It’s January and everybody is embarking on some great new adventure. Many of my clients ended last year talking about new ideas, new goals, and big dreams. It is exciting to coach women on the road to extraordinary living; yet, I find that I spend just about as much time coaching them on developing a correct faith perspective as I do on reaching their goals. Biblically speaking, what you think governs what you say and what you say determines what you will do and have.
Extraordinary living requires that your actions flow from the outworking of pure faith. But here’s the catch, you can’t actually live an extraordinary life without aligning your thoughts with the word of God. So in the spirit of the New Year, here are a few resolutions you can declare to get you on your way to aligning your faith, words and actions. Let’s make 2014 your best year yet.
Resolution 1: I will be willing to change. It is okay to change. Your life right now is the sum total of decisions that you have made. Regardless of what has or has not been done for you, you have the power to make a choice. You can’t always control your situation, but you can control how you respond. If something isn’t working, be willing to make a change. You have the power to change and the permission to do it. If things are not going as you want them to go, take responsibility and start making some different choices. Forget about yesterday and start fresh today. Living an extraordinary life doesn’t just happen, it takes deliberate action. “Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13 -14
Resolution 2: I will choose my advisors wisely. Well meaning people will always offer you advice, but you must learn to keep it in perspective. Sometimes their advice isn’t based on experience, but good intentions. Recognize that sometimes your dream is bigger than their experience and imagination. Listen and heed the advice of those who have traveled the road you’re on successfully. Learn to separate encouragement from strategy. If you want to live an extraordinary life seek advice, guidance, and counsel from those who live one. If you want to develop a powerful prayer life take counsel from someone who prays and gets results. The truth is you might need a coach, mentor, or trusted advisor. Decide now to invest in yourself and your future by connecting to those who can truly help you move from ordinary to extraordinary. Seek help, advice, coaching and mentorship from those who can help you rise to the next level. “Counsel in the heart man is life deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5
Resolution 3: I will take care of myself. This is not a narcissistic forget everybody else in the world mentality, but the reality that you serve others best when you are rested, focused, and refreshed. As a mom of four, I can attest to the fact that my children were somehow much more beautiful after I had spent a day at the spa or having quiet time in the library. Take time out for yourself without guilt. Let it be your time to recharge and realign yourself with the Father. It’s not so much what you do; but that you do it intentionally and that the activity refreshes you. “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Resolution 4: I will be positive. Positivity gives you a wider perspective and opens your mind up to opportunities. Negativity has devastating effects on you. It creates anxiety, fear, and doubt. Not only that, but negative people have a huge impact on your energy, joy, and most of all your momentum. So be deliberate in the guarding of your thoughts as well as the company you keep. Extraordinary living doesn’t come without enduring some level of hardship, but choosing to be positive pays big dividends. Life doesn’t always seem perfect, but you have a perfect God on your side. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Resolution 5: I will take incredible action towards my dreams and goals. Faith without works is dead. That just about says it all, but this year resolve to take action. Do something more than talk about it. My clients will often say, I ‘m not sure if I should do this… or if I should do that. I remind them that work produces purpose. Your deliberate action shows a commitment which gains the attention of heaven. You must believe God will help you. You must understand that you don’t have to be perfect, but that you can continue to improve over the course of time. It is the fear of not being perfect that often keeps us from even starting, but don’t let the desire to be perfect keep you stuck. This year resolve to start. Start small. Start knowing that you can change, refine or even refocus as you gain wisdom. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase. Job 8:7.
Resolution 6: I will accept help. This is a special one because women often have a lot on their plates and want get it all done. The tendency to set incredible standards and then try to accomplish it all alone can lead to frustration, disappointment and discouragement; not to mention exhaustion. The truth is you don’t have to do it all or all by yourself. Learn to graciously accept help from others. Remember that God cares enough to send people to help you. You’ve prayed about it now embrace it. Over the years, I’ve also learned that accepting help truly expands your influence. So whether its help in your home, help with a project at work or help with the kids remember that your ability to expand your influence is multiplied when there is someone else on your team. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9
Resolution 7: I will share my gifts, talents, and resources with others. God has tied tremendous blessings to giving. Although the principle is simple: give and you will receive; here’s a paradigm shift, it‘s not just your giving in church that God blesses. Giving to others, organizations and worthy causes is important. So, decide this year to give. Take a step of faith and give outside of your normal circle. Don’t worry about the amount you give just do it from the heart. In fact you may find that in addition to monetary gifts, there is a need for the gift of your time and talent. All giving has value and adds value to the lives of others. People need what you have and the world waits for you to release the fruit of your extraordinary life. Remember you are blessed to be a blessing. “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38
So, which of these resolutions will you choose for the New Year as you embark on extraordinary living? I’d love to hear your comments.