With each New Year come New Years Resolutions. I have come to realise that there is one word that often goes hand in hand with a New Years Resolution. It is almost always expected to follow, if not in a few days, within a few weeks or months. It is expected for nearly every person. That word is - “failure”. Statistics show that after 6 months, more than 50% of people who made a serious NYR have failed to see them through. After 12 months, more than 90% of people have failed.
Many New Years Resolutions are made to improve people’s lives. Most people are wanting to get happier and improve their lives, and yet again, they often fail - even when it is something as serious as putting things in place to ensure their ongoing health. Why is it that something that is so important like our physical and mental health is often something we fail at protecting?
During December I posted something on Facebook with relation to the large number of ministers and business people who suffer burnout and invited people to respond with their comments as to why they think that there are such large numbers of people that burnout (click here to read the responses). The response were varied ranging from looking at yourself, to looking at others. Unfortunately when it comes to burnout we try to look at where things went wrong, but we often miss the obvious and avoid looking at ourselves. Many businesses often fail because their owners are so busy working in the business that they forget to work on the business. It is the same with our own lives. If we want to run to the finish line then we must on a regular basis work on ourselves.
Below I have listed 12 keys that will help with the balance of life work and ministry.
1. For those involved in ministry, relationship with God is a huge key. Payer and reading the Bible are part of your “Professional Development” that cannot be ignored;
2. Take regular time off.
3. Get proper exercise and sleep.
4. Exercise fairly vigorously 3-4 times a week. Driving a car around town clogs the carburettor Cars need a good run to burn off the gunk. Exercise burns the built up stress in the same way.
5. Allow adequate time for sleep. Most doctors agree that adults probably need 8-9 hours' a night!'
6. Allow time to Relax - Down time is not wasted time.
7. Time Management - What more needs to be said here? If you would like to download our free Time Management budget, click here.
8. Restructure your thinking. Take a personal audit and reassess your goals. Make sure that your goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. principle (for more information on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, click here to download our free book “Going for Gold - Practical tools for achieving your goals” )
9. Improve your self-attitudes. Did you know that depression comes from spending large amounts of time focusing on how bad things are? What do you think focusing on how good things are would result in?
10. Learn how to use the middle two letters of the alphabet - “NO”. If you know your gifts, and your limits this will become easier.
11. Face your fears; don't avoid them by pretence, or bury them in an addiction.
12. Have fun! No one ever said that we need to grow up, so enjoy life like a child.
Let your New Year be one of new beginnings. Forget about making a New Years Resolution this year. Just make yourself the promise that this year will be your best one ever.
Just Run the Race
A determination to change is only part one. Doing it is part two. It is like the athlete who wants to run the one hundred meter hurdles. He knows that they are ahead, and that he needs to be prepared for them, but at the end of the day, the only way he can complete the race is to actually run it. Once he begins running, he know that the hurdles will come up, and the finish line will continue to come closer with each step, but unless he focuses on the finish line, and clears every hurdle he comes to, he will not finish the race. The hurdles are intended to be cleared. The finish line is intended to be crossed. The rules of the race are yours to set, but you will never win unless you start running, clear the hurdles and cross the finish line.
Because it is your race, and you are the only competitor all you need to do is compete and you will win, and gain the prize.
The Three P’s
1. Persistence - maintain your determination to achieve your goals consistently.
2. Perseverance - respond positively to setbacks you will surely experience in the change process.
3. Patience – remind yourself that change takes time and that if you maintain your commitment, you will see the changes we want come to reality.
So, whether it is a New Years Resolution, or desire to change on just any day during the year, you can see a positive and happy ending. The key is to remind yourself that change is far from easy and will take some work. Just keep focused on your goals, see the finish line, and run till you cross it.
How have you gone with your New Years Resolution (NYR)? Statistics show that after 6 months, more than 50% of people who made a serious NYR have failed to see them through. After 12 months, more than 90% of people have failed. It makes you wonder why with those kind of statistics one would even bother thinking about New Year's resolution? In January, I shared techniques for setting a new years resolution that will help you stay focused. However, the thing we need to keep in mind is that a NYR is all about change – serious change, and what better time to start making a change in your life than today. Anyone who sets a NYR is a person who wants to see change. New Years Day is only one day. You don’t need to wait until the next one comes around to make changes that will improve your kind of life. Do it now!
Anyone who has ever tried to change any part of his or her thinking, emotions, or behaviour knows that it can be a difficult task. The question that we need to ask ourselves is: Why do we have such a hard time making important changes in our lives?
Let’s face it. Change is difficult. There is an old saying. “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is”. Quick and easy methods that we so often see can often leave you feeling like a failure. Not only does change bring challenges, we have to face hurdles and baggage that may have been in our way for many years, maybe even from our childhood.
Types of baggage include low self-esteem, anger, fear of failure, perfectionism, a need to control, and need to please. These cause us to respond in our thoughts, feelings and behaviours as we would have when we were children, rather than how we should as adults. These behaviours, and the emotions that associated with them are learned, and are often difficult to break through, although far from impossible.
Foundations for Change
Change starts when we come to realise that it is too painful to continue doing what we are doing. In life we are all motivated by two things - pain and pleasure. Everything we do is either out of our desire to gain pleasure or our need to avoid pain. We will actually do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure.
Pain can be an incredible motivator for change. I remember stepping on a broken piece of cup a few months ago. The direction my foot travelled (down) changed rapidly once I experienced enough pain to register the fact that something needed to change. Now you might say, “Well that’s obvious!” but that is exactly how things are in our life also.
Change also requires that you exercise courage. Change requires risk, and this can often scare people away from going for it. The courage to change means that we are going to have to be willing to acknowledge and confront certain aspects of our lives, and this is something that some people don’t find very easy.
Because change is uncertain, the only way to change is to take a leap of faith that involves a fundamental belief in the vision of who, what, and where we want to be in the future.
One thing we need is a realisation that hurdles and obstacles to change exist, and a determination to clear those hurdles and obstacles is necessary as we pursue our goals.
... Part 2 next month...
How often have you set a New Years Resolution? Are you likely to keep it going or is it going to fall flat within the first few days as they so often do.
Often it is not the New Years Resolution that you need to work at, but your ability to set a goal and work at it.
A New Years Resolution is nothing more than setting a goal and working towards it. People are often inspired to do something special, and many are motivated by the coming of a New Year to move forward and make a difference in their lives.
Here are five simple tips to help you in setting your goals and making a successful New Years Resolution.
1. Start with one resolution.
If you try to make too many, you may not accomplish any. Make your resolution very specific. "Don't say 'I want to lose weight'— instead, say 'I want to lose one kilogram a month.'"
2. Be serious about your resolution.
If you don't take your resolution seriously, it is a waste of time making one.
3. Write your resolution down and post it in a visible place.
If you see your goal every day, it will be in the forefront of your mind.
4. Enlist the support of friends and family.
Bring others in on the resolution so you have a support group to help you accomplish your goals.
5. Don't let yourself quit.