No one sets goals to intentionally fail at them, but year after year it happens to people who make New Year’s resolutions. It’s why the gym is always crowded in January, busy in March, and empty by June. Whether people make resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight, or even become emotionally healthier the goals are often pushed aside if not completely forgotten relatively early in the year. Why is it that people who start the year with so much excitement about change so quickly lose steam?
Change Requires a Process
We often make resolutions in an area of life that we desire to see change happen but have previously been unable to see it through. Perhaps one of the largest reasons that change has seemed so difficult and insurmountable in the past is because we have entered into the process for change with only the outcome in mind.
For example, if one hopes to lose weight, there will be necessary changes that have to occur such as cutting calories and an increase in exercise. This requires that a person plan what foods will be added or taken away from their diet as well as what exercises will be used. Simply going to a gym and standing there will not work, it takes preparation and execution.
Like any change, becoming emotionally healthier or being free from an addiction requires a process. For this reason, G4 chooses to use a nine-step model that is specific to each group. These are not hard and fast rules specific to each participant, but they provide the framework and structure that are necessary for change to take place.
Change Requires Community
Change that is made in isolation is significantly harder to maintain. Without a support system it is unlikely that change will be sustainable. When things become difficult it will, in that moment, be easier to quit if there is no one there with you.
Whether we need encouragement, accountability, or a shoulder to lean on, change that occurs within the context of a community is more sustainable because we are not alone with our struggle. When working with a group, it is possible to share the burdens of a difficult day and be encouraged to continue working on the change even when it seems that the change is harder than the old behavior or belief.
G4 takes place in community. Our desire is that each group serve as a resource of individuals who are working together on a common goal to pursue change in a positive direction. Members are able to share their struggles, receive support, and support others in their group.
Change Requires Commitment
We are often most excited about the change when we are focused on the end result. When we are in the middle of change, it is not nearly as exciting because change is hard. When change becomes difficult, we must rely on commitment and self-discipline to push through the periods of time we are not experiencing the desired change.
Habits, even bad ones, took commitment to make. We sacrificed many things to get to an unhealthy place. Habits, even good ones, take comparable commitment to make. We must make comparable sacrifices to break the “unhealthy normal” that has set into our lives. This means committing for a period longer than perhaps we expect to ensure that we are not discouraged by a lack of immediate change.
At G4 we recommend that new participants initially commit to attending group for six weeks so that they are able to adequately determine if our process and the community would be helpful in seeing the desired change.
If you have committed to change this New Year and you believe that G4 might be helpful, we are currently hosting groups for the following:
- Disordered Eating
- Marriage Betrayal
- Men’s Purity
- Substance Abuse
- Women’s Purity
- Women’s Trauma
For more information about times, locations, and an updated list of groups, please check out The Summit Churches G4 website here.