Every year, as people set New Year’s resolutions, the YouVersion Bible App sees an increase in Bible engagement. On average, the number of daily active users in January increases by approximately 20 percent compared to the previous month. To help people keep those resolutions, YouVersion has developed different ways to make daily Bible engagement a habit.

We spend a lot of time thinking about how to make it easier for our community to do what they say they want to do, which is read the Bible more,” said Bobby Gruenewald, YouVersion Founder. “Over the years, we’ve added several features focused on developing a habit of reading or listening to the Bible every day, and we’re encouraged to see Bible engagement numbers continue to increase year after year.”

For those making New Year’s resolutions to read the Bible more in 2019, YouVersion offers these tips on how to use the Bible App to do just that:

Tip #1 -Start small.

Give your initial goal an intentionally low threshold to increase your likelihood of succeeding. If you’ve never consistently read Scripture, try starting with reading the Verse of the Day every morning. You can even subscribe to push notifications that will share the Verse of the Day at the same time each day. Once you form this habit, you can build on it as the year progresses. Be careful of biting off more than you can chew so you don’t end up discouraged in a matter of weeks.

Tip #2  – Plan to be consistent.

Set yourself up for success by making a plan and creating space in your schedule to follow through. One great way to do this is by starting a Reading Plan. YouVersion has more than 13,000 Reading Plans in over 50 languages to provide people with daily passages of Scripture paired with devotional, audio, or video content. They span various lengths, from three days to one year, and cover a variety of topics, including marriage, dating, leadership, addiction, depression, healing, and hope. When setting a reading reminder, consider what time of day will best help in reframing your perspective, possibly the beginning or end of the day.

Tip #3 – Track your progress.

When trying to achieve a long-term goal, it can be easy to focus on mistakes. But it’s important to celebrate progress too. YouVersion has a handful of features designed to help celebrate your wins. The Streaks feature tracks the number of consecutive days in the app, and Perfect Weeks tracks how many times you’re consistently in the app between Sundays. Both features celebrate when significant milestones are reached. You’ll also earn badges for activities like creating highlights, bookmarks, and notes or completing Reading Plans.

Tip #4 – Find accountability.

Success is more likely when a solid support system is in place. Identify friends who have a similar goal as you, and commit to cheering one another on throughout the year. With the Plans with Friends feature, you can pick any Reading Plan and invite friends to do it with you. The group will be able to see who has or hasn’t completed the day’s reading, so anyone falling behind can be encouraged. The Plans with Friends feature also provides a space for discussion around Scripture with a trusted group of friends.

Tip #5 – Take the challenge.

It can be easy to get off track. That’s why, at different points in the year, YouVersion challenges its community to complete different Bible challenges. Completing the challenge means earning a celebratory badge. But more than that, it’s also a simple way to renew your habit of reading or listening to the Bible and jumpstart your Daily Streak and Perfect Weeks again. Last February, more than 1.2 million people earned badges for being active in the app for 21 consecutive days. The next 21-Day Challenge begins February 1 to encourage the YouVersion community to engage in the Bible every day. Also, keep a lookout for the Mid-Year Challenge and the Christmas Challenge.

By leveraging all the features the Bible App has to offer, we hope our YouVersion community develops a love for engaging with the Bible daily so they begin to recognize God’s presence in their everyday lives,” said Gruenewald.

Created by Life.Church, YouVersion is on a mission to help people engage with the Bible. The team designs and builds experiences that make it easy for people to integrate the Bible into their everyday lives. Since 2008, the Bible App has offered a free Bible experience that can be accessed on smartphones, browsers, voice platforms, and more. The Bible App for Kids launched in 2013 and engages children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The newest app, Bible Lens, analyzes objects in photos, finds the most relevant Bible verse to match, and automatically creates beautiful, shareable artwork. For more information about YouVersion, visit youversion.com.

Thanks to the folks at YouVersion for writing this article.