Every year I like to make a commitment. I begin each year with a fast for 21 or 40 days (for biblical reasons) and then choose something to commit to for the entire year. Several years ago I oesave up soda for the year and one of the most enriching experiences was reading the Bible through in a year.
Here’s how to commit to a lifestyle change for an entire year:
- Break it down. You don’t run a race by looking at the finish line the entire way, you envision the finish line but look at your destination in steps. When I trained for the Music City Half Marathon I found it super helpful to look at where I was running next. Up the hill. Past the table. Get to Mile 10. Each step along the way was extra motivation to help me keep going so I didn’t get overwhelmed by the 13.1 miles I needed to accomplish.
- Pursue with passion. This probably goes without saying, but it’s an important reminder. Passion is essentially your excitement in your endeavor. Be positive and work hard to accomplish your small goals. And just choose to be excited about it, even during the tough times.
- Rest often. Many people try to accomplish too much and burn out. Jesus rested in the middle of a storm to give us an example. Even when chaos is happening, take time to rest. Maybe you need to simply unwind or maybe you need a deep sleep. Choose your rest wisely and schedule it in your calendar if you need. I find it often helps to write down every single thought in your head on paper or Evernote so you can rest without being overwhelmed by your own mind.
- Spend time in Scripture. As a follower of Jesus, I spend time with Scripture daily. But I’m not always intentional about it. Make sure you set aside time to read, reflect, pray, and listen. Again, you may need to schedule this in your calendar. Mark it as a Meeting with Jesus and don’t be late!
Some examples for you to consider doing are:
- Give up soda
- Spend intentional time with each of your kids (I’m doing this one each week in 2016)
- Read a new book each month
- Write a daily journal
- Read Scripture in a year (I recommend the Eat this Book plan on the Bible App which includes a daily Psalm)
When it comes to goals and lifestyle change, the real reason I choose to set and accomplish them is because they stretch you. Don’t be afraid to fail. And don’t be afraid to succeed. God honors those you commit and do whatever it takes to stay committed through the year. You can do it. God is with you and He is for you. Trust in Him, Lean on Him, and above all commit to honor Him with your lifestyle change.