Posts Tagged With: New Year

Simple Steps For Successful New Year Resolutions

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It’s that time of year again when we think about the changes we’d like to make in the New Year to come. What does 2017 hold in store for you? For the most part, that’s up to you.

While setbacks, difficulties and life storms are inevitable, the one thing we can do in making better lives for ourselves is to improve who and what we are. After all that’s what most New Year resolutions focus upon. Traditionally, some of the most popular resolutions over the past two decades have included things such as: weight loss, getting in better physical condition, or improving our financial situation.

For 2017 I have 6 resolutions which all flow from the same word:

CULTIVATE

I hope to cultivate more knowledge within myself.

I hope to cultivate new lasting & mutually beneficial relationships.

I want to cultivate new muscle growth in my body.

I hope to cultivate the seeds of faith in others.

I hope to cultivate a love for healthy lifestyles in all my friends and in everyone I meet.

I want to cultivate a closer relationship with the Lord than ever before.

 

Here are Nielsen’s stats from 2015 in % of persons polled & their resolutions.

Stay fit and healthy 37%
Lose weight 32%
Enjoy life to the fullest 28%
Spend less, save more 25%
Spend more time with family and friends 19%
Get organized 18%
Will not make any resolutions 16%
Learn something new/new hobby 14%
Travel more 14%
Read more 12%
 

It appears that as a populous we’re already aware of several things that can improve our quality of life. And yet, every one of these resolutions needs a good plan on how to go about making it happen. Let’s dig into our brains for a bit and see if we can delineate the steps we will need to take in order to implement a positive change. So let’s just look at the first popular resolution listed, and then we can apply the same principles to any New Year Resolution.

There are many questions we can ask ourselves to give us the best chance of succeeding. The first is rather obvious: Why do I want this change? Deciding why will help us to envision the answer to our second question: If this improvement comes to pass, what is it going to look like? (Envision it) And a good question for number three is: How will it affect others? Or, can this benefit other people as well as myself?

Don’t forget, if we are going to be successful we need to set some goals, and in doing so we remember all the things that did not work in the past. Then we brainstorm to come up with new and innovative methods that will work for us as individuals, taking into account how well we know ourselves, our proclivities and our idiosyncrasies.

For instance, in 2017 as I do my best to get into better physical condition, past experience has taught me that I will be more successful if I have a partner to constantly challenge me and keep me doing more. That’s something I need, and so I’ve set to work searching for someone else with the same resolution to partner with. Finding the right person is a smaller goal to help me reach my bigger goal of becoming more fit than ever before. Another thing I’ve learned is to set a time each day when I will do my exercises and stick as closely as I can to that schedule. That’s another small step or goal towards the big one.

Using our example let’s look at some other questions to give us ideas on the types of questions you may want to ask yourself concerning whatever your resolution happens to be.

How will my diet change? Do I have a plan for that?

How can I educate myself with the nutritional knowledge I don’t yet have?

Have I been maintaining a good circadian rhythm in my wake/sleep cycles? Past experience has taught me the profound role that sleep patterns have upon overall health, appetite, energy levels and metabolism.

Yes, you already know what needs to be done in order to bring your resolution to successful perpetuation. Only now, you’ve begun to think about the things that are important if you are to actually make it happen.

TIP: Draw out a goal map.

All the Best to You & God Bless You in 2017!

 

Categories: Christian Living, Self Improvement, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Year Enlightenment

What was your New Year’s resolution 25 years ago?

Do you ever go back in time, in your thoughts, and listen to the words of your much younger self? It can be very enlightening. Sometimes I have to chuckle at the younger version of me. I recall billing myself as a “survivor” at twenty-five years old, before I’d experienced the depths of danger my future years would entail. Even though my statements back then may have presaged the fact that I would indeed live through several life threatening and harrowing ordeals, I had no way of knowing that at the time.

Now 57, I understand how blessed I am to have the Lord looking out for me. Maybe if I live to be a hundred and ten I could then rightfully say I’m a survivor. Yet, now, I know and acknowledge the fact that still being alive has more to do with God’s will, than it does my own capabilities.

Oh the inexperience, pride and naiveté of youth! But increasing in wisdom as time lapses should not cease simply because we’re older now. Looking back at my past, I can certainly see how I’ve matured and learned a lot since then. But what about the future me? Will I look back at this very moment and chuckle at the present me? How much wiser will you and I be in another quarter century than we are right now? It’s a humbling thought.

Imagine how much wisdom a man or woman would have been able to amass previous to the world-wide flood, before God cut down mankind’s lifespan. Some people lived for over 900 years! Back then, I imagine a person under a hundred years old would be considered immature. Of course, the passing of time does not automatically ensure an increase in knowledge, though, perhaps it should.

I like the old adage that says, “If you want to make God laugh just tell Him your plans.” The Lord must have winked at our childish ways many times before He allowed us the small taste of wisdom we enjoy today.  The wisest and oldest among us are but children in our thinking compared to God.

In light of these things, I find it comforting that the Lord leads and guides those who submit to Him. In His omniscience He always knows the right course of action we should take. He knows all and sees all. That, and God’s love for us are good reasons to do things the Lord’s way.

I’d be apprehensive to hear what kind of label God might put on me, the way I had labelled myself a survivor. However, the best way we can ensure a good review from our Heavenly Father is to trust Him at all times, and in every circumstance. Which translates to: follow Jesus closely and seek His counsel in all things. That’s the wisest thing we can do.

My New Year resolution this time around is simply to trust God more, to realize my own ineptitude without Him, and to submit to Christ in every circumstance life throws at me.

So far, I’ve survived all the times I spoke and acted out of ignorance. Yet, looking back there is evidence that I’ve increased in wisdom, because I never would have made that statement when I was twenty-five. Praise God for watching over and protecting you and I from our own lack of understanding.

I hope you’ll carefully consider God’s wisdom, and His love for you. I also pray that this New Year you will resolve to study the bible more than ever, and continue to grow and learn from His wisdom. Have a Very Happy New Year!

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