7 Steps to Launching a Tremendous New Year

photo by bruno nascimento-

photo by bruno nascimento-

Can you believe 2019 is right around the corner? Neither can I! Time sure flies (whether you’re having fun or not).

I was recently reminded of some words of wisdom particularly when you are looking at a daunting goal. Start working on that daunting goal even if it takes years to accomplish. After all, the time will go by anyway.

That’s so true, isn’t it? So, let’s make 2019 a tremendous year!

7 Steps to Launching a Tremendous New Year

  1. Decide what it is that you want.

    That may sound pretty elementary, but you’ll never reach a goal unless you know exactly what it is that you want.

    Get a clear vision. Picture it; write it down; be very specific.

  2. Eat healthy.

    This is not about dieting. It’s about fueling your body to be the best it can be. The only way to leave sluggishness and fatigue behind is to feed your physical body healthy foods.

    Develop the mindset of “eating to live” rather than “living to eat”.

  3. Move your body.

    I wish I could tell you that the human body doesn’t need exercise, but it does. We don’t have to train for a marathon but we do have to move.

    Depending on where you are physically, start making small changes to get you moving. Walk more, take the stairs, start a stretching program; just do more than you are doing now.

    Getting our body more physically fit gives us more energy and stimulates our endorphins making us happier beings.

    (You should see your doctor before starting an exercise program.)

  4. Set realistic goals.

    Yes, we do want to stretch for our goals, but we are also motivated by achievement, so be realistic.

    There’s no way one will lose 100 pounds in a month so don’t set that type of goal. You can lose 2- 5 pounds in a month; that’s a realistic goal.

  5. Break your goal down into action steps.

    How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

    Goals are the same way. We can’t just say that we are going to lose “X” number of pounds without an action plan.

    Decide how you are going to do that. Eating a certain number of calories per day, exercising, using portion sizes, meal planning and the action steps can go on.

  6. Track your progress.

    I had a boss once who always said “What is expected must be inspected to make it happen.” He was absolutely right!

    If weight loss is your goal, track your progress. Track what you eat each day. Track how much you move each day. And lastly, track the scales, but once a week or once a month is usually best. Daily weighing often sabotages weight loss because our weight naturally fluctuates daily.

  7. Practice gratitude.

    This should probably be the first on the list. So often we forget that we have much for which to be grateful.

    I recommend this practice whether you set goals or not. Gratitude alone is a great way to improve every year, month, week and day!

    Makes this a DAILY HABIT! It will change your life.

I’m looking forward to the new year! I hope you are, too. Some people break their annual goals into quarterly and/or month goals to better track their progress and determine their action steps. Do what works for you!

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Comment below on what works for you!

- Wendy

Gentleness - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 9

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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23

I don’t know what you think of when you think of gentleness. There are a couple of people that come to mind for me, but I don’t want to put them on the spot and embarrass them. So in an effort to relate to most folks, I’d like for you to think back to the very first newborn baby you ever held.

Remember the gentle way you received them from the person handing them to you. You held them with both hands carefully supporting their precious head. You took such care to be “gentle” with the newborn.

That is the fruit the Holy Spirit is developing in every believer. Some of us need more work in that area of fruit than other, but we are all growing in that attribute.

I’m studying in the Old Testament right now and sometimes it seems our Lord was very harsh, yet throughout the judgement and discipline He demonstrates, He also demonstrates gentleness with His people and with some foreigners who trust Him. (Rahab and Ruth come to mind.)

Faithfulness - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 8

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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23

Aren’t you so glad our God is FAITHFUL? I am! I am currently in a Bible study and each week the first question of our lesson is “How have you seen God at work in your life this week?” Let me tell you, every single week I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.

I remember when we built our house I wanted the underneath of my cabinets stained. My husband told me then I could stain them. In the heat of the moment, I said I would. Well then he went off to work and I set about staining the underneath of my cabinets.

Let me tell you in about 30 seconds I wanted to quit that and let the cabinets be. My arms were on fire. But stain I did. When he got home the first thing out of my mouth to him was, “Aren’t you proud of me? I stained all of the underneath of the cabinets!”

He looked at me funny and said, “Well, you said you would.”

Right then I was reminded what it means to be faithful. People take you at your word. I said I would stain the cabinets and he counted it as done. Yes, I finally told him how bad it hurt and how much I wanted to quit. He just laughed with me because he knew how bad it would hurt being in an awkward position for that long.

I wish I could say that I’m always faithful, but we both know we are not always faithful. There are those times we say something that doesn’t mean much to us but it means a lot to the person we are talking to'; thus, they count on us and we don’t remember to follow through. Hopefully, that’s not the norm for any of us, but my point is I am not always faithful. But my Jesus is!

I’m so glad Jesus put the Holy Spirit in us as His deposit or guarantee that we are His, that He is coming back for us, that we will be conformed into His image, that we are never alone and on and on. As the Holy Spirit leads us to maturity He is developing the attribute of faithfulness in us.

What are some things we should be faithful in?

  • Our love for Christ - to love Him with all our heart, soul and strength

  • Our serving others - by serving others we are serving Jesus Christ

  • In our marriage - by being loving and faithful to our spouse we are presenting a picture of God and His bride

  • In honesty and integrity - letting our yes be yes and our no be no people know they can trust what we say; doing what’s right because it’s right

    and the list goes on.

We should be faithful because God is faithful.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

So I have a question for you, “How have you seen God at work in your life this week?”

Goodness - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 7

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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5: 22-23

Is there anyway you could explain the fullness of God’s goodness to you? Neither can I! His love and mercy and goodness is beyond what we can comprehend much less explain to someone else.

And yet, that is a part of the fruit of the spirit that the Holy Spirit is developing in us!

I knew a doctor once who I never heard say an ill word about someone. Ever. One day while working together, we found out about something that was, well, it was terrible. As this doctor talked about the incident, he never once said an ill remark about the person who was the guilty party. I looked at him and said, “You know, Doc, I don’t think you’d say anything bad about the devil. I’ve never heard you say anything bad about anyone.” He laughed and said he didn’t think he could say something good about the devil.

But the point is, what a great testimony/reputation! I wish that were true about me but, alas, I’m afraid not. However, through the years the Holy Spirit is changing me, for the better!

As believers, our first response should be toward goodness; giving the benefit of the doubt, lending a helping hand, or choosing encouraging conversation.

We are the recipients of God’s goodness and should therefore be the extension of His goodness, don’t you think?

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

Psalm 31:19

If God were to say to you - “I could give you what you’ve prayed for OR I can give you what you’d truly desire IF you knew what I know.” Which would you choose?