Ahh, the new year is upon us. How refreshing. Look past the overcast horizon and chilly air you might say the future is [fill in prophetic word here]. New year, new goals, new desires, new workout plan, new dress, new tie: new you. Write those resolutions down, ladies and gents ... and then what?
Self-discipline: check. Willpower: you got more than you think. Commitment: scary, I know. These are virtuous faculties and all, but truth is the accumulation of years of practiced habits (good and bad) are not easily tackled in a one-night stand with your conscience.
There's no quick-fix formula for a "new you." If you really want to change your life, change your mind about how you approach change.
We assume it’s all on us. We strive for goals in order to become somebody we think we ought to be. Always chasing after future versions of ourselves. Always putting so much weight on our own actions. Like every decision leads to absolute victory or failure. It can be paralyzing.
Now, I'm all about about personal growth. What are you doing with your life if you're not stretching yourself with new challenges and experiences? What I'm speaking to are our expectations.
Do you have a brighter vision of what your life would look like if you stepped up in certain areas? Maybe you'd like to create more value for yourself at work or in your community? You know what you need to do because it’s already on your heart. Your dreams are your dreams. Go for them, but don’t get hung up on the outcome.
We paint glamorous pictures in our minds about how life should be, only to get frustrated with the childlike images we actually produce. Relax, kid. Give yourself a little grace. As you narrow your focus on the coming year, try not to be so narrow. Take joy in the process and you’ll be pleased with the product.
Who you become and who you inspire others to become in 2016 will be more meaningful than what you do.
A couple weeks ago the pastor of our church mentioned that we are all called to one of two missions throughout the seasons of our lives: you’re either called to be somebody, or to do something. For the past two years I’ve felt the need to perform.
I wonder if there was a transition I missed, or if this is it.
Life is good. Too good not to enjoy. God is good. Too good not to trust. My goal this year is to stop putting so much pressure on the works of my flesh. Stop being self-led and be more Spirit-led. Start believing that God has it all mapped out already. He’s the vision-caster. He's the captain of this ship and his course will be a fantastic voyage.
Go ahead, gain wisdom and insight. Acquire new skills. Take time for personal reflection. But most of all, trust Him.
When the ball drops, don’t think about how you might have dropped the ball in 2015. God’s bringing the celebration. He’s lighting the fireworks. All we have to do is show up and enjoy his marvelous display.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths."
- Updated on Jan. 7 -
Hungry for more? Listen to Kurt Parker's message on "keystone habits," from January 3. If you're not inspired, go eat something unhealthy. I'm sure it'll go away soon.