Ultimately, every change you want tot make in your life, no matter how “big” or “small,” boils down to every individual choice you make. My wife loves this saying: “How you do anything, is how you do every thing.” In other words, the way you approach the little things in life is how you will approach the big things in life. And this is never more true than when it comes to how we create change.
In 2014 I’m eager to shed a few pounds and get back in shape. My new job is pretty stationary and I’ve reclaimed some bad habits around eating too much, working out too little, and generally not taking very good care of myself. The result has been some weight gain, a loss of energy and even my sleep has been affected. For all the great events and changes of 2013, my overall health has taken a hit.
I’d love to drop 15-20 pounds tomorrow, but barring a horrific accident involving my rear-end falling off, I’m not losing that weight in a day. That shouldn’t be too surprising, since it took a lot longer than a day to put the weight on. The weight came on little by little, choice by choice. My overall health experienced decline over the last 12 months because of hundreds choices that I’ve made along the way. Choices to sit instead of get up and exercise. Choices to go back for seconds…then thirds. While none of those choices were individually responsible for a turn in my health, all of them collectively contributed to the problem.
In the same way, all of the choices I make in 2014 can contribute to changes that will improve my health. In one sense, each individual choice won’t make the difference; I won’t lose 20 pounds, reclaim my energy and sleep better with one good choice. However, in another very real sense, each individual choice will make all the difference -- If I put a bunch of good individual choices together, the results I’m after can be a reality.
So I need to start seeing every choice as a crucial cog in the mechanism to reach my goals. I can sit here and wish all day for good health to come back to me, but if I don’t make the little choices to bring about some change, all my wishes and good intentions will result in 2014 looking a lot like 2013.
What about you and your goals? What little choices do you need to start making to see your dreams and goals for 2014 take shape? If you know what changes you want to see in your life, what daily decisions do you need to make to see them become a reality? Take some time to review your goals and dreams and then next to each one think through the choices you will want to make in order to see those dreams take shape. Next to those choices, list the actions that those choices will require.
Here’s an example based on my health goals for 2014:
- Return to the habit of taking great supplements twice a day: Take first pack in the morning with breakfast; put second pack in my pocket so I have them with me at dinner.
- Work out 4 x week: Write out on calendar each Sunday night, the 4 days I intend to workout; use 1-hour lunch time to sneak in a 30-minute work out at least 2 x week.
- Eat a low glycemic meal at least 1 x day: Work with Traci to create the menu each week; look on the calendar each week and plan ahead for travel, work meals out and other opportunities to create wins (pack good snacks in to work and in the car so I can try to eliminate those moments where I’m starving and tempted to stop and eat anything that’s nearby and fast!)
Now it’s your turn. Lay out your goals (ie. “Improve my health”). List some choices for each goal (ie. “Return to the habit of taking great supplements twice a day”). Then write down the action steps you need to take to make those choices, and ultimately your goals, a reality.
The Overboard Life is based on the reality that by the grace of God, you and I have the capacity to make big changes in our lives. Left to ourselves, we’re in trouble, limited to our own strength, ideas and knowledge of the future. But in God’s hands we have His limitless resources and can find ourselves secure in Him, knowing He knows the future. That freedom makes it possible for us to be changed into who He wants us to be, so we can do what He wants us to do. Change is possible because God makes it possible! Goals and dreams can become reality, because God has given us the freedom (in Him) to make them a reality!
So what are you after in 2014? Ready to start working on becoming the parent God wants you to be? Ready, with God’s help, to make your marriage work? Ready to start obeying God’s Word to “honor your father and mother” in 2014? Do you have health goals? Business goals?
Go ahead and take the plunge -- life is always better on the water!
This is part 3 of a 4-part blog about the New Year. My wife and I are tag-teaming to create these special blogs, so be sure to read part 4, tomorrow, at www.tracicast.wordpress.com. If you missed parts 1 and/or 2, just click here to read them: Part 1 // Part 2