Romans 12:2 – Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

Gratitude 700

Before you start making – or finishing – a long list of “things” you want to do in 2022, please slow down. Yes, I know we all have things we want to improve upon or do or give up or accomplish these next 12 months. But before we get wound up and convince yourself that you WILL  get all those things done, just pause.




Many people have great aspirations in the first days of a new year. This WILL BE THE YEAR! We try to convince ourselves. But by noon tomorrow, you may or may not have eaten something that you willed yourself to avoid. Sometime in the first week, you will want to skip a workout. And may do so. In the next few weeks, there is a good possibility you will make a purchase for something you desperately do not need but have convinced yourself you must have.

And the list can go on and on and on.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, challenging yourself to change who you currently are or do or focus on takes intentionality. But it also takes much more than willpower. If we only depend upon willpower, we will fail. Every. Single. Time.

As an alternative, may I suggest a different way to think about what you want to focus on during 2022? Instead of a ridiculous and unrealistic list of ways you want to change your life, shift your focus to this:

How might I improve myself in this area of my life by 1% in the next week? Month? Year?

Just 1%. Nothing more. A tiny little shift of just 1%.

Most of us are not going to wake up today or tomorrow and be able to change everything in our lives and make it sustaining or lifegiving for more than a very short period of time. While we think and say we want to do this, application and implementation is much more challenging than we realize. So instead of trying to redo a whole bunch of things at one time, how about a 1% change today? This week? This month?

Here’s how it works. Instead of trying to change your entire diet and what you eat, simply improve one little area by 1%. Eat 1% more vegetables this week. Or every day. Just one percent.

Or increase your physical activity today by 1%. This may mean one minute of exercise if you haven’t been doing any exercise lately. Seriously. One minute of downward dogs and you are good to go. Or one minute of walking up and down stairs. Or Lifting 5 lb. weights. One minute.

Maybe you’d like to organize your photos this year. I know. A terribly daunting task. Do 1% more today than you did yesterday. If you have not worked on this in months, then one minute and make decisions about as many photos as you can in this one minute.

How about cleaning out the closets in your house? Start with 1% this week, which might be a few minutes. If you clean out a closet for just a few minutes a day – even 10 minutes – you might be surprised by how much you can accomplish in a month.

The best way to do a 1%? Tie it to something else you already do today. For example, while your coffee is brewing in the morning, instead of scrolling through your phone, take those few minutes and use them to work on cleaning out your closets. Maybe you want to read more this year. A 1% goal would be to read while the coffee is brewing. Or for 10 minutes after the coffee is done. If you read for 10 minutes every day, you will read BOOKS this year. Like, many books. All in 10 minute intervals.

Or maybe you want to add in something else in your day. Before you begin to cook supper after your normal “work” day (whatever that looks like for you), build in another 10-minute time slot to do something that is important to you. Learn a new skill. Talk to a friend every day. Connect with a person you haven’t heard from in a long time. Give yourself 10 minutes to do this before dinner … every day. And see what happens.

Too often, we feel this need to redo everything. Make huge dramatic changes. An all-or-nothing mentality. But let’s be real. How often does this really work? How long-lasting is this? Does this really inspire true small, incremental change … or fear that unless you go all in, nothing will really work?

I’m convinced that all-or-nothing is not life-sustaining. Life-giving. Life-changing. It’s a short attempt that we give up when we fail because we did not give it our all. We beat ourselves up when we do not have enough discipline or willpower or gumption to stay with something long term.

But Paul endorses a different approach when he wrote to the church in Rome, which he had not visited. Instead of high expectations of ourselves, he challenges us to embrace and solicit God to help us with this process. Too often, we expect ourselves to do it just right. But we can’t because we are sinful human beings. Instead, let’s enlist the Holy Spirit to encourage us to make a small, 1% improvement today.

Can we let go of high expectations and instead lower our expectations? Make them more realistic. More life-giving. Just change something by 1% today. This week. This month.

And then, let’s see how we have changed ourselves in the next 365 days.

For an ability to enlist the Holy Spirit’s assistance to make small, 1% improvement this year, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – As we turn the page onto a new year, it seems like we have to challenge ourselves to make all these improvements and changes for the upcoming year. Instead, help me shift my perspective. I pray the Holy Spirit will walk alongside me and help me find little, 1% improvements I can make that are not overwhelming or impossible. Instead of depending upon my own willpower, may the Holy Spirit inspire me to find little ways that I can become more the person God yearns for me to be. Amen.

If this post touched you, I invite you to share it.

Other blogs on LIVE as we begin 2022:

A Radiant Life By MelAnn of Grace and Rapture

Living a More Connected Life By Amy Cobb

Pursuing Life By Jessica Weaver

Parenting Advice for a Better Life By Ashley Olivine

Embrace Eternal Life in Jesus Christ By Lisa Granger

Living a Life Well Worth Living By Lori Shoaf

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