How will this year be different than any other? Here’s a thought for you as you get your first week under your belt: Make up your mind, along with your list. What do I mean? Let me explain.
Year after year in America and around the world, people make lists of resolutions concerning how they want to change or be different in the new year. But slowly, little by little, the excitement wears off and life slides back into old patterns. Life will not give you what you want or dream of. Instead it will give you what you are willing to take and settle for. What will it really take for this year to be different? May I make a few suggestions?
Make a list of things you really want to do/become in 2015 but keep it simple/memorable.
To be honest, one of the reasons we do not keep our commitments is because we simply forget what we want. If your list is short and memorable, you are less likely to forget. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a lot of things that need to change. Take a couple things at a time and work on those and then with success, move onto something else.
Write it down and post it where it counts.
Put your list in front of yourself often. That means on a mirror or fridge might be the best place, since most of us visit those places at least once-a-day. Writing it down and seeing it in your own handwriting is a great reminder and accountability practice.
Give yourself achievable assignments and goals.
Set milestones, landmarks and deadlines. Celebrate each benchmark with zeal and evaluate each setback with honesty. Whatever happens, don’t stop until you reach your goal, no matter how great the struggle. Don’t make your goals so hard and impossible that you could never reach them…instead but realistic and celebrate the progress. Be committed to progress not just success.
Make up your mind that no matter what, you will not quit.
To allow room for quitting, opens the door for the possibility. Set your mind each day to accomplish the goals set before you. Take each step seriously, if you don’t you won’t make it. But don’t be so serious that you forget to celebrate the small steps along the way.
There are certain words and attitudes that must be eliminated from your vocabulary if you want to achieve your maximum potential: “can’t” is one of those words. Make your list of negative words and get them out of your mind and heart and then press on. Also realize that there are going be many things that will serve as justifiable “excuses”…don’t settle for or accept anything that will prevent you from your overall goal. Inevitably some things will pop up and demand your attention so be creative in how you adjust. Flexibility and creativity need to be your greatest assets.
Know that ideas don’t change people but practice does.
Just get started…move the idea from out of your head and into your life. Adapt and adopt the change. Start practicing what you want and it will come…eventually. Far too many people have great dreams and ideas and hopes for their lives but that’s as far as it gets. Why not determine that 2015 will be the year that you actually move those ideas into reality?
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and the Creative/Mission Pastor with New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA.