In life, since we’re not usually where we want to be, we often make goals to get there. Here are mine.
- Spiritual. Read one chapter from the Bible every evening for my personal study (I already read a chapter a day with my children after breakfast; but, I want to make sure I have time alone in the word, as well). Goal: develop consistency in personal Bible reading.
- Relational. Smile very often to my husband and children. Thank them, compliment them, and encourage them every chance I get. Goal: practice being thankful and joyful with my family.
- Financial. Save a certain amount out of every paycheck my husband gets. Goal: invest in the future.
- Health. Do a few sit ups every morning before getting out of bed (more exercises can be added later; but for now, I need to start with something simple). Be strict in following doctor’s instructions for supplements and nutrition. Goal: contribute toward better long-term health. (Since I anticipate the possibility of more pregnancies, it is important for me to take care of my body by developing healthy habits. I am willing to be a vessel for God to create new life within my womb; I need to be a strong and well-prepared vessel.)
These goals may seem very basic and non-ambitious to you; that’s because they are. I’ve realized that if a goal is ever going to be attainable, it needs to be sustainable; it won’t work for the long run if it involves a lot of energy to maintain, so it must be simplistic.
Just recently, I heard a speaker on the radio talk about the difference between basic habits and transformational habits. First of all, he said, it’s necessary to establish habits so that we won’t become exhausted having to learn everything over again every time. So, we develop habits like brushing our teeth, getting dressed in a particular way, washing our hands after using the bathroom, etc. But, though necessary, those habits are not what might be considered “transformational habits.” The transformational type have the power to change the course of our lives, one increment at a time. Act upon small act, we practice a new style of living that builds into a positive, nearly unbreakable, habit. However, the trick is to keep it simple.
So we might pick one, or a very few, small things we can change this year, with minimal effort. As we practice this new habit a little every day, it will eventually become second nature. But we should choose something that will impact the course of our lives for the better.
- What goals have you chosen for this new year?
- What new habits would you like to acquire; what old habits would you like to get rid of?
- Is there anything that you have found helpful in forming sustainable habits?
- To you, what sort of habits are “transformational”?
- Do you feel that God is leading you to make some specific changes in your life? What changes, and why?
If we do not change our course, we are likely
to end up where we are headed.