2014 Resolutions

Happy New Year!!!

These days it seems that most people do not want to make New Year’s Resolutions because they are afraid of failure.  Come on Chicken Little; you can do this!  Get a head start on achieving your New Year’s resolutions with these 7 tips:

1. Set goals. Create a plan.                                                                                    Aim for nothing and you’re bound to hit it every stinking time. Don’t just say you are going to try to be healthier, read your Bible more, improve your relationships, stretch your brainpower, and get better at your job (this includes stay-at-home folks).  Talk means nothing without goals and a strategy. How are you going to do this? What foods will you minimize or eliminate from your diet? How many times will you exercise per week and for how long? What’s your daily Bible plan?  How can you improve your relationship with GOD? With others? What will you do to improve your leisure and work habits?  “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed,” Proverbs 16:3.


2. 
Write down your resolutions.
This is not an exercise in silent prayer. Put your resolutions down on paper and place it where you can reference it easily (maybe on the fridge or bathroom mirror on a sticky paper).  It needs to be written and visible.  “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. … And the God of peace will be with you,” Philippians 4:8.

3. Do it for YOU.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.  Reading your Bible daily just because your pastor, friend or someone else (ME) wants you to is NOT a reason to make that resolution.  Wanting to be healthier, both physically and spiritually, is a good reason. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 1 Corinthians 6:19.

4. Find an accountability partner.
Studies show we have a 75% greater chance of being successful if we find a buddy. That doesn’t mean you have to create the same resolutions as your accountability partner (even though this can be helpful), but it is easier if you are side by side striving with someone. You’ll lift them up in a time of need, and they’ll lend you words of encouragement when you call saying you feel like calling it quits. Think of this as an opportunity for each of you to inspire the other and keep each other sharp. “As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another,” Proverbs 27:17.

5. Evaluate.
Take time periodically to see how you are doing? You may want to record your Resolutions progress on a calendar/chart or in a journal.  Even small changes can add up to a lot during the course of a year. (Example:  The 20 minutes of exercise that was so hard becomes easier, your energy improves and you can increase to 25 minutes, etc.)  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” 1 Corinthians 10:31.

6. Be flexible.
Even though you have created a “plan,” learn to be flexible. For example, let’s say you miss a few days of reading your Bible.  Don’t beat yourself up or give up.  Just pick back up and go again. If you are running on the treadmill and your knee hurts. Well, change it up–go low impact and ride a bike. Or if you incorporate a veggie that upsets your stomach–then find another one of equal nutritional value. Don’t punish yourself for making changes.  Roll with the punches. “I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual” (The Message, Matthew 12:6). 

7. Keep going.                                                                                 Mickey Rooney said, “You always pass failure on the way to success.” Ultimately this is not a one or two month change, this is a year-long change that hopefully will become a life-long change. Even though you’re deciding to begin on the first day of the “New Year,” this is a year-round change. Don’t get overwhelmed, but keep yourself from thinking it’s just temporary thing. Then you’re free.“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will,” Romans 12:1.

Next up, I will be talking about The AMAZINGRACE 2014. We begin January 7 & 8 with Jeremiah. I can hardly wait!!! Invite your friends to join us!

You’re the BEST!!!

Mary

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