The Real Kind of CHANGE

>> Sunday, January 3, 2010

While browsing magazines at the store last week, one caught my eye.  It is called life:beautiful and it is subtitled "faith for your journey".  When I saw the word "faith", I immediately picked it up and flipped through the pages.  The photographs are beautiful; reminiscent of Real Simple.  I love the crisp and clean feel of Real Simple, but hate that it seems to give the same information over and over.  I also get so frustrated reading Real Simple- it makes life look so organized and easy and pretty and polished, and let's face it- life is not always that way!

life:beautiful sort of gives off the same vibe, but at least it is from a Christian perspective AND- get this- NO ADVERTISEMENTS!!!!  That's right- every other page has actual information on it, not ads for overpriced purses and beauty products!  It's so liberating!

life:beautiful is apparently published quarterly, which is sort of a bummer, but will give me something to look forward to.

There is one page that I would like to share with you, it is called "14 Steps To Successful Change".  I could get off my lazy hiney and go scan it, which would be so much easier, but I'm going to just type the main points; besides, my fingers need the workout (since my hiney's not getting one...).....

  1. Pray for discernment:  Ask God to reveal the changes you need to make and for the power to be able to change.
  2. Pray and plan each day:  A few minutes in the morning will go a long way in arming yourself for success.
  3. Select role models:  Look for people doing or being something that you want to do or be.
  4. Be accountable:  Confide in one or more people who will lovingly hold you accountable for taking action.  Find someone who you can trust to ask and, if need be, challenge you to keep going.
  5. Plan:  We must be purposeful about pursuing the good changes that God has called us to make.
  6. Set goals:  What are you seeking to accomplish?  Summarize what you want to make happen.
  7. Educate yourself:  Start with Scripture and seek insight on your habit or behavior.  Scripture helps identify any underlying or hidden source of bad habits or behaviors.  Seek other sources of information to expand your knowledge to handle such areas as exercise and health.
  8. Set short-term goals:  Make a map or schedule that breaks your goal into steps that are achievable and allow you to succeed daily.
  9. Remove obstacles and temptations:  Common sense can help us remove situations, habits, people or things in our environment that will cause us to fail.  Increase your chances of success by protecting yourself from barriers, even if they are as sweet as chocolate.
  10. Review progress:  Take joy in your success no matter how minor and be encouraged by progress.  If needed, adjust your plan as you learn your individual needs.
  11. Forgive your failures:  We will all miss a goal.  Forgive yourself and start again immediately.
  12. Cheer yourself on:  Speak aloud positive words of encouragement.  If negative words come out, change your heart and try again.  Words are a powerful weapon against failure.
  13. Be persistent:  Consistent effort is the biggest factor in success.  Effort pays off.  But, take one day at a time as you press on.
  14. Praise God:  As we praise and worship God, we discover great benefits for our lives.  That's because we were created to praise Him.  As we draw near to the Father in praise, He draws near to us.
Isn't that beautiful?

This magazine is chock-full of great articles, ideas, projects, crafts and features some great Christian writers.  A subscription is rather pricey- $18.95 for 4 issues, but I guess it has to be to cover the cost of not advertising.

Let's put these steps into action as we face our goals for the new year.  What will you change about yourself and your life in the coming year?

I have so many goals, my head has been spinning for the last week.  I have so much that I want to accomplish each day, but sadly, there aren't enough hours in the day.  I guess I need to actually see the goals that have been swimming in my mind, maybe write them on paper, decide which are the most important, and focus on those for now.

For instance, I would LOVE to get up early and have time to do my Bible study in the morning.  I just invision being up with a cup of coffee while the sun is rising.  However, when the alarm goes off, all I want to do is keep sleeping until the very last minute.  I wind up being late to work, arguing with the kiddos over what clothes they will wear, rushing them to the car, forgetting half of what I need to take, and finishing my coffee at school, which always stinks, because I am really too busy to drink coffee (it's preschool- I NEVER sit down!) and by the time I get a minute to take a sip, it's cold.

So, let's take a look at the first step that I am supposed to take in order to make this goal happen:
  1. Pray for discernment:  I will give it to God and perhaps He will either help me to rise and shine early OR He will present another time during the day that may be better for me to spend with Him.
Well, considering that the second step is to Pray and Plan Each Day, I'm pretty sure that if I ask for help, He will help me, since I know that He wants me to take time out of my day to spend with Him.

Once you have decided what you are going to change, will you join me in praying that God will grant us wisdom, knowledge and understanding and that He will show us His plan for how we can be transformed?


laylablue January 4, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

good thoughts
something to chew on for a bit ;)

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