Each year it amazes me how fast the year seems to go. I understand academically the year did not pass any faster than any other year that I have lived through, but when a year is jammed packed with major events, good or bad, it seems to make the year pass faster than usual.
The celebration of consumerism in American jolts us from one holiday to the next without allowing us to come up for air. The day after Valentines Day the St. Patrick’s decorations come out.
The day after St. Patrick’s Day, July 4th decorations emerge. Twenty-one days later the generic fall decorations arrive and three weeks after that the formal Thanksgiving decorations are placed with care with the sound knowledge that Black Friday will begin before we have a chance to digest the turkey from the day before!
Finally Christmas arrives chased by New Years and you guessed it, the day after New Years the Valentines Day push starts the cycle all over again.
Just the other day Jennifer Hudson danced across my TV screen singing a very awkward jingle that sounded like it had been created en route to the set about how she can smile now that she has smaller arms and legs.
Although the jingle itself did make me laugh, I understood where Jennifer was trying to take us! Each of us has to find our own “smile factor.” Whether your goal is smaller arms or a bigger savings account, start building now for the New Year and the new you.
New Years resolutions have people flooding into local fitness centers signing contracts for workouts that will never be used, school enrollment increases and even in my own business we see an increase of adults wanting to complete their GED but by February the thrill is gone and so are many of these once eager clients.
Dear readers, if it is your true desire to make a permanent life change start right now and trust that God will honor the integrity of your heart and help you do what you can not do by yourself. Here are a few helpful tools to create a successful new you as we embark on the New Year.
1. Be honest. While you may not be one for formal resolutions please know that there is SOMETHING you can afford to put some significant effort into improving.
If you don’t think so ask your extended family, They are generally very helpful in pointing out flaws that can use fixing. Just because you do not write a resolution does not absolve you from your responsibly to improve.
2. Set goals that are realistic. There is no way to safely lose 50 pounds in 30 days. Creating unrealistic goals will only lead to disappointment and provide an excuse to give up entirely.
3. Separate the “good” goals from the “God” goals. Remember that God already has a plan for your life and intentionally doing or planning things in opposition to His Divine Will will only frustrate you and lead to ultimate failure even if the devil allows you temporary success to cause you to stray further from your destiny.
4. Write down the final goals that you set. Having a written list increases accountability and helps you to keep the goals in front of you all year, not just January
5. Set goals that are measurable, tangible and intangible. If the goal is huge (such as losing 100 pounds or raising $100,000) break the goal up into smaller, more manageable segments and celebrate along the way.
Remember also that some goals you can’t touch physically, these are the intangibles. Joy, peace and a closer walk with God is worth more than money in the bank, but if you can have both – go for it. Resist the urge to place “stuff before Spirit”.
6. Pray about your goals daily and ask God for Strength. God is more than able to help you to start and achieve your goals.
7. Give God the Credit. We are only where we are because of the grace of God. Once you begin to be deceived into thinking that you made everything happen you show openly are the most deceived of all. God loves you and He wants you to have a great New Year!