Ten things that can change the outcome of the next 365 days of your life.
Maybe 2014 was not particularly a great year for you. Many road bumps and of course some moments of respite and triumphs. Whatever the case there is amply reasons to be thankful.
Life. Health. Hope.
It is my hope that these 10 simple (and somewhat cliché nuggets) will impact your life meaningfully if you DO them.
- Trust God more. Fear of the unknown or past failures have a way of dictating our next steps if we let them. But you must make the decision to trust God more, especially about the unknown. Doesn't He know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10)? Who better to trust? Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust is the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Why? Because of Jeremiah 29:11. Trust God for something big. Really big. Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, They see the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep. — Psalm 107:23–24 (NKJV)
- Pray more. Pray about everything and anything. Once a friend sent me a card that said, “God is not too big to be concerned about the small things in your life and He is also not too small to deal with the big things in your life”. Make it your aim these 365 days to spend quality time with God alone and with other people who hold Him dear. Talk to Him. Then listen to Him. He said to call upon Him in times of trouble and He will show us great and mighty things we do not know.
- Be grateful everyday. Bad things will happen. So will good things. Life is like that. Can’t explain why but it seems to give balance and meaning to things depending on how you look at it. Either ways, you must learn to focus on the good. Learn from the bad but come on, that should not rule your day. Make it a daily goal to find specific things to be thankful for. How about you start with the fact that you are alive? That you can read this article right now? That there is one person in the world who loves you. Yes, loves you! (1 Thes 5:18)
- Be positive at all times. I can guarantee you there will be a reason nearly everyday of your life to throw in the towel, get bitter, seek to get even, pick a fight. But that is not how you want to spend your day if you want to make the most out of it. Focus on the positive things that happen to you in the midst of all the undesirables. Find reason to steer clear of negativity. David had good reason to feel betrayed and bitter when his own people wanted to stone him. But he chose to encourage himself in the Lord and as a result he got his victory (1 Samuel 30:6). Your positivity will not only keep you out of depression and a downward spiral but will also lift up the people around you. Come on, be positive. The people around you need you to be.
- Give. Find things to give- money, clothes, food, shoes, time, talent. Do something for free. Volunteer some hours a week or a day to help a cause or someone who just can’t pay you back. “Cast your bread upon the waters and you will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1) The sense of gratification that emanates is simply inexplicable. Try it. No, not the excuses. You've done enough of that already.
- “One thing I do”. Pick one thing to do everyday. Just one thing. It should be the singular most important thing that will move your life, career, marriage and/or education forward significantly. Then break it down to tasks and finish them off one at a time. Do same for the entire year. Where do you see yourself after 365 days? Dream it, map it out and then do it one task at a time. (Phil 3:13). Not sure where to start? How about what you are passionate about?
- Get rid of excuses. That will be your worse enemy. Make a pact with yourself not to tolerate any shred of excuse from yourself or the people around you. Push yourself. Find a way. Find a reason. Find a solution. Find it. Make it happen. Get it done. Period. Can you believe this man could not get healed for 38 years because he always had an excuse? Don’t be like him (John 5:6–9). Get up and walk. NOW!
- Major on your strengths and minor on your weaknesses. As you grow you appreciate that human imperfection is universal. You are not the only one with some inherent setback. Those who make it and get ahead focus on their strength. That is your natural propelling engine. Use it! It will get you places. Spend time developing your gifts and your craft. And whatever you do cultivate the right attitude. If Moses had dwelt on the fact that he was a stammerer and shied away from his call, we would have known so little of him that we would actually scorn him. The widow had only a jar of oil. Moses a staff, David a slinge, Peter no formal education. You have a weakness so what? You have more than enough to go on. Let your strenght drive you.
- Nurture healthy relationships. I can’t emphasise this enough. If you are going to get far, you need a network of people who believe in you, will hold you accountable, will draw the best out of you, will support you in hard times. I am talking about family, friends, confidants, business partners. People who hold dear the things you hold dear. People who can see you for who can be and will not allow you to settle for less. Identify such people and nurture such relationships with jealous care. (Ecclesiastes 4:11, 12)
- Have FUN. Take time to relax and do something fun — read a book for pleasure, watch movies, travel, spend time with kids, pamper yourself.
Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. — Ecc 2:24 NKJV
If you cannot take the time to be happy, then why are you troubling yourself at all? (Ecclesiastes 2:24) Have fun. It is your right. Take time to create fond memories. Do the things your heart desires.
A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22 AMP
Please have fun. It is 365 long days ahead. We can all use a good relaxing moment every now and then.
These ten things will definitely make an impact on your life if you DO them. Did you plan on doing something else this year? Why not share with us all?