Did you make any new year’s resolutions? If so, how’s that working for you?
If you are like most people, right about now you’ll start floundering. Mid-January begins to feel like a heavy lunch on a warm day. Sluggish.
- We begin to lose fervor for our resolution.
- We begin to see our goals as illusions.
- Our good intentions grow thinner with each day.
Does that sound like you at all?
New Year resolutions go unresolved because we often don’t take them seriously enough. We then give up. Many times we try too hard to fulfill them on our own, and don’t ask God for help, or family and friends for support.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1, Solomon the wisest man ever, says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”
This year, the Lord has been writing this in my heart’s wall:
“There is a time to turn bad habits into growth, and this is your time. Be deliberate.”
Deliberate = intentional
Taking that cue, I wanted this to be the year I make momentous resolves, and followed through with them. This has led me to make three resolutions.
But for starters, I must rely on the Lord for strength and stamina. Also, I must ingest the well-known saying below, until it becomes second nature:
“NO PAIN, NO GAIN.” “NO PAIN, NO GAIN.” “NO PAIN, NO GAIN.”
Gain almost always drags its partner, Pain, along. So to GAIN something important, there must be a trade off with some kind of sacrifice, or PAIN.
For me, I would like to see growth in the places sluggishness has found a comfy home.
But to break bad habits, we must make sacrifices, and we must be deliberate. I was already digesting this when I read on Facebook about a young lady I personally know, who lost an enormous amount of weight in one year.
It was a tremendous accomplishment! She is now being rewarded with better health, plus she feels better, and looks fabulous!
How did she do it? She made a plan, she stuck with it. She was DELIBERATE. She knew it would take one step at a time and one day at a time to reach her goal. She knew she had to face a cost, she had to SACRIFICE by exercising and changing her choices of food. She relied on God for her strength and success, and had plenty of support.
Because of this, she was successful and is now enjoying the fruit of her sacrifice.
Those who persevere, who do keep their resolutions, and work hard for their success. Those are the folks that can look back with gusto rather than discouragement.
The word sacrifice = cost-plus-discomfort no matter how you look at it, so get used to it.
Breaking any kind of habit takes a real desire, a resolve, commitment, and sacrifice.
“Be deliberate,” God impresses on me, “plan to be successful.”
My resolutions are: To improve my character, to change my inner clock, and to lose 30 lbs. this year. Each of these need ultimate dedication, and require sacrifice.
I am already attending two Bible studies. One on the book “Unglued,” and the other on the book “Safe People.” Both of these books are great character builders. “Safe People” not only identifies destructive character traits in those around us, but also helps us focus on our own destructive traits. I am already focusing on my weight, but for this post, I will concentrate on my inner clock.
I have been a night owl as long as I can remember. Working from home accentuates that; there’s no set time to start work. My inner clock comes alive with energy and creativity in the late afternoon, and this can last into the wee hours. I don’t necessarily like this retrograde timepiece in my body, but it is part of me.
A decade ago, I reluctantly woke up at 4:30 am to make it to work before 6 every day. I tried to be in bed by 9:30 every evening, but even then, I often had to take a nap immediately after I got home around 3:30. I thought for sure that getting up that early would become a habit since I did it over six years. But, when I quit that job, my inner clock went back to its default setting, mainly because I allowed it to.
Because my clock runs backwards, I have a very difficult time rising and shining with the sun. For me, seven o’clock in the morning feels like the crack of dawn. This has always been a point of conflict for me. It isn’t like I cannot wake up that early, it’s that I feel lousy and sluggish, and drag through the entire day when I do no matter how long I do it for. It feels like 4: am, and it is, when I compare it to how much sleep I get. If I make up my mind to get up at 7 every day, it would be terribly challenging at first.
Of course, I would have to start with a plan:
Go to bed earlier, start with 15 minutes each day.
Then get up 15 minutes earlier each day, until I can comfortably reach my goal of 7 am.
Once I reach my goal, I need to stay consistent with my bedtime.
This does not sound that difficult, but it does take a lot of determination and will power for someone who has struggled with it her whole life.
That first week or two, I would be dragging and crabby. I would have to tell myself over and over and over that this is for a good cause, to reach my goal.
Once I reach my goal, I would feel great; the temporary ‘boot camp’ would be well worth it.
That young lady’s huge accomplishment has greatly inspired me.
Compared to the tremendous accomplishment of losing a great deal of weight, going to bed earlier, and getting up earlier seems like such a puny thing, it’s almost embarrassing.
I have to remind myself, and you, that in order to find success, we must:
- Pray, ask God for help and learn to rely on Him.
- Be deliberate.
- Make plans to be successful.
- Stay focused on THE goal.
- Breaking habits takes time and sacrificing.
- Sacrificing hurts, but brings gain.
- Love yourself through the hard times.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Take one day at a time.
- If you mess up, don’t give up.
- Forgive yourself for your failures.
- Learn from your past failures and regrets, but don’t let them consume you.
- Seek support from family and friends.
- Make sure your resolutions aren’t too unrealistic for your situation.
When you feel like giving up, remember:
Keep asking God for His strength everyday.
God gives us only one day at a time so it is okay to advance only a little bit each day.
You do not have to accomplish your goal all at once. In some cases that would be impossible.
If you force yourself to be unrealistic with your goals, the habit will most likely not be broken, just postponed.
Set your goal on making some kind of headway each day.
Even the tiniest of headways count.
If you fail one day, don’t beat yourself up for it for goodness’ sakes. We have enough we already bully ourselves over.
Recognize that your setback is not fatal, find out what set you back, and try not to let it beat you out of your goal.
And by all means, DON’T LOSE TRACK OF YOUR GOAL!
I hope by this time 2015, you and I will be able to look back at our resolutions with victory.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2014 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.