Special to South Florida Times

Well, it’s that time of the year again. 2016 is now the past and we find ourselves at the forefront of what is to come in 2017. It’s that time of the year when gym memberships sky rocket, quitting smoking is essential and diets are the new crave. If this sounds familiar, then you recognized this is the time of year that yields New Year’s Resolutions.

At the beginning of each year, in our humanity, we reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly of the previous year and make declarations of getting better. Resolutions are typically self-improvement promises or something nice we vow to do at the first of the year.

We look at the New Year as an automatic reset button on life, love, careers and finances. We compile our list of resolutions, checking it twice to ensure we are touching every aspect of our lives, in an effort to polish how we present ourselves to the world.

There is nothing wrong with resolutions in themselves, and, if you are like me, you greet the New Year with excitement because you do feel the sense of a rebirth come January 1. As Christians, when we count down on New Year’s Eve shouting, “Five, four, three, two, one; Happy New Year!” it is a proclamation of joy that implies we have made it another year and we promise to be the people God has called us to be.

However, the question is, are resolutions only reserved for the New Year? For me, 2017 is special because I will be celebrating my 35th birthday, a significant milestone if I do say so. As I look back at my 34 years of life one thing is for sure, either my clothes are getting smaller or my belly is getting bigger. Either way, I am able to thank God for life, even though I can no longer fit into the jeans in my closet. I have seen a lot of ups and down in 2016, yet I’ve also seen much success, professional advancement and spiritual growth, which in hindsight is what it’s all about! As you prepare to take the New Year by storm, I would like to remind you that resolutions are great, but they are only attainable if you have a roadmap for success. As you take the opportunity to reminisce about your past year and what you want to achieve, also think about a step by step action plan that parallels your vision for the New Year.

Your plan of action should include short and long-term goals with timelines, accountability partners to keep you true to your word and most importantly the “what if” clause. What exactly is the “what if” clause? This is the clause you recite to yourself when and if you fall short on your path to success. I believe this portion of your plan is just as important, if not more important, than the resolution itself because this thing called life is full of adversity and disappointment, but you need to know how to deal with them when they come your way.

Lamentations 3:22-25 says this, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends![b] His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore,

I will hope in him!” 25 The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.”

When I fall short of any goal or I find myself feeling discouraged because I wasn’t able to keep my resolution, I read Lamentations. It reminds me my hope is not in myself, but in the faithfulness of my Heavenly Father. Although I may be disappointed with myself, my God’s love for me never ends.

Although I am constantly messing up, not holding true to my promises of being a better person, my God’s mercies never cease and they are new every day. What does that mean? I don’t have to wait for the New Year to hit the reset button because each day I wake up I am able to pick myself up, get back on the horse, pick up where I left off and claim my inheritance because my hope is in God and He is faithful to those who depend on Him.

Do you believe that your God is faithful? Do you accept the fact that new mercies are yours every morning? As you ponder your list of resolutions and wonder if this will be the year that you hold true to them, I leave you with this thought: “You don’t have to wait for the New Year to change; change begins when you are ready and change is the resolution that can be obtained.”

Clinton K. Powell is the Student Pastor at Evangel Church International and founder and president of Fuzion Promotions and Fuzion Ministries AD. He can be reached at 305-953- 5433 or