Friday, 16 March 2018

2018 NWAG Scholarships For Female Nigerian Students

The Nigerian Women Association of Georgia (NWAG), a non-profit organization based in Atlanta Georgia is offering scholarship opportunities to Female Nigerian students who wants to pursue an Undergraduate program at any Nigerian Universities.

This scholarship will be awarded to 37 females, one per state including The Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

Application Deadline

The application deadline for this scholarship program is on 30th May 2018.

Eligible Countries: Nigeria

Type: Undergraduate

Applicants must be Nigerians.
Applicants must be Females.
Applicants must have completed their secondary school education
Applicants must have excellent results from previous educational programs.

Application Process: Interested applicants are advised to download a PDF application form here. or a Microsoft Word document application here

The following are required during application:
Proof of State of Origin - Letter of Origination from the university or a letter from your local government office.
Two Letters of Recommendation from any two of the following: Church Pastor/Mosque Imam, Village Head, Local Government Chairperson or one of your Lecturers.
One Letter of Recommendation from either the Dean of your Faculty/School or your Head of Department.
Photocopy of your current university student identification card
A current photograph of yourself
An explanation of why you need and should receive the scholarship (not more than one-half typed page).
A type-written, double - spaced, two-page Essay on: "Women are marginalized in leadership positions in Nigeria. Position yourself as a woman activist and propose how you can advocate for women rights in government positions, challenge early/child marriage and gender discrimination"

Completed forms should be submitted alongside required documents


Via regular mail to:
P.O. Box 14542,
Georgia - 30324,

For More Information Visit The Scholarship Webpage.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

International Essay Contest for Young People

This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

This program is an activity of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

“The Change I Want to Make”What is the one thing you would like to change the most to make your school, workplace, community, country or the world a better place? How would you bring about that change?
Please share your concrete ideas.

1. Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of June 15, 2018) in one of the following age categories: a) Children (ages up to 14) b) Youth (ages 15 - 25)

2. Essays must be 700 words or less in English, French, Spanish or German, or 1600 characters or less in Japanese, excluding essay title and cover page. Essays may be typed or printed.

3. Entries may be submitted by postal mail or online.

To send your essay online, you must go to the online registration page and follow the required steps. 
This link will be activated soon.

4. Entries submitted by postal mail must include a cover page (free format) indicating
(1) category (Children or Youth) 
(2) your essay title
(3) your name 
(4) address 
(5) phone number 
(6) e-mail 
(7) nationality 
(8) age as of June 15, 2018 
(9) gender 
(10) school name (if applicable) 
(11) word count.

Teachers and youth directors may submit a collection of essays from their class or group. Please enclose a list of participants' names, ages and the name and contact information of the submitting teacher or director.
* Entries missing any of the above information will not be considered.
* We are unable to confirm receipt of essays.
5. Essays must be original and unpublished. Plagiarized entries will be rejected.
6. Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
7.Copyright of the essays entered will be assigned to the organizer.

If you have questions, please consult the FAQ section.

Deadline Entries must be received by June 15, 2018 (23:59 your local time).

The following awards will be given in the Children’s category and Youth category respectively:
1st Prize: Certificate, prize of 100,000 Yen (approx. US$880 as of January 2018) and gift ... 1 entrant
2nd Prize: Certificate, prize of 50,000 Yen (approx. US$440 as of January 2018) and gift ... 2 entrants
3rd Prize: Certificate and gift ... 5 entrants
Honorable Mention: Certificate and gift ... 25 entrants

* 1st prize winners will be invited to the award ceremony to be held in Tokyo, Japan on November 23, 2018
and will receive the Minister of Education Award. (Travel expenses will be covered by the organizer.)
* Additional awards (Recognition for Effort, Best School Award, School Incentive Award) will be given if applicable.
* All prize winners will be announced on October 31, 2018 (Japan time) on this website. Certificates and gifts will be mailed to the winners in December 2018.
* We are unable to answer individual inquiries concerning contest results.

For further inquiries concerning the International Essay Contest for Young People, please contact

Organized by

The Goi Peace Foundation
Endorsed by

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Japan Private High School Federation
Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nikkei Inc.
Supported by

Essay Contest 2018 Flyer (PDF)


Simple Guides As UTME Begins On Friday

JAMB 2018 is set to begin on friday 9th of march 2018 as promised, but before you get into that hall, I want you to adhere to this simple guide if you don't want any disappointment on your day.

Below are the simple guides you will surely need;

1. Make sure you arrive at your center an hour before the commencement of the exam.

Arriving an hour before the exam will be of great help simply because you will have to do your thumb print which will take a whole lot of time due to the number of candidates.

2. Take the original copy of your printed slip to your examination hall and give it to the invigilators in charge.

Make sure you give the original copy of your JAMB slip to the invigilators in charge else it "might" be recorded that you were absent for the exam.

3. As stated by JAMB, do not take any pen/biro to the exam hall, only pencil will be allowed.
Make sure you do not bring any pen or biro to the hall but you are free to bring only your pencil to calculate anything in the hall.

4. Do not bring any electronic devices like Mobile phone, wristwatch etc.
5. Make sure you verify your biometric by thumb printing.
If you do not verify your biometric before entering the hall, then you will be considered absent for the exam.

I wish you all success in your exam.

Source : AdmissionTipz

Wednesday, 28 February 2018



Application Deadline: March 12th, 2018

Course Level: Scholarship is available to Secondary School and University Students

Study Subject: Available for all programs

Scholarship Award:

Nationality: Nigerians

Number of Scholarships: 5 Scholarships are Available.

Scholarship can be taken in Nigeria

Eligibility for the Scholarship: Must be in a Nigerian School.

Eligible Countries:
Only Candidates from Nigeria are eligible

English Language Requirements
: Applicants are expected to be proficient in both written and spoken English.

Scholarship Essay Topic:

"Write a 300 word essay explaining why you deserve this Scholarship and what you will do with it".

Submit 300 Words of Essay and proof of enrollment school to on or before March 12th, 2018.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

It's okay for boys to be emotional as well.

''Why will I give you a hug? Am I gay?"
"Why will you tell me you love me? Are you a woman?"
''I can't be that nice, am a guy"

Fostering different emotions holds a lot of advantages for health as adults, research has shown. 

However, it appears we are starting to realise this a little too late. Notably, there is a significant lack of emotional diversity in children, especially young boys. We often box them unnecessarily in shackles that will do them no good when they become adults. These same shackles, we try to break off when they become adults, but it turns out difficult for them and for us to let go as it appears quite often, that we have only managed to shine light on only one part of the emotions they’ve been blessed with, their anger. We leave other emotions vulnerable. 

We do not teach boys to love and feel loved, to feel compassion, empathy, kindness, etc. Emotional expression by all genders holds great benefits beyond psychological health benefits, unlike emotional suppression that comes with dire consequences.

Teach your boys that it is okay to cry, to say I love you, to give a hug once in a while, that it is okay to show emotion.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018


Having haters is a part of life. Hate comes in a variety of forms and can come from friends, family members, coworkers, classmates, associates and even random internet trolls.

Haters are the ugly side of success. If you have anything going for yourself, you’ve experienced hate. Whether you are intelligent, thin, curvy, in a relationship, single, have kids, or love your job, you are going to have haters. You hear the snide comments, see the random side-eyes, read the hateful comments under a social media post. You feel the tension when you try to discuss a recent win with a friend and then you find out that there are people dogging you behind your back.

Most people will tell you to just ignore your haters. They say that it’s just a part of life that you have to learn to deal with especially if you plan to do big things. And while that is accurate and sound advice, there is a way to turn some of your haters into friends.
The magic of asking for a favor

The quickest and easiest way to turn a hater into a friend is to ask them for a favor. It’s a well researched psychology technique called the Ben Franklin Effect. When you ask people who dislike you to help you out, it shifts their perception of the relationship and makes them view you as a friend instead of a foe.

Favors are for friends. You don’t usually do a favor for an enemy or someone you deeply dislike. It all has to do with cognitive dissonance. According to cognitive dissonance theory, there exists a tendency for people to establish consistency in their beliefs, values and opinions. When attitudes and behaviors become inconsistent, dissonance occurs.

The brain needs to eliminate the dissonance. The brain behaves as an outside observer. It continually watches and evaluates your actions and then contrives explanations for why you do what you do. Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. So, in this case the reasonable belief is that favors are for friends. When you ask a hater for a favor, you create dissonance and the hater has to change their perception of you in order to perform the ask and eliminate the inconsistency.

Asking for a favor is also a subtle form of flattery. It levels the playing field in their mind. It also makes the hater feel admired and respected. They then not only want to help you but will also begin to see you differently. The hate dissipates.

Turn haters into friends

Asking a hater for a favor requires humility and a bit of thought. The favor should be something small enough that it is easily performed but not so trivial that it seems more of an insult than a favor. This means that you should consider the strengths, weaknesses, intellect and ability level of the person you are asking.

If it’s someone you don’t know, keep the ask simple. Borrowing some change at the vending machine or some other small item, asking them for assistance with an app on your smartphone or asking them to recommend a restaurant or other establishment are all great favors to ask for.

When you make your request, remember to ensure it sounds like you really need the favor and value the person’s help. Keep your tone humble and your body language open. And be sure you express your appreciation and gratitude for their help.

This technique is not just for haters. It works well with people you may not know well such as a colleague, mild acquaintance and even your secret crush. The simple action–making a small and reasonable request–can be the catalyst that transform a hater into a friend.

Experiencing hate as you work to become your best self is inevitable. Turning every hater into a friend isn’t a practical goal but you can befriend some. Simply humbling yourself, and asking for assistance in the form of a favor, is the first step in changing them from foe to friend.


In a world that’s fast-paced, the concept of procrastination is becoming more and more detrimental in our lives. Persistent procrastinating is often synonymous with the idea of laziness. It creates a feeling of failure or stress that we’re unable to get things done in an efficient way.

But we all do it. We’re all united in our ability to avoid difficult tasks in favour of something more easy or enjoyable. For some of us, it’s become more of a habit and something we’re aware that we need to change.

Whether it’s fear of failure, overwhelming feelings, avoidance or convincing yourself you’re just too busy to get something done, you can improve your ability to be productive and start eliminating your procrastinating ways.

1. Locate your procrastination triggers

If you find you’re really putting something off day after day, it might be a good idea to identify the source of your procrastination.

Ask yourself why.

Understanding your feelings behind your avoidance can help you move past it. Perhaps it’s lack of self-confidence, fear of failure or it’s just too intimidating.

Identifying the reason and shifting your mindset can really help you get back on track.

2. Simplify anything complicated

Overthinking and perfectionism is a massive catalyst for procrastination. When the goal is important to us but fear comes to the fore, our mind starts complicating it as a way to keep us from it.

We put things off because we’re waiting for the perfect moment to start or when a situation changes, but know this is just an illusion.

The perfect time is always now.

Don’t let your mind over-complicate anything. If an excuse comes up tell yourself it’s not true. It’s always much more simple to get on with achieving your goal than you think.

3. Break things into bite-sized pieces

A lot of the time procrastination comes from overwhelming thoughts.

If something feels too big to tackle and we don’t know where to start, it feels like a struggle. This is also true if our goal is too vague and lacking direction.

Break down larger tasks into smaller ones and turn them into daily or weekly goals. Smaller steps may seem like the slower approach to achieving a goal, but it often leads you much more quickly to where you want to be due to the powerful momentum you get going.

4. Do the difficult stuff first

Even if you feel you’re not a morning person, the beginning of the day is when your brain is most productive. Use this window of time to get the more difficult stuff done.

If you leave your difficult tasks to later, you’re much more likely to put it off because you’re tired and lack motivation.

Finishing lots of simple tasks at the beginning of the day such as reading all the new emails only gives you a false sense of being productive.

5. Take planned breaks

Our brain isn’t designed to work continuously on the same task and this could be a reason for procrastination.

Make sure you take regular, structured breaks away from your task so that you can come back refreshed and ready to be more productive.

6. Reward yourself

It’s really important to acknowledge and reward yourself for achieving even the small tasks. It creates a sense of motivation and releases those feel-good, productive emotions that spur you on to achieve even more.

Make your reward proportional to the task you completed so getting a bite-sized task done gets you a cup of your favourite coffee or snack. Then plan a weekend away or fun activity for the bigger stuff.

7. Re-clarify your goals

Much of the time procrastination tendencies form simply because we’ve outgrown our goals. We’re ever-changing and so are our wants in life. Try looking over your goals and ask yourself if they’re still what you want.

Take time out to regroup and ask yourself what you really want to achieve:
What steps do you need to take?
Is what you’re currently doing reflecting what you want?
What do you need to change?

Write things down, scribble them out and rewrite.

8. Create a timeline with deadlines

It’s common to have a deadline for a goal which seems like a good idea but this is basically an open invitation for procrastination.

If it’s a self-created deadline with no pressure, we tend to justify pushing it back each time it comes into sight and feel we haven’t yet done ‘enough’ to get there.

Create a bigger timeline then within that, establish deadlines along the way. The beauty of this comes when each deadline completion is dependent on the next. It keeps you on track and keeps you accountable for being in alignment with the overall timeline.

9. Write out a to-do (and a not–to-do) list each day

Writing things down is powerful and psychologically increases your need to get things done.

Each day, make a habit of creating a list of the tasks you know you’ll try and avoid.

By doing this, it brings these ‘difficult’ tasks to your mind’s attention instead of keeping them locked away somewhere in your avoidance mode.

Remember, think how satisfying and productive it feels to cross of a completed task.
Change your habits and your mindset

Procrastination exists for many reasons and only we know for ourselves what these triggers are. Understanding the source of your avoidance tendencies is important in moving them out of the way.

But mainly understand that just creating a few new habits and integrating them into your daily life will help start the productivity momentum. Shifting your perspective and mindset towards your goals is key to becoming that productive, successful person you know you really are.

Monday, 12 February 2018


Reading is a profound human ability, and its one that doesn’t receive enough attention these days. We expect everything to come to us quickly, and information is no exception. At this point, most people are scrolling and surfing instead of actually reading. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, around 26% of adults in America didn’t pick up a book at all in 2016.

When we mindlessly scroll, we aren’t learning in the same way that we do when we read. Avid readers experience decreased anxiety when they get lost in a book, and reading builds empathy. There are plenty of reasons to crack open a book on a frequent basis.

Reading doesn’t have to be a slow process. If you think that reading is too time consuming, you might want to give speed reading a try.
You can read 6 times more books if you know how to speed read

When you speed read, you can take in significantly more information than the average person. A recent study suggests that the average adult can read about 300 words per minute. Proficient speed readers can read around 1,500 words per minute. For those of you keeping score at home, the speed reader is able to consume five times as many words as the average adult. There are a few anomalous individuals who can read even more.

To put that into perspective, let’s say that the average book is around 100,000 words long. The average adult reader will spend approximately 5.5 hours reading a book of that length. A speed reader can complete the same task in about 50 minutes. This opens up significant possibilities for the speed readers to take in a book every day with a commitment of less than an hour, or 7 books per week. The average reader will only be able to enjoy 1.27 books per week if they read for an hour per day. At the end of the year, the speed reader could read over 365 books, while the average adult will complete 66.18.
These are the techniques that fast track your reading

Speed reading does take some practice, but you can start reaping the benefits of this reading method almost immediately.

1. The table of contents should be the first thing you read

We skip over the table of contents far too often when starting to read a book–especially if we intend to read the book in its entirety. The table of contents is a reader’s roadmap through the book. Since speed readers aren’t fixated on absorbing every word, knowing the big ideas of each chapter primes their brains to take in the information.

You wouldn’t head on a road trip without consulting a map. Reading aimlessly makes as much sense as driving without reading road signs. Sure, you can get through a book without looking at the table of contents, but you’re more likely to lose focus or waste time wondering about structural questions that could be answered with a quick look at the front matter.

If you need to know specific information from the book, the table of contents can tell you which chapters are relevant. This lets you skip over parts that aren’t pertinent to your research.

In some cases, the table of contents doesn’t offer much detail, or the author might use it to entice you to read more. Taking a quick look at the first chapter or two can offer you insight into how the author structures their work if the table of contents fails to give you clues.

2. Always read with an intention

After you identify the subject of the chapter, you’ll need to keep a question in the back of your mind. Asking, “What is the author trying to tell me?” is a great way to frame your thoughts. Your brain will work to figure out the answer to this question as you read.

When you read with a purpose in mind, you’ll be able to process relevant information and filter out extraneous material.

3. Identify the author’s point of view and read just enough references to understand

Books generally contain references to other academic works to support their standpoint. By taking a look at what the author chooses to cite, you can learn a bit more about how he or she will formulate their key points. This information can guide your thinking as you speed read.

Glancing at the references doesn’t mean that you need to stop to read through every note or source. References that merely reaffirm what the author says will quickly become monotonous to read. You just want to get the general idea. After you have enough information to make sense of the material you won’t gain anything extra by continuing to consume the same information.

Think about reading the way you think about eating. Just because the buffet is full of all sorts of delicious options doesn’t mean that you have to eat all of it. Just like you stop eating when you are full, you can move on from the references after you have enough information to understand the concept.

4. Never read aloud (or in your head)

Reading aloud is great for developing fluency in emerging readers, but it is a surefire way to slow you down. When kids read passages out loud in school, it’s for a specific purpose, but it’s unnecessary in the context of speed reading.

When we read passages out loud, our brain has to work a bit harder than when we read silently. The act of reading uses the same parts of your brain whether you read the information aloud or reading it silently. The major difference between silent reading and reading aloud is that the act of speaking requires your brain to take an extra step.

Brocas’ Area is the part of the brain associated with turning the thoughts in your head into meaningful expression through speech. Wernicke’s Area is responsible for comprehension. If you can minimize sub-vocalization and reading aloud, then you can eliminate the extra step of having to read and comprehend speech in Wernicke’s Area and then vocalize it in Broca’s Area.

When we read aloud, our brain not only sees the words on the page, but it also goes through the trouble of hearing the words and producing speech. We really don’t need to vocalize what we are reading to understand it. The extra steps can slow us down significantly.

You might have noticed that sometimes when you read aloud, you might have trouble comprehending what you just read. It may even be necessary to re-read the same sentence so that you can confirm that what you saw and spoke are in true alignment.

When you apply the third technique in this list, it becomes even more impractical to read out loud. That method requires you to consider chunks of information larger than sentences. When you are working through books paragraph by paragraph to identify the author’s perspective, having to go line by line to produce speech is a waste of time.
Speed reading is like enjoying the garden view instead on focusing on every single petal

When we read at a leisurely pace, it gives us a chance to appreciate words in a different way. Think of reading line by line like stopping to appreciate a beautiful flower garden with a magnifying glass or spending thirty minutes examining a piece of artwork three inches in front of your face. You might think that you need to look that closely, and you may see some incredible things, but you’re missing the totality of the scene.

Speed reading gives you the opportunity to look at the big picture so that you can see how many kinds of flowers there are or how different brush strokes combine to make a cohesive image. When look at the big picture, you can extract more meaning from what you see.

Instead of wasting time focusing on the petals of a single type of flower, you can enjoy the whole garden. Applying speed reading comprehension techniques makes it possible for you to extract more of the big ideas from the things that you read. You not only get more information from every book that you read, but you get to enjoy more books along the way, too.

Culled from


This is to inform all candidates who have been offered provisional admission in the 2017/2018 UTME / Direct Entry admission exercise that the admission list is now available on the admission portal of the candidates on

Candidates who have accepted / printed their letters of admission are advised to pay a non-refundable acceptance fee of Thirty-Five Thousand Naira only (N35, 000.00) using the approved payment mode.

The payment portal will open from Tuesday, 13 February 2018 to 6 March 2018.

Candidates whose admission has been approved, but yet to be accepted are advised to proceed to Jamb Portal to accept the offer on CAPS. They cannot pay the acceptance fee until they have accepted and printed their admission letters.

Information on clearance will be released in due course.

For further enquiry / clarification, please call 08144110703.



Sunday, 4 February 2018


Yes, you’ve got new friends, you really want to impress them, you go completely out of your way to make them reciprocate the love. I understand how smoothly and easily sweet-sounding achievements are made up in the course of conversations, the lists of countries you have visited on holiday is just never-ending, your father’s property matching up to Solomon’s of the Bible – It’s alright. We’re all guilty of this regardless how trivial the lie.

Quick question, have you settled on a date to come out clean from all the green lies. Unfortunately, it is practically near-impossible to edit the early chapters of your seemingly perfect relationship replete with lies. It is on this dirty foundation of exaggerated assets and perfection that the disturbing state of ‘’Fake Life’’ is borne.

Baby trust me, you do not want to be caught in a lie. Hehh!! It won’t be funny. You will either have to successfully make your friend believe his subconscious is gathering information from the wrong places or you will instantly be dubbed as a liar or worse, depending on the gravity of the lie you were caught up in and how your friend takes it. Whether there is an outright physical reaction to this or not, the certainty of a mental reaction cannot be debated– things will not be the same, except of course by prayer.

What do I think you can do? It has just registered that you are in a mess and the unrepentant part of you just wants to believe that life’s circumstances will cause you to leave that friend in no time and hence no need to stress the issue. Man, kill that thought right away - there’s no wisdom in it. Be reminded how tiny this world is and how high the tendency is for you to get married to his or her sister or brother and have his or her father as your doctor. The noble thing to do is the nearly-impossible thing of retracing your words in all honesty. Explain the unexplainable reason for all the lies. Your respect will come as it should, your mind will be at rest. Your relationship is now on honest grounds even though not so solid anymore. Over time, you will be glad how well your relationship will overcome this snag and then this episode will be an inside joke to you guys. Get ready for the healthy taunts.

Thursday, 18 January 2018



Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) is an initiative of Poets in Nigeria (PIN) designed to stimulate creativity, promote literary excellence and broaden the concept of intellectualism among Nigerian undergraduates. Since inception in 2016 at the Students’ Union Building, University of Ibadan, the prize has received over 1000 entries from students drawn from over 100 tertiary institutions, cementing its place as the nation’s foremost poetry platform for students.

The 3rd edition of the prize opens for submissions from 15th January to 28th February, 2018. Building on the success of the 2017 edition of the awards ceremony hosted by University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC), winners of the 2018 edition will be awarded in May at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Previous winners of the prize include Noah Oladele (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), Chinelo Nwangwu (University of Ibadan) and Chisom Okafor (University of Nigeria, Nsukka) in 2016; Bakre Fadil Adedamola (University of Ibadan), Ajah Henry Ekene (University of Benin) and Bona Solomon (University of Ibadan) in 2017.

Aside rewarding the top three entrants who also double as prize winners with a total cash prize of ₦300,000, the top 100 entrants will be featured in a globally distributed anthology.


1st Prize – ₦150,000

2nd Prize – ₦100,000

3rd Prize – ₦50,000
The 2018 edition of the prize is sponsored by Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu.

Open to all Nigerian undergraduates studying in Nigeria and the diaspora.
Entrants must be from a recognized tertiary institution.

Submissions are to be made at, with strict adherence to the instructions thereon.
Poems must be original, intellectual property of the entrants.
An entrant is entitled to a single entry of 30 lines maximum.
There are no fixed themes.
Entries submitted must be previously unpublished. A submission discovered to have defaulted on this rule will be automatically voided (inclusive of winners).
All entrants are expected to purchase either one or both editions of the anthology of the top 100 entries uploaded on the submission portal.
Under no condition will the judges’ decision be challenged.
Entering for the contest gives PIN automatic right to make use of entries as deemed appropriate.
Entries must be written in English. Native terminologies must be translated in English as footnotes.
Entrants should subscribe to for regular updates.

For enquiries,
contact the moderator – Phone: +2347034847164; Email:

Submission Deadline: 28th February, 2018

Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

Moderator, NSPP 2018

Monday, 1 January 2018


Amazingly, it’s that time. A new year, right on schedule — again. This is the time of year so many of us start making resolutions to change a certain area, or multiple areas in our lives. Maybe we have some extra pounds to shed. We might be committed to changing a specific, harmful behavior. New Year’s resolutions range from simple desires to seemingly full-proof-plans for extensive life change. What we all have in common is the hope that something will change, and life will be different (and better) in the year ahead.

Every year, people ring in the New Year with goals to live life differently on some level. However, a few short weeks later, many of these very same well-wishers end up discouraged and filled with shame and remorse over their failed attempts to make their resolutions come to pass. Who knows? This may be the second, third, fourth, or 15th year someone has tried to “kick the habit.” After so many misguided attempts, why would they even want to try again?

That’s a good question. First consider a few additional questions…
What if every spring, the flowers just gave up on blooming?
What if the local birds that have migrated to some faraway place just decided to stay put on that tropical island?
What if the sun chose to hide behind the clouds all summer long?
Worse yet: what if Christ had not come to earth as a baby or hadn’t risen from the dead?

I don’t know about you, but I sure love fragrant flowers, sweet singing birds are pretty nice, and, oh, how I love that summer sun smiling down on me, but the thought of a Christ not defeating death is downright terrifying. Without His resurrection power, we really would have no hope for permanent life change — ever.

However, He was born. He died. And He most definitely did rise again.

That means this year, this month, today, or even this moment, is filled with hope for a better future — in Him. We don’t have to white-knuckle it anymore. Whatever your “it” might be, you too can turn from your sin, and release it into the capable hands of the ultimate Life-Changer.

When we desire change, we have the perfect example to follow: Jesus Christ. When we are ready to implement change, we have the perfect guide book: His Word. Finally, we have the perfect power source to strengthen our resolve: His Spirit.

As we pursue change God’s way, hope for a better future is no longer a dream; it becomes our reality. We truly can experience freedom in our lives today, tomorrow, and forever. With Christ, we don’t have to wait for another New Year to roll around, or for the big glittery ball to drop in Times Square. His mercy is new every morning. We can pursue our own new beginning right now.

FREEDOM is an acronym that will assist you as you start your new journey. For it is in our relationship with a loving, redeeming God, where we will find the freedom we so desperately yearn for.

Follow Him forward:

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus…" (Romans 15:5).

We are to follow Christ. As we pursue Him and seek to imitate His ways, we move forward in our process of change. No more slip-sliding backwards. When we truly follow Jesus, we are on the path that moves forward and upward, one prayer at a time.

Repent readily:

"But if they repent of their wicked lives, I will think twice and start over with them" (Jeremiah 18:9, MSG).

When we repent, God will think again and start over with us. A new beginning… exactly what we are seeking. When we admit and repent of our shortcomings, and sinfulness, God is faithful to forgive and make us white like snow. Clean. Fresh. New. Don’t wait another moment — repent.

Earnestly Pray:

"Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere" (Ephesians 6:18, NLT).

Prayers are incredibly powerful. They are the foundation for any life change we desire. As we earnestly pray, we will find ourselves empowered by the one true power source. There is no better time to pray than right now. Let us pray persistently, remaining alert, and consider our Christian brothers and sisters everywhere. After all, we are on this journey together.

Enjoy the journey:

"Then Hannah prayed: 'My heart rejoices in the Lord! Oh, how the Lord has blessed me! Now I have an answer for my enemies, as I delight in your deliverance'" (1 Samuel 2:1, NLT).

As we travel down the road of renewal, receiving answers from God along the way, we will have a number of reasons to rejoice. Many times we are so focused on the destination, that we forget to enjoy the journey. When we take a road trip, even though the driving might be daunting, dangerous, or just plain boring, if we take the time to truly see the unique beauty of the surrounding landscape, we may discover the journey can be enjoyed almost as much as the destination. Enjoy God’s journey. He has planned a perfect path just for you.

Devour His Word:

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

God’s Word is the ultimate food for our thoughts, nourishment for our souls, and the map we must follow on our journey down the path of new beginnings. We know when our stomach growls, it is a signal for us to nourish our body with food. So it is when our spirit's “growl,” we need to dive into God’s truth and devour His words like the sustaining substance they were created to be.

Open your heart and mind to His truth

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5).

In order to grasp God’s truth, we need to pray for an open heart and an open mind, in order to better receive the truth, know the truth, and obey the truth when we hear it. Be prepared to hear the Lord speak. He will.

Make new friends and move mountains:

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:12-13).

As we walk in godly love for one another, by forgiving, encouraging, and helping, we will find the strength to do what one person alone could never, ever accomplish. We need the power of the Spirit, and the power of each other. Together, we can move mountains! Often, our new beginning and long sought after freedom rests just on the other side of the highest peek. But together, we can make it through the roughest terrain. We were never meant to “go it” alone. Jesus had 12 disciples. He knew the value of loving and supporting relationships. Let us learn from His example.

As we’ve discovered, change can be challenging, but this New Year, as we journey together down the road to freedom, let’s stay focused on the One guiding us: Christ.