Updated: Jan 3
Whether you are wanting to make some new years resolutions for the year ahead or simply wanting to finally change those bad habits, one thing remains the same, you need to quit making the same bad choices. And often, these poor decisions are unintentional; like an autopilot mode, you wake up and keep making the same choices.
So, how do we stop making unintentional bad decisions? Great question. Most of the time we do not even know we are making poor decisions, let alone how to change that decision to a good one.
I have spent the last year really studying this topic in-depth. One thing that I have come to learn about humans, is we think we will change for the better over time. We assume that one day we will wake up as a better version of ourselves. We have all said it, "One day, I'll have money." "One day, I'll get in shape." "One day I'll go back to school." "One day I'll go back to church." "One day I'll quit drinking."
We assume that we will one day wake up and be wiser and smarter than we are now.
We assume our circumstances are just going to "work out."
We assume we will one day we will have that debt paid off and have money saved in the bank.
We assume that those relationships that we failed to nurture will be fixed.
We assume we will have the extra time to pursue that dream we always wanted.
But this will not happen,...unless we make a tangible, measurable, and intentional plan.
What more often ends up happening is we arrive at the older version of ourselves making the same mistakes; nothing has changed. You are not out of debt, you are more in debt. You are not healthier, you are more highly medicated and overweight. That relationship is still strained and you find it easier to avoid them than to face them. Your marriage is not better. Your addiction is still your deep, dark secret. You have no more control over your anger now than you did ten years ago. You find that you are the same person, just older and more time has passed, but you are still carrying the exact same baggage full of regrets from five, fifteen, or thirty years ago.
I am going to tell you something that changed my life.
Your "someday" will never come, unless you stop and make a plan and change the direction of your life.
"The direction you are currently traveling--relationally, financially, spiritually, and the list goes on and on--will determine where you end up on each of those respective arenas."-Andy Stanley, The Principle of the Path.
"We don't drift in good directions. We discipline and prioritize ourselves there." -Andy Stanley
So, be real with yourself. Ask yourself the hard questions and be honest with yourself. You really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Do you like the path you are on? Are you happy with how your life has turned out to this point? Are you on target to achieve your hopes and dreams?
You will need a great big dose of honesty and self-awareness here.
Do not lie to yourself. Self-reflection can be a scary thing because it requires you to slow down, shut the TV off, or put your cell phone down and you have to face what is really there deep down. The truth can be terrifying. But you know what else? It is liberating. When you face the truth, you can finally see clearly. You can finally stop living in the someday and start pursuing the future you want for yourself, one step at a time.
When you envision your future, are you on track to meet the goals of future-you?
What is one thing that you would change? Keep in mind, we cannot change other people. We can only change ourselves. What is that one thing deep down, that you want to change or have always wanted to accomplish? Start there.
Write it down. And I challenge you to go farther. I challenge you to pray about it every day for one week and take 3 positive steps towards accomplishing that goal. Do you need to tell someone? Maybe you need accountability? Maybe you need to make a budget so you can pay off that debt. Maybe you need to make a phone call. I do not know what it is, but you do. I challenge you to do something towards your goals this month.
Don't wait and one day arrive at the end of your life wishing you could go back and do it all differently.
For further reading, I highly encourage you to read Andy Stanley's book, "The Principle of the path: How to get from where you are to where you want to be. You will not regret it!