Well here we are again just a few days away from the start of another year. It is incredible how fast a year comes and goes. It seems like the older we get the faster time flies. I remember when I was a kid, if my Mother told me that I had to wait a year for something, it seemed like an eternity! Now that I am fifty years old, with grown children of my own, a year seems to fly by in the blink of an eye!
Every year as we are about to celebrate the arrival of the coming New Year, we all hear talk about New Years resolutions. Many people make promises to themselves to get in better physical shape, quit smoking, mend broken relationships, improve their financial situation, and perhaps many other combinations of goals that they have set for themselves. I have mixed feelings about New Years resolutions. A New Years resolution is just another name for a goal. The unfortunate thing about New Years resolutions is that they often end up becoming nothing more than empty promises that we make ourselves that we have never fully mentally or emotionally committed to keep. I suppose that most people that make New Years resolutions do it because they feel that the arrival of a New Year is similar to a fresh start…kind of a wiping the slate clean. The truth of the matter is that we should all be constantly setting goals of self improvement for ourselves all year long and throughout the entire year. Why do we wait until the start of a New Year to decide we need to change? Continued personal growth as individuals involves continuous change. As we continue to grow personally, we abandon our old thoughts and attitudes about things, and adopt new ways of looking at things that are more conducive to personal growth and success in life.
As I reflect on the New Year that is about to erupt onto the scene, I see opportunities for all of us to make changes in our thoughts, attitudes, and mindsets that will result in us having the absolute best year of our lives. There are a few specific aspects of our lives that I think are important for us to focus on if we are to experience our greatest year ever. I consider them to be the keys to a better and brighter year in 2014. I would like to share them with you.
Key # 1- Put a relationship with God first and foremost in your life in 2014. I chose to list this key first because it is the most important, and this key alone if successfully attained, resolves many other problems and issues in your life. Humans were created by God to have fellowship and a relationship with the one who created us. When we fail to have a relationship with God, we have no chance whatsoever of achieving our full positional and becoming all that God intended for us to be. In the Bible in Matthew 6:33 it says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” What are the things that will be added unto us that the Bible is talking about here? They are the things that we want to see come to pass in our lives; the better family relationships, the better financial situations, and all the other improvements that we want to see come to fruition in our lives. I love what Psalms 37:4 says about this in the Bible. It says, “ Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.“
Key # 2- Get your finances and spending under control. There is nothing that will add stress and frustration to your life like debt. We live in a society that gauges success by the amount of possessions that a person has, the newness of the car they drive, and the size of the house they live in. This ridiculous mentality has driven countless masses of people to spend money they don’t have and to live beyond their means. Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” (New Living Translation) Debt is a prison that will place you into a self imposed prison of stress. I encourage everyone to make a decision to begin the process of paying off all that junk debt, all the credit cards, and all the other payments that have a way of devouring our paychecks! If you want some of the best financial advice you could ever get your hands on anywhere, I recommend the teaching and debt reduction strategies of Dave Ramsey. My wife and I have used Dave Ramsey’s principles, and have managed to pay off thousands of dollars of debt, and have reached the point where we are down to nothing but a mortgage payment. Our goal is to have our mortgage paid off completely in the next two years. Dave Ramsey is one of the foremost authorities and educators in the nation on the subject of attaining a debt free life. You can find information about Dave Ramsey on his website at www.daveramsey..com. By the way, in February my wife Janet and I are going to be facilitating a 9 week course by Dave Ramsey called Financial Peace University. It gives you all the amazing information you need to start your journey to a debt free life. The course will be given at our church. If you are interested in this, contact me. This course can literally change your life!
Key # 3- Adopt a mindset of thinking big. I recently posted on my Facebook page the following statement…”The Bible says in Proverbs 3:27, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” You will eventually become what you think. If you want to change your life, change your thoughts. Your life will never exceed the limitations of your thoughts.” I firmly and wholeheartedly believe this! Too many times in life we shortchange ourselves by thinking too small, and by limiting our personal growth through our doubts and fears of failure. In this coming year I encourage you to take a chance! Stop dreaming about your dream and start ACTING upon your dream! Write that book you have dreamed of writing! Start that business that to this point has only been an idea and a dream! Every person that has ever been a success story had to start somewhere! Don’t put your dream off any longer! What have you got to lose? If you fail, you will still be light-years ahead of the person who isn’t trying, and you won’t be any worse off than you are now! You may be at the threshold of the doorway to an incredible breakthrough in your life, and the only thing you have to do is take the step of faith to walk through the door! You can do it!
Of course, there are many other things that you can do to ensure that 2014 is your best year ever, but these suggestions are the ones that I feel will have the greatest impact on your life. If you start with these, the sky is the limit to your success! My wife Janet and I consider ourselves to be tremendously blessed, and have seen God do incredible things in our lives. We are thankful for all of our friends who have been such a blessing to us, and for our church that has inspired us to higher heights in this past year. As you read this, it is our prayer that 2014 will be the greatest year of personal growth in every aspect of your life that you have ever experienced. There are great things in store for you in 2014, and there is greatness deep inside you just waiting to be pulled out by faith, and used to make a positive difference in your life and the lives of those around you! Happy New Year everyone! Go out, get busy, and pursue your dreams! In doing so, you will change your life and the world around you!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,