"New Year Resolutions that Actually Work"


2020 Hindsight is 20/20
Last year was unprecedented in so many ways. Where many struggled, with God's blessing 2020 was Men in the Arena's best ministry year to date. All of these goals were set at our annual Board of Directors Course Setting Retreat that we have every January. Below are some bulleted highlights from 2020.

  • Obtained Wordserve Literary as our book agent
  • Are negotiating a publishing contract with Five Stones Press
  • Online auction "audible" raised $10,000 more than all previous fundraisers. 
  • Finished two books that will be released in 2021 
  • Started a weekly service for local men called the "Arena Gathering"
  • Joined the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Ministries to Men 
  • Men in the Arena Podcast had downloads from 122 nations
  • The Instagram following grew from 300 to over 4,100
  • Several posts had over 15,000 likes
  • Financial Champion team is the strongest it has ever been
  • Paid staff team grew from two to six
  • Our new online assessment is weeks away from being released on our website. We believe God will use it to reach one million men.

A New Year A New Life

Every year, billions of people set New Year's resolutions, but few last more than a couple of weeks. Most fall victim to abstract dreams, attrition, and lack the 66 days needed for habits to form. Every year I set goals that fail miserably but others that are wildly successful. According to FSUNews.com, 80% of New Year's resolutions on average fail before Valentine's Day. 
          According to a ComRes poll, 71%, of New Year's resolutions revolve around weight loss and fitness. The next most common resolutions at 47% focus on improving physical health and eating better. Learning new skills and hobbies, practicing self-care, and spending more time with family and friends follow at approximately 15% each. 
          Many of these dreams fail simply due to the failure to set goals properly. But with the right coaching, your goals will be achieved in 2021. I'm pleased to share a time-tested method to achieve and transform your dream into goals, and goals into reality. 

Are your Goals SMART or Stupid? 

Your goals will either be smart and effective or stupid and frustrating. This may sound a bit abrasive, but you must be brutally honest with yourself and your abilities when goal setting. Here are some time-tested tips that will help you become your best version.

S: Goals Must Be SPECIFIC

Lily Tomlin joked, "I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific." What exactly do you want to accomplish? Avoid generalities and abstract statements like, "I want to lose weight." What exactly do you want to accomplish? 

M: Goals must be MEASURABLE

For fun, last night Shanna and I made our wishes and pulled our Thanksgiving turkey wishbone. She won! Vague goals are like pulling on the wishbone. They are not goals. they are dreams, brainstorms, and wishes. Every goal has a metric. A goal without a metric is not a goal.

A: Goals Must be ATTAINABLE

Stop using lame Christian clichés like, "With all things God is possible", which is taking Luke 1:37 grossly out of context. Do you have the drive, grit, and faith to step into a better version of yourself? Do you have what it takes?

R: Goals must be REALISTIC

Similar to attainability is being realistic. Most goal-setters lose their minds right here. Run your goals by your wife or a trusted friend. Ask someone to be brutally honest with you. You will thank them later.


Goals without a time limit are unable to be broken down into micro-goals to measure your progress, to observe your traction. Set mile markers, short term goals, to track your long-term success. This is one metric you cannot live without.

The Vultures are Circling…Good! 

In Genesis 15 Abram makes a covenant with God. According to tradition (Jeremiah 34:18), he killed the sacrificial animals, cut them in two, and prepared to walk between them, but something noteworthy happened in verses 10-11: "So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away."
          The moral of the story—be ready to chase away the vultures. 
          If you want to soar with eagles, you will have to get out of the chicken coop and chase away any vultures that want to feed on your lofty goals. Be expectant. Be encouraged. Vultures only circle where they smell the aroma of a living sacrifice for God (Romans 12:1-2).

Boots on the Ground

Sit down with your phone or a piece of paper and write 3-4 SMART goals that you will accomplish in 2021. Share them with those closest to you and share your progress often.