Hello again and hello 2020!
As the clock struck 12:00 am on January 1st, my thoughts turned once again to what would God have me do in this new year. As a regular practice, I embark on a 21 Day Fast each January to gain spiritual direction for my life and career. I abstain from meats, sweets and all the things I consider to be treats. The idea behind this is that when my body craves these things, I will lean into prayer and focus more on the Word. Over the years this practice have been quite beneficial to me.
So here I am on week two of my fast and God has been good. He is already showing me that He has to be my number one priority. Matthew 6:33 comes to mind again, " But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
So here are my top 5 Steps to Becoming Your Best Self this Year!
1. Get in the Word.
Set aside time each day to read a passage from Scripture, pray and meditate. It is the best way to start your day. There are so many issues coming at us each day that we need a solid foundation to be able to withstand. My husband and I were both hit with that awful flu virus last week. We did not see it coming, but like with all other of life's inconveniences, we never see them coming. Let us commit to build upon our foundation of faith this year and go further with God.
2. Plan Your Week Ahead of Time.
" For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? " Luke 14:28.
We typically enter a New Year with dreams and goals and some never get accomplished because we did not have the discipline to make a plan. I always encourage my coaching clients to create a vision board each year because I have seen how beneficial it has been in my own life. However, that is just the first part. We have to make action plans and smaller goals to accomplish our big dreams!
An effective way to do this is to take 15 minutes on Sunday nights to write down the tasks you want to accomplish that week. These tasks should support your BIG goals😊
3. Personal Development.
Set an aggressive goal to develop and up-level your skills this year. Anything that is not growing is dying. Is there a skill you have been meaning to develop, a class you have to take, a workshop you have been putting off? Let this be your year! On my vision board I set goals for the numbers of books I want to read, conferences I want to attend, and courses I want to complete. I believe because I was intentional about my plans, I was able to book my first conference for this weekend ( seeing Oprah on her Vision 2020 tour in Charlotte, yayyy!!). I have been reading and listening to books and podcasts and have one course lined up per quarter to complete.
A scriptural reminder for us all comes from Proverbs 22:29, " Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank."
4. Mind Your Relationships.
We are all involved in relationships. It does not have to be with a spouse or a mate. We manage numerous relationships including our kids, parents, siblings, peers, friends, bosses etc. This year, make a conscious effort to give quality time to your relationships. I personally struggle with spending more time with my friends. For this to happen, it has to be on my calendar. I have been doing better, but it still takes effort. If you are a leader, work on showing more empathy to your team. If you are an employee, you may work on being more supportive to your supervisor. If you are married, institute a date night each week and resolve not to break it! We all can improve in our relationships. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34
5. Healthy Diet and Exercise.
This may have been stated last but is by no means least. All the things I mentioned above will not materialize if you are unhealthy. One thing I love about the 21 Day Fast at the beginning of the year is that it resets my relationship with food. If I can go without sugar and meat for 21 days, then I can certainly cut back when my fast is over. And I usually do. " Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? " 1 Corinthians 6:19.
This year, place your health among your top 3 priorities. Move more, as Tony Robbins implore us to do, "emotion is created by motion." You do not have to join a gym to move. You can walk briskly or go for a jog, depending on your current health. Whatever you do will be better than nothing at all.
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