Every New Year’s Day, people make “resolutions” to change or improve something in their lives. Some vow to lose weight-eat healthy, exercise, read more, spend less, give more, etc. This year, I kicked it up a notch, and decided I was going to pick 3 topics and change/improve one thing for each category. For instance, I am a Certified Biblical Life Coach, and my training has taught me to focus on wellness as a whole unit. Specifically, a person’s emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being are collective process. Thus, it is vital to keep all three in balance. Being out of balance with anything-even “positive” or “good” things can still result in negative consequences.
To explain, a Christian can be too focused and out of balance even on spiritual matters such as: attending church for every function; volunteering several days a week; or staying up too late to read the Bible. Although these are “good” and even admirable, this person is completely out of balance. Due to his choices, he is NOT getting enough rest/sleep; he is always grabbing something “quick” (and unhealthy) to eat; and he is harming his family dynamics from the lack of “quality time”.
So, how does a person choose a “resolution” to improve in one area without causing the scales to tip in another? Plus, without a tangible resolution, the “new” you will not last past 2 weeks. Therefore, finding goals that are realistic, specific, and balanced are essential. To illustrate, as I mentioned, my 3 goals fall under each classification of physical, emotional, and spiritual. First, my physical goal is to work my muscles from the waist up. Although, I have conquered the “workout” goal for over the past 35 years, like most people, my exercise activities have matched with things I enjoy. Specifically, running, biking, and hiking do not feel like exercise since I like doing them. However, lifting weights and strength training for my abdominal muscles are a bit tougher since they are the last things that I want to do.
Next, my emotional goal is to spend time relaxing my mind with a book. I tend to go, go, and go so more without taking much time to “rest”. See, my eyes are just below my brain and they literally “see” everything (no pun intended) that needs to be done, and I am constantly adding more things on my “to do list”. Thus, I have carved out/planned at least 10 minutes of reading on my days off from work. Interestingly, since starting this goal, I find the 10 minutes fly by, and I often exceed my original goal.
Finally, my spiritual goal (save the best for last) is creating a “word” for the year. This year, my word is LOYALTY. Like most of us, my loyalty to my family and friends is easy; however, my loyalty to God does not happen as naturally. I know you may be thinking, “How is that tangible?” My answer: “It is tangible, and it is in even more ways than my other two”. To clarify, writing this post instead of cleaning (anything) is being more loyal to God (believe me when I say -stepping away from laundry is a real struggle). Moreover, although I may be better at writing about God, my conversations with co-workers, neighbors, some friends, and even family members are not so comfortable. Thus, praying before conversations and asking the Holy Spirit to help me work God into the conversation is quantifiable. I know I need His help with things that do not come naturally. Some things are difficult-but difficult does not mean impossible. Plus, who said following Christ would be easy? Take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24-26) sounds like a Christ-challenge that I am willing to pursue.
As we look forward to 2021 (and happily say goodbye to 2020 😊), look for tangible ways to keep your life balanced. Do you work too much? Cut back your work schedule by 30 minutes or place your phone out of reach for just an hour, and you will see the beginning of a more balanced life. Likewise, do you watch too much TV? Take just 1 program away and spend that time with your spouse, kids, or with God. It is amazing how many people have “quality time” as one of their top love languages (The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman). Even God wants quality time with you-especially since He is the Creator of both YOU and of TIME!). Balance brings stability and stability leads to contentment - Make 202, the year of balancing the building blocks of your life.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.