As we step into 2022 it is easy to look forward and do the conventional thing and start to talk goals. What am I looking to achieve this coming year? Do I want to get fit, loose 20kg, start a new hobby or find a new job? They may be fine aspirations, but does it really play out in life? Unfortunately, statistics suggest not! A landmark 1988 study, out of the University of Scranton, found that while 77 percent of people who committed to a “New Year's resolution” stuck to it for a week, only 19 percent of those who made resolutions actually fulfilled them within two years. The statistics have only gotten worse over time: According to a survey by Statista, only four percent of people who made New Year's resolutions in 2018 said they kept them.
What I am suggesting is maybe we are not asking the right question. It maybe not, what do I need to change? But who can I do life with? And who can help me get where I want to go? So, the answer is not a what, but who do I need to further develop my relationship with in 2022?
John C Maxwell in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, calls this the Law of the Inner Circle. It is also obvious in the Gospels that Jesus chose to spend more time with some disciples than others. Especially the two highly significant moments of the Transfiguration and the Garden of Gethsemane where He only took Peter, James, and John with Him. This was His inner circle where He was most vulnerable and most transparent. As Jesus modelled, we need in our life to be transparent with and accountable to a few key people whom we trust.
From my work with pornography recovery groups, I have seen the power of men who are totally transparent with each other and are prepared to be there for each other, to walk through the difficult patches. In the Gospels, this is ably represented through Luke 5:18-19:
“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.”
When we go back to Jesus and look at the Garden of Gethsemane, this is a pivotal point for Jesus where He is most vulnerable, but He chose not to go alone, although He could have. We are not created to walk alone no matter how strong we are. It is a gift to yourself and others to allow them into your inner circle.
So, friend are you prepared to take the risk of converting your question from: What will I change in 2022, to who will walk with me through 2022? If you have the courage to do so, I believe that you will not go into 2023 the same man! God has prompted me to take up this challenge and I have already spoken to my inner circle at the end of 2021, so I am in!
Who do you need to walk with in 2022 and beyond?