Welcome to 2014! Day one. Are you ready? Do you have the “everything is fresh and clean” feeling that usually comes with the new year? I hope so! I hope that you can feel it so that it’s easier for you to start strong! It’s not that you can’t start strong if you don’t feel it, but it’s often easier if you do.
Whether or not you feel it, I have some encouragement for you. Well, what I hope to be encouragement. More like suggestions for helping you not crash and burn on your resolution. Take what you find helpful and leave the rest. This is not a dictatorship.
1. Begin your day with our Savior. I don’t know that this can be exaggerated enough. I know you’ve heard it a million times. Know why? Because it’s important! It sets the tone for your day. It shows God and it shows you Who and what is most important. I begin my mornings with the Hello Mornings challenge (when it’s in season). Groups are available for encouragement and accountability in the time with the Lord. Many devotionals can help with this also. Sometimes it’s just nice to wake up, open your Bible, and read. He will meet you where you are.
2. Make a plan. It’s one thing to say that you want to lose weight, it’s something different to actually do it. Write it down. Have a date by which you want a certain goal met (ex. if you want to redecorate your house, write which room by what date). Then write down what you need to do to make your goal by that date.
3. Put it on the wall. I think this would be fun with a chalkboard wall and big beautiful letters. No matter how you post it up, make sure it’s somewhere that you will see. Every day. If your goal is to floss every day in 2014, a post-it on the bathroom mirror may suffice. I’m going to put the word GRACE in a frame over my dresser.
4. Tell a friend. There’s nothing like accountability to help you continue going.
5. Do something. Every day. Do a task each day to help you reach your goals. If you do nothing, nothing is likely to happen.
6. Turn on the tv. Or open a book. Or go on a walk. Do something fun, relaxing, that has nothing to do with your resolution or goal.
7. Spend time with your family. And your friends.
8. Turn off the tv. Get off the sofa. Put in some work.
9. Learn discipline. This one is the most difficult on this list (beside number ten). The more good habits you get into, the more discipline you learn, the more freedom you have. (ex. if your goal is to read the Bible in a year, read your passages for the day. Even when it’s difficult. Keep reading. That’s how you learn discipline.)
10. Show yourself some grace. This does not mean, it’s okay to quit. It simply means, you are not the devil because you had that slice of cake during your diet. It means that you need to forgive yourself then continue stronger, remembering the guilt you felt was not worth it. I understand this because I have failed before, but He is grace.
There you go! Everyone has made their lists of resolutions or chose their words to define their years. This does not have to be like last year, or the one before, or the one before when you – just like everyone else – made it two weeks into the year before failing. This year can be different. New. Happy New Year!
What is your word or resolution for the year? Which of these ideas do you find the most challenging?