January is a time for new beginnings. It’s a time to start a new season of life. It’s a time when your vacation days renew and your winter coats come out. It’s a time when you’re heading back to school and when you’re ready to get back to work. It’s a time to remember the past twelve months and prepare for the next twelve months. And, it’s a time to make and implement change.
The New Year has always been a great time to make some real changes. It’s hard to get away from the hype of New Year’s resolutions this time of year. Personally, I think New Year’s resolutions are a great way to hold yourself accountable to make changes in your diet, exercise, schedule, career, schooling, habits or personal life. Change is a great thing. Without change, we would not be where we are today. We would still be focusing on the past and not preparing for the future. We would still be helpless individuals in need of a savior. We would not be able to better ourselves or change each other’s lives.
We are all constantly changing individuals. That is how we are designed. Our bodies are always breaking down and becoming stronger or weaker. Our minds are always being challenged to make us stronger or weaker. Our circumstances and desires push us towards changes of strength or weakness.
The result of change is up to you, your attitude, and your approach.
If the outcome is to become a weaker individual, allow the circumstance to win, each relationship to fail, and new habits to become old ones. Allow the past issues in your life to take control of new opportunities. When it comes to changing the diet, allow the cravings to win. When it comes to changing your exercise habits, allow the schedule to fill up. Needless to say, it is much easier to allow the changes this coming year to change us toward weakness. You practically have to do nothing. Give zero resistance to changes and weakness will follow.
If the outcome is to become a stronger individual, then the change will be hard. You will have to push yourself beyond a comfortable point to make a change that is worth it. It could be a diet change that is tired and tested right before that habit is created. It could be a routine of exercise that is struggling to be implemented because of weekly schedule changes. It could be a habit that will just not stick. It can even be a relationship that is being tested frequently to better both individuals.
We have to hold ourselves accountable in every situation in life. In life, it always comes down to you and God. We cannot blame others for changing us to the point where we cannot be changed again. We cannot become paralyzed by our past to the point of not being able to change our future outcomes. Change is a good thing when it is implemented, tired, and acted out.
Here are eight practical steps to assure implementing the changes that you want to make this next year:
- Find two broad areas that you want to change
- In each area, pinpoint three specific things in each area that you want to change
- Write out the specific things on paper
- Breakdown “Why” you want/need to make a change
- Share your desire to change with an accountability partner
- Write three specific steps of action to make changes (daily, weekly, monthly)
- Check-in with your accountability partner weekly
- Count the small victories and use them as momentum to further victories
I say all this because change is inevitable and we all have a choice when we desire a change, suppress the desire or act quickly.