It is a brand New Year and there are some things on the bucket list. Some persons call these resolutions. I don’t. Here is why.
Resolutions are simply, things that you decide to do or not to do. These are things that you try out for the very first time or you attempt to redo because some or all of it fell through the first time you tried. You never got past the 2 week mark in the New Year of “I am going to the gym to help me to lose weight or I want to start a savings account.”
Here is the thing. For the most part, resolutions lack accountability. And sad to say, many persons lack the discipline or the commitment that is required to keep up with New Year’s resolutions. They are good at making them but never keeping them! So hey, let’s face reality, it is exactly why the plans did not work, right?
Now for those of you that are going, hmmm, she must be hating. Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way hitting on or making fun of those of you that make resolutions. Good for you.
Truth is, I love a fresh start. I love decluttering and clearing out things in order to make a fresh start. But I choose to see resolutions from my lens of optimism, more like steps, where you are building from the foundation up where goals are best achieved in the medium to long-term.
So to help us with a more structured and realistic approach to build a healthier, happier life for 2021 and beyond, I will share with you these steps.
The Foundation – Mortify Your Fleshly Members
This by all means is the toughest part. Hard as it may be, this is how you will achieve laying a great foundation. Colossians 3:5 (NLT) says, “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolator, worshipping the things of this world.”
Old habits are easily formed but indeed they are hard to die. You don’t just tell an alcoholic or someone snorting crack cocaine, a heroine addict to stop drinking/snorting/shooting needles to get his/her life cleaned up and at the stroke of midnight, there is a brand new person. A prostitute don’t just get off the street corner after being ‘chased’ or arrested. It is hard to get someone who has engaged in evil and wrongdoing most of their life to just stop, except that is, where there is divine intervention and their life is miraculously changed.
The ground must be cleared through genuine repentance (1 John 1:9; 2 Chron 7:14) and asking God’s forgiveness (Psalm 86:5; Psalm 32:) for your sins and solicit His help to get you through life. From here on, your hands must be off the wheel of steering the ship of your life and there must be a total surrender of your will to God in exchange for His divine will and plan for your life.
The mind must be renewed. How is this achieved? Romans 12:2 NLT says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” This is an appeal that we must never get caught up, conformed or bound to the ways, lifestyle, system and patterns of this world. There must be a new way of thinking so that the actions that follow will pattern themselves off a heart and mind that is pure and positive.
Engage In Religious Communities That Support & Cultivate Positive Growth
I have come to realize that many persons come up short of the mark of a higher calling to a healthier happier life for these main reasons – trying to do it on their own, not equipping themselves with the necessary tools and not aligning themselves with the right people that would support and cultivate positive growth.
Contrary to what some may think, the Church has not lost its power nor its relevance in society. If ever there was a time that we need the Church, the legal authoritative Governing Body of Christ in the earth it is now! Just because you may have had one bad experience with one religious group it does not mean that they are all bad.
On the other hand if you are connected to a religious group or a congregation in which you are not experiencing spiritual growth and a manifestation of blessings (oil flowing down in your life), it is time you seek God to get an understanding of the right fit for you.
God established His Church for reasons we find in Ephesians 4:11-16. Verses 11-13 says, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and the teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up his church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”
Pray Without Ceasing
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
Not only is this implied as a command to us as believers, it is expressly stated as a definite and structured way of living. As a believer – praying and communicating with God you receive answers and instructions from Him. Prayer gives life and it brings hope. It stretches and increases your faith to go above and beyond what you are naturally capable of.
Prayer when consciously adhered and committed to, keeps you on the straight and narrow path and your rewards of blessings and abundance each step of the way.
Engage In Social Groups That Have Healthy Habits
A closer look around your community and you are sure to find social groups that are engaging, positive and uplifting. We need each other. God position us among those who will encourage, uplift, and exhort us to love one another and to do good things in our community and for each other.
We can be of great help to each other when we do as we have been called to do as believers – bear one another’s burdens, rejoice when our brothers rejoice and weep with those who weep. (Galatians 6:2; Romans 12:15)
We all need faith to guide us but social groups are necessary to guard, to pray for and in many ways God work through them to protect and shield us. If you allow, they are there to hold you accountable to follow the steps, work on your goals, thus ensuring a healthier happier life with a strong finish.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.”Tweet
Maintain Multi-generational Family Relations
If Covid-19 in the year 2020 has taught us anything, it is the importance or significance of family. Many families lost their loved ones. Entire family generation was wiped out by Covid-19. Many lost not just one but both parents. Many were stripped of their dignity and their last right to passage and transition out of this world. Not only did they die alone, they died lonely not having their family members by their bedside to hold their hands, to love on them in their final moments, to sooth their forehead or massage the area of their body that was hurting the most.
Use every opportunity that you get to spend quality time with your family and to tell them how much they are loved, appreciated and to let them know that their life matters – filled with purpose and potential.
Make peace with those that you are not one one accord with you through forgiveness, love and kindness. Ephesians 4:32 KJV – “And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”
Overall – Make Healthier Choices
Life is the sum of the choices that we make. The seeds that we sow today will be the harvest and the blessings that we reap at the end. You do good and good will follow you through life. You surround yourself with toxic negative people, eventually it rubs off on you and your reward is a reflection of the negativity. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with positive people, you think and speak positively, your sum total will be the greatest and most rewarding experience of your life. Choose to live healthy and live happy physically, emotionally and spiritually by what you allow in.
Make healthier food choices for a well-balanced diet. Meal planning is an essential tool. Get back to money saving basics to maximize your financial resources and to bring it back in order. Budget spend and do not spend in excess of your gross, much less your net pay. Auto-save up to 6 months of emergency funds for when hard times come along. Invest in companies and those cause you care deeply about. The aim is really to be out of debt but where an opportunity present itself, re-negotiate your debt.
Minimize and manage your stress level. Commit to getting the full amount of sleep and take short/power naps during the day. Exercise at least 2-3 times per week.
By all means, energize yourself so you can live a longer, healthier, happy life. You deserve it in 2021 and beyond!