So here I am, writing my now annual tradition article on how the New Year is really a time of renewal. I have been writing and telling this story for years, because there is an opportunity at the new year, to do more, better, faster, than any other time of year. It really is a time of renewal.
For me, as I look at the coming year, I like to take stock of the prior year (usually done without too much rehearsal on my part, just glancing back); then consider what I would like to do differently for the upcoming year. Looking forward needs to be more intentional than looking back (though for many of you with career goals, it might make sense to spend equal time assessing last year as you will spend planning this one).
If your goals are health oriented, consider why you may have failed at those goals previously, but spend the bulk of your effort figuring out how to plan appropriately for this upcoming year. Let me throw out some memory jogging ideas for you to get you started.
You have been to the gym less than 50% of what you said you would do; you hate working out and need something fun; you cannot control your diet for more than four weeks; you fall off your diets aggressively without maintaining any control; you find yourself doing your diet about 80% of the time (success) but then you will go completely crazy for a month at a time, destroying all semblance of control; you understand that healing comes from a healthy spine and nervous system yet you don’t do your traction, you don’t get your scheduled adjustments and you don’t pay attention to your posture.
The above sounds like an absolute recipe for disaster, and it also sounds like most of our culture. So let’s not dwell on the bad, but let’s consider the good. First off, God surely gives us something internal that clicks on at the start of a new year. Have you ever been on a good team? I am thinking of sports, but it could be something else… but think, GOOD. And this good team suffers a loss, not because the other team or the circumstances were better or greater than your team… but because your team acted uncommitted. Think about how this good team came back in the next game, or next opportunity. If it was good, then you won, or you achieved success.
Every one of us has that same turn-around button. That ability to draw fuel from our failures, and to rise from them. We just sometimes forget to initiate the process. Whether it be that we have grown weary from our challenges, or we have been distracted by life’s simple pleasures (that don’t really reward); all we need to do, is re-focus, and in this case, use the New Year. I have realized from the effort of leading people into this place of growth, that in order to effectively take these steps we really need to first identify the importance, then secondly understand the plan.
If you hadn’t read my short Sprout from before Christmas, take a moment to read it and think about first making sure you don’t hold yourself to goals that will burn you out, or ones that if you fall behind, will make you abandon all efforts. Those will not yield long term success for most. I would also recommend you be specific in your goals, and put them in a place where you can re-visit them daily.
I hope that I don’t really need to go through reasons why your health is important. That would seem like I have been talking to the walls, however a quick refresher cannot hurt. Everyone is dying, we get that. Your mortality is not in question, this earthly life will be over before you know it. There are however things that can be done to enjoy it longer, and more completely while you are here. Cancer and heart disease kill almost 5/6 of our population, and I believe that most of you would agree that neither are the preferred disease of choice. I have seen many people whom I have cared greatly for, die from the two, please don’t be in that stat.
For the rest of your life, well, again… this is it. If you want the most out of your earthly life, then you had better put some effort into it. And I appreciate author Randy Alcorn saying that “this life is just practice for the next life” in his book, Heaven. I can get into that, and it is a good reminder of why it is so important to work hard at this life.
My conclusion to this discussion is to be rooted in the new beginning. You can start over, not because going to sleep one night and waking up the next morning is magical. But because making a decision to change at any given moment is magical. And it just so happens that we are programmed to be able to do it better when the year changes over to the next. I’ll write more about some of the things that I am going to accomplish in 2012 in a future Daily Sprout, and perhaps you can email me your goals and I could write about some of them as well.
For now, know that whatever the goal. We’ll be working to help you starting on Monday night January 23rd at 7PM in our next 40 day makeover. Be well and be blessed!!