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How to Change Old Habits and Set Goals a P31 Woman

Here it is, the beginning of a New Year. You long to conquer your dreams and make this the year where things finally fall into place.  Yet something inside you is hesitant, skeptical even, to believe that change is really possible for you. Deep down you wonder, “How to change old habits? What if I fall short this year, too?

You wonder if it’s possible to make permanent changes, as you cling to failures and setbacks of the past.  Yet from the depths of your soul you crave to reach your goals, but have no idea where to begin.

Can I be honest with you?  That was me, too.

Honestly, I used to be stuck and paralyzed with fear, perfection, and self-doubt. Truthfully, sometimes I wondered if lasting change was possible for me.

Not long ago, I was trapped by complacency and too overwhelmed to make permanent headway on the goals I longed to conquer.

While there is no quick fix, lasting change IS possible. Real change is achieved day after day with intentional steps and this secret recipe for success.


title how to change old habits and set goals as a Proverbs 31 woman woman looking to the sky with her eyes closed

3 Steps to Change Old Habits as a Christian Woman

Pray: Stay anchored to Gods truth throughout the year

Keep Scripture in front you thought the day: Each morning, I write out one Scripture in my Abundant Life Planner (affiliate link) and repeat it to myself throughout the day as I check items off my daily plan.

Keep gratitude front and center: Right next to the Scripture, I write down at least one thing I’m thankful for and I’m praising God for. This keeps me praising God, even if my day doesn’t turn out like I plan.

Pray, Pray, Pray: As the year begins, pray over every aspect of your life, including God’s vision for your life and where He’s leading you. I keep those notes in the PRAY section of my planner and review them regularly.

Use Biblical affirmations as a way to point you to truth in tough moments. Start the habit of repeating truth to yourself in hard times, and watch how God transforms your heart and mind in the process.

Keep a list of Anchor Verses that tether your soul to God’s truth and point you to the hope of the Lord when you’re feeling weary.


Plan: Think through and plan your routines and habits

Carve out time to be still and think through every aspect of your life. Take notes and reflect on what habits and routines are working well. Also take note of what is not working well and needs to be tweaked. You’ll have a clear picture of how to move forward and how to change your ways.

Step 1: Grab your planner, paper, and a pen. Try to find a place where you can be alone or a time of day where you have space to think without interruptions.

Step 2: Pray for God’s guidance and direction. Ask Him to show you how to move forward and plan for the year ahead.

I love to work through the PLAN section of the Abundant Life Planner,  which helps me plan through each area of my life and invite God to be the cornerstone of my routines and habits.

Step 3: Reflect on the past year. What is working? What’s not working? What do you need to tweak in your life or routine to have things run a little smoother?

Here are a few things to think through:

  • Daily routines- How are they working and what needs to be tweaked to make life run smoother?
  • Homemaking routines- Reflect on what you’re currently doing and make changes to cultivate a more stress-free home.
  • Finances: What is the current state of my finances? What changes do I need to make to my budget? When will I have time to regularly review it?

Do: Start putting your dreams into action

Step 1Choose your biggest issue and biggest obstacle right now

Start implementing small steps to the habits that will help calm the chaos and bring this struggle under control. Whatever will bring you the greatest _______ (relief, help, comfort, stress-relief- you choose one!), that’s where you’ll want to take action first.

Step 2: Don’t aim for perfection

I know, all my type A friends just cringed a little. But when trying to cultivate new habits, try to aim for “most of the time” or “often”, not 100% of the time. This works for any new habit you’re trying to implement (homemaking, healthy eating, a new budget, etc…), too.

Step 3: Track your progress and celebrate small wins

When you make small progress towards lasting change, girl, you gotta’ celebrate!!

Then, take note of your progress and review the ‘win’ often. You’ll see how far you’ve come and it will encourage you to keep going.


How to Set Goals as a Christian Woman

Know your priorities

If you want to change your ways and achieve lasting change, you have to want it.  You have to be willing to pursue your dreams with reckless abandon, even when your actions seem crazy to others or they doubt your calling.

But more importantly, you need to seek the Lord for strength, endurance, and hope on your journey to lasting change. It’s through the continuous renewal of your mind and surrendering your dreams to Him where lasting change can be made.

It’s important to know your priorities and know where you’re headed. Recognize that you don’t have to (and can’t) do it all.

Evaluating your priorities is key for keeping your eyes focused on the Lord and not obsessing over your goals.

Finally, you’re ready to refine your passions and start setting goals.

Plan actionable goals

In I Corinthians, Paul relates the Christian walk to that of an athlete’s. He had both goals and strategy… and we should, too. Yet, this is the time of year many people set goals only to see them go by the wayside. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

The Pray, Plan, Do Goal Setting workbook is the formula for achieving goals while keeping your eyes focused on the Lord.  This program will assist you in:

  • Setting practical, godly goals
  • Developing a doable, personal plan for achieving your goals
  • Tracking your progress and developing a plan for setbacks and overwhelm

While this program has inspired me to reach my goals and pursue my dreams, the focus is not on me, but on the grace that God has given us all to be able to make lasting changes.

Together with the Abundant Life Planner, the Pray, Plan, Do Goal Setting Workbook will help you rely on God’s strength to break the chains that bind you and hold you back from achieving your God-given purpose.

These life-management tools will help you organize your life, reach your goals, and live on purpose- God’s Way.



Focused perseverance

Nike couldn’t have been more right in their slogan, “Just Do It”.  To make achieving your dreams a reality, get up each day ready to work on changing your ways.  Whether you want to lose weight, start a business, or get more organized, starting is a key factor and there’s no time like the present to take a leap of faith.

However, perseverance and persistence are just as important for those days you want to give up and throw in the towel. There will be times you feel defeated, are filled in self-doubt and want to give up on your dreams.

As you’re taking intentional steps towards change, it’s crucial to renew your mind with God’s truth  and use Scripture promises to encourage yourself to JUST. KEEP. GOING.

Also, in times of temptation and weakness, I surround myself with Scriptures. Likewise, God’s words anchor my soul and provide the endurance I need to keep pressing on, even in those tough moments.


Keeping praying

While the other steps to change are crucial and so necessary, prayer is the most important piece of the puzzle.

Submit your heart, your desires, and dreams to the Lord, and ask for His guidance along the way.

Ask Him for endurance in those weak moments, and self-discipline to keep going when times are tough.

Trust that His grace will cover those moments you fall and stumble, and give you the strength to start anew.

Along the way, your Abundant Life Planner will point you back to God’s Word for the hope you need to keep pressing on towards your goals. 

Friend, as you dream and imagine a better year with a better you, don’t forget that no one is perfect! Your success may not look like everyone else’s, but be thankful for whom God made you to be.  Love yourself on your journey to new habits and embrace the already wonderful things about yourself.  Let progress be your measure of success, not perfection! I believe in you!

The #1 Planner & Spiritual Growth Tool for Christian Women

Friend, I’m overjoyed to tell you that the tools and resources above are just a few of the ways the Abundant Life Planner helps you cultivate spiritual growth and reach your goals- God’s way.

I want you to walk in God’s abundance this year and experience the fullness of a meaningful relationship with Him. And this life-management system makes it oh, so easy to stay rooted in truth in the days ahead.

If you’re ready to take steps towards an intentional life of faith and purpose, the Abundant Life Planner is just what you need to make it happen.

Live on purpose with the Abundant Life Planner

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  1. Love this part: “Submit your heart, your desires, and dreams to the Lord, and ask for His guidance along the way.
    Ask Him for the endurance in those weak moments, and self-discipline to keep going when times are tough.”

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. Yes, your most important point: prayer. That’s the one that I forget, thinking that it’s all about my effort. Thanks be to God that He is available and strong!

  3. I absolutely love this grace-filled post, Sarah Ann! The enemy is so good at convincing us we are stuck for good, but we must believe God’s truth that He will complete the work-in-progress. Thanks for this encouragement!
    Jen 🙂

  4. You’ve really captured the two keys to making real change … inviting God into the process and having some kind of accountability. I love your approach!

  5. These things are SO key to changing… and prayer has got to be the most powerful! We definitely cannot change on our own. We need God’s help the whole way… plus a lot of self-discipline 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this!
    Rebekah Joy

    1. Self-discipline can be so hard and I firmly believe that many, like me, can’t do it on our own. I love living a life surrendered to the Lord!

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