist whom you can connect with, whom you feel comfortable with, whom you feel “gets you.” Therefore, we encourage you to take a few minutes to read a little about each one of our therapists. If you prefer to look at the counselors nearest to you, please click the office location buttons below. Otherwise, you can meet with any of our Christian Counselors online from the comfort of your own home. If you have questions about any of them, please contact us!