Ah the new year! So fresh with possibilities and newness. Is it just me or does the air smell different on January 1? There’s so much possibility in each breath. It’s amazing how in one stroke of the clock I become convinced that I can leap small buildings in a single step and suddenly love leafy greens with a burning passion. Somewhere in about that second week of January, however, that burning love affair with broccoli starts to wane. I don’t know about you, but right about now, I start getting hit with two little words.
They barrage my subconscious until I’m pretty much ready to call it a day and curl up with my favorite blanket, a box of wine (swirly straw sold separately) and every Netflix marathon ever made. All my wonderfully laid plans start to unravel. I realize that I’m still me with all my hang ups, insecurities and inadequacies AND I’m still not a fan of broccoli.
It’s not a fun revelation. The temptation to crawl back under the covers and go back to la la land indefinitely is almost too much to bear. Here’s the thing though, even in the midst of my finest sulks, there’s this pesky little verse that I learned as a child that keeps coming back to me. Gah!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” – Philippians 4:13
Thanks to Mr. Donut Man I will never be able to forget this verse. Follow this link for a trip into my childhood. You’re welcome!
While there may be any number of things that you (and I) feel inadequate to tackle, the truth is you were never intended to face them on your own. The key in that verse is the “through Christ” part. When you invite him into your life He actually takes you up on the offer. He moves in and starts helping you tackle even the hardest obstacles. Why you might ask? Because He’s God and He’s cool like that.
So in the midst of all my spectacular spirals over the years, God has shown me a few things that have helped change my can’t into a can.
Here’s 5 quick (please note I didn’t say EASY) steps:
1. Take a personal survey
Ask yourself, “What am I listening to?”. Is the voice that tells you that you can’t louder than the voice that says you can? Are you spending more time thinking about the negative what ifs instead of the positive what ifs? I’m not talking about living in a dream world, but I’m talking about facts. It’s been proven that what you think about over and over effects what you become. In Hebrews 4, we have the example of Abraham who they say recognized (HE RECOGNIZED SON) that his body was as good as dead BUT (I like big BUTS and I cannot lie) He believed that HE who had promised is faithful. He believed that he would have a son at like bazillion years old. Spoiler alert: He got one!
So all I’m saying here is make sure you’re feeding the voice that says you can. Spend time with the one who put the dream in your heart to begin with. He’s got a plan to unfold it too.
Want to hear more about this point? Check out this great message, entitled ‘The Struggle is Real” from one of my pastors.
2. Set realistic goals
Awesome, so you’re telling me you already set AND broke all your New Year’s Resolutions. Well done you! You’re not alone. Here’s a thought, how about you go set some more. I wrote a post about setting SMART goals last year and it still applies. Make sure the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related. Here’s the kicker though, DO IT ON A TUESDAY AFTERNOON. Don’t wait until the new year or even a Monday. Do it now!
3. Take Baby Steps
Recognize and celebrate the little wins. Baby steps are still steps. You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, there’s no way you will be. You were born human. You will die human. You are not perfect. The end.
4. Make Friends
This relates to point numero uno, surround yourself with people who say (and believe) that you can. Give those people air time. Your time is valuable. Don’t give people time who fill your space with negativity. Even if they’re not telling you that you can’t, if all they do is talk negatively, I want you to take two simple steps. Step one: Slam the door. Step two: Yell “BYE FELICIA!” Done and done.
5. Take a break (DANCE PARTY!)
Lastly, give yourself a break. Figuratively AND literally. Close the laptop. Put away the checkbook. Get off the elliptical. Take a break. Preferably a DANCE PARTY break. Dust off your best dance moves and go to town. Whether you realize it or not, you are actually doing it. You’re pursuing that dream. You’re kicking those goals in the face, baby step by baby step. That deserves to be celebrated.
Might I suggest this song? Miss Iggy and the God of the entire universe agree on this point…