I’ve been thinking a bit about re-entry resolutions. We don’t get this opportunity very often. We get an opportunity every new year or really any day we want, but typically every new year or maybe on your birthday when you do some evaluating and resetting of your direction, your habits, and your goals.
But this one is a big opportunity because we’re coming out of over a year of disruption, broken routines and establishing new semi-temporary routines. Now we’re going back to what will be more normal-ish than this last year was, so this is an excellent opportunity to take a look at the pattern of our life and begin to make the changes we want to make that will be permanent going forward.
This is an excellent time for personal evangelism, for new relationship building in your neighborhood, in your workplace. This is an excellent time to change your workflow, your weekly routine. If you’re in vocational ministry, an excellent opportunity to change even what you’re doing in ministry, based on the needs of the hour. If you’re in a staff position, this is a perfect time to make some suggestions about your job description that maybe more closely fits your strengths and your passions. This is the time to make those kind of changes.
If you’ve listened to me very long, you know that I’m a big believer in habits. Habits are really the sum total of our habits, the things we do daily, weekly, regularly; those all combined to form our lives and form our outcomes.
If there’s something you want to change, some outcome you want to change, you need to back up and look at the habits that will lead you to that change because who you are today, body, soul, and spirit, you know, physical health, spiritual health, every kind of health and your finances and everything else for the most part are a function of your habits. So if you want to change those things, you need to change your habits.
As you move into a post COVID world, or maybe you’re listening to this some date way in the future, whatever the next era of your life or history is, this is the time to ask the question, what are the outcomes I want? What am I called to be one of my called to do? And what are the habits? The daily, weekly, monthly, and yes, even annual routines that will get me to that place.
One of the more concrete outcomes we can talk about is finances because it’s very measurable and objective. If you want to save a thousand dollars this year, that means you need to save about $20 a week and that’s the habit that will get you to that goal. Similarly, when it comes to health and fitness, some of those things are measurable and you can backtrack and see where you need to be at any given date.
When it comes to more internal and less concrete, more abstract kind of goals can be harder, but you can still seek to quantify things in a certain way. If you wanted to grow in your walk with the Lord, while there are some habits that actually contribute to that, you know, there are spiritual disciplines, there are relationships and patterns of living that will build you up spiritually.
So just take a good hard look at any changes you want to make in your life either based on this last year or even the year before COVID. The way things work and changes you want to make, which will then lead you to doing things differently with a different routine, a different pattern of living. This is such a very simple concept, but easy to implement on one level.
One other nugget about habits. If you find that you have a habit and you can’t keep that habit, you might think the issue of self-discipline. The answer If you can’t keep a habit isn’t self-discipline, it is drawing on the discipline of others and finding a partner to walk with you in that habit.
Fitnesses is an easy one. I remember when I used to train for canoe racing, we’d often start with a run first thing in the morning, I’d wake up at six and I knew my partner was already running down the road a mile away from my house towards my place and that would compel me to get up. Likewise, if we ran in the other direction, that would compel him to get up and we ran a lot more because we were running together. That’s the way it is with habits that will lead you to the goals or the outcomes you want. Find someone to partner with you.
So pause and ask the question, what do I want to change? Or maybe say, “Lord, what do you want to change in my life? What are the outcomes I’m getting that you want to revamp guide me to the habits and maybe the partners who will help me achieve those habits.”
Wisdom to you. God bless and press on.