Yesterday, er, last year...
I gave you a list of lessons I wish we had learned (but I'm afraid we haven't). I begin this new year with this...
Don't make resolutions!
I know, I should have written this a few day's ago, but come on... it seems the only thing we consistently do with resolutions is joke about not keeping them! Soooo, here's a simple way to make a New Year's plan that you just might live up to...
1. List a few things about your life you would like to be different a year from now. Cathy and I have a running joke about the word "few." For some reason I grew up thinking it meant "two." She always corrects me and tells me it means "three or more." Either way, KEEP YOUR LIST SHORT!
2. Think long-term and act short-term. We have a niece who decided, at age 37, to run a half-marathon. Someone who runs all the time would not consider this a big deal, but she had never been a runner. She completed that race last January, but she had to put in lots of miles preparing. In other words, she had to set aside time and overcome the regular temptation not to run. It took literally hundreds of little actions to accomplish her long-term plan.
3. Find an encourager. Up until the Fall of 2006, I weighed about 30 pounds more than I do now. Cathy asked me at the time to join her on a diet. I said okay, but kicked and screamed all the way to the first day. After that, we daily talked about what we were doing and why. I never could have changed the way I eat without her encouragement. One of our cultural fallacies is that you can be whatever you want and do it all yourself. You can't. You won't. Find people who will help you.
4. After you are "in the groove," take occasional breaks. Someone said it takes 30 days of doing something to make it a habit. Make sure you have "burned in" your new way of living. Then take a day off here and there, with full plans to return to your new life the next day.
5. You will fail sometimes; forgive yourself and get back on track. I was talking with a friend who has some experience with addictions and addicts. He said, "It's not a matter of whether you will relapse; it's when. Then it's whether you will get back on the wagon again. If you keep getting straight after your failure, you develop a long-term victory over your addiction."
My New Year's Plan is to continue the daily habit of writing this blog. In addition, I have started an encouragement blog for people from our church who are reading the Bible through this year. Finally, I am considering a plan to read at least 50 books this year, but haven't settled on it.
What's your New Year's Plan? I would love to hear about it.