Here we are at the beginning of a new year, possibly looking to improve life, to make changes or goals to achieve more. So how does one change their life? A new year offers opportunity to wipe the proverbial slate clean from the previous year, but will a New Year’s resolution accomplish a life change?
Last year, several of my friends went on an overseas mission trip. When they returned, they shared how life-changing the experience was and how they saw God move in ways they had never experienced before. Their enthusiasm was refreshing, and I savored the stories they told, but I had to ask the question: “I know it’s changed your life, but how has it changed your day?”
As I explained my question further, I was met with some funny glances. We have these great experiences in life that have the power to change the way we think, or our perspective on life, but what do we do with them once the moment is gone? How do we incorporate all that we absorbed in the moment to change our day?
So you attended a life-changing conference. How did it change your day? What pearl of wisdom have you taken from the conference manual and applied to your everyday life?
Or you heard a really good teaching that impacted you in a big way. How did it change your day? What element of the teaching did you pull down into your soul and walk with today?
Frequently, when I’m mentoring women, I ask them what they want their life to look like in one year. After they think about it and share their thoughts, we back up the bus and dialogue about what steps need to be taken to get there. Oftentimes, it’s not following a five-step program or taking an online course, but the small corrections in everyday life that create a lasting life change. It begins with small changes, much like the way a simple rudder affects a boat.
A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything — or destroy it! (James 3:4-5 MSG)
I’m not talking about a new habit or plan for you to jump into. I’m talking about lasting change that will alter the course of your life. I’m talking about creating new pathways in your everyday life that will cause you to grow in spirit, soul and body.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2 NKJV)
Ask yourself these questions: How would your life look next year with a prosperous soul? What parts of your spirit are lacking or wounded in ways that need dedicated care? How could you change your day to attend to these needs? What can you do differently to co-labor with God in the new year?
Something I’ve worked on for awhile now is being fully present. With four children spanning college-age to middle school, my days are typically busy with lots of scheduling and rescheduling. For years, rather than enjoying the moment, I was caught up in “what’s next” or thinking about my “to do” list. I would be physically present but emotionally absent. I began purposing in my heart to be fully present, to tell my “to do” list to be quiet and enjoy the activity in front of me at the moment.
I changed my day, which led to a life change, not the other way around. Because when I change my day, I change my heart and mind, which ultimately alters my course in life.
How will you change your day this year?