If you’re like me, you’ve already been flooded with television, book, magazine, radio, and internet offers to start 2017 off right, lose weight, reach a goal, meet someone special, find your dream job, save money, eat healthier, find happiness, and more… Most relate to diet and exercise. That industry alone rakes in billions this time of year.
These are things people desperately want, and they’re willing to pay to get them. Especially right after the holidays, filled with every kind of over-indulgence. These smart marketers know now is the time to strike.
I’m not saying there aren’t programs out there that might help you reach your goals–whatever they might be. But there are a LOT of gimmicks designed to make businesses money without regard for the consumer. It’s not that I’m cynical, but you just can’t argue with the increasing numbers of people who spend all this money year after year, and still end up short of their goals.
In researching statistics I found a range of between less than 8% to less than half of New Years’ resolutions are actually achieved. It’s probably more realistically somewhere in the middle, but how about you, and the people you know?
Why do so many people fail to achieve their resolutions?
Most often, people fail to stick to their resolutions because they don’t have the necessary mindset. If what we really believe about something doesn’t support reaching the goal, then it’s pretty likely the changes we make to achieve it won’t last. For example, if I want to lose weight, but deep down I don’t believe I can do it, my chances of success are close to zero. What we believe to be true has a profound impact on what we’re able to achieve.
Mental buy-in is essential to success. And although that sounds simple enough, clearly it’s not or we wouldn’t be having this conversation. People change their minds all the time. When you really have mental buy-in, you are SOLD. No one can talk you out of it, because you’ve made up your mind. What others think becomes a non-issue.
Success starts in the mind, right?
Not exactly. It starts in the heart. The heart and mind are inextricably connected. That’s why love is such a powerful force–and it’s expression: passion. If you’re passionate about something, it’s going to happen. Once something is firmly planted in your heart–your mindset aligns and action naturally follows.
If you think about the resolution examples I listed above, most of them have to do with things we want for ourselves. But if we don’t think we deserve something–at the heart level–simply wanting it isn’t enough to sustain us through the hard work lasting change requires. And even if we gut our way through to success on some goal–but our heart isn’t really in it–we end up feeling empty anyway.
Limiting beliefs and negative self talk stem from a lack of self love. And when we struggle with loving ourselves, most often it’s because we don’t understand how loved we really are. Once that piece is solidly in place, we’re free to pursue the things we truly want, and interestingly, the things we want begin to align themselves with an intrinsic understanding of what God has in mind for our life.
This is because our hearts are created by God in His image, and they long for the life He has in mind for each one of us individually. When the heart is polluted with things that aren’t true, we end up feeling lost and empty no matter what we try fill the space with–food, money, power, prestige, drugs, etc. But if we stick close to God on a daily basis, we begin to grasp our worth in His eyes, and that emptiness gets replaced by His truth.
But God feels far away. Why would He want to hear from me?
It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you think you’ve done–God is right there waiting for you to lean into Him. He’s not mad at you, or shocked by anything you think you’ve done, or not done. We only need to slow down a little bit, and spend some time with Him each day. Let Him in on your goals, and ask Him to align what you want with what He’s up to in your life.
Let God speak His truth into your heart by reading His Words every day (because just as we need food to fill the empty space in our stomachs on a daily basis, we need His Words to fill the empty space in our hearts each day too). Pretty soon, you’ll find you want to spend more and more time with Him. You’ll begin to see how filling your heart with His truth leaves no room for the lies and limiting beliefs that have held you back in the past. When you invite God to fill that void and direct your path, He will. The more you do, the more you’ll understand how deeply loved you really are.
It won’t be long before you begin reaching your goals on the regular because you’ve now got heart, mind, and spirit fueling you forward. You’ll begin to reach and go far beyond any goals you might have set on your own because you’re drawing on His power in your daily life. Place your trust in Him and watch–you’ll see.
This is going to be a very good year.
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
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