Reinventing the Best of You!
The new year gives us all new opportunities to become our best. We might need to just tweak minor changes or completely reinvent ourselves. Either way, understanding why we want to change will make the change last beyond the first month of the year. Here are several ‘whys.’
Change Builds Character
It takes courage, planning and courage to move from complacent lives to fulfilled lives. I can struggle when the “things” in my life grow inward, choking out my development. Yet outwardly I look “fine.” I love adventure but sometimes the familiar is more comfortable. The known can be a safe haven. However, too much “safety” can quench our spirits and stifle growth. We become root-bound—just like a plant.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Proverbs 3:5-6” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”
Change Build Confidence
Finally tackling that ‘thing’ we keep putting off for whatever reason takes a moment of commitment to get started. That moving from rut to unstuck is the change that builds future confidence to accomplish new projects. You will discover we do not lack discipline or work ethics, what instead is missing is that last kick of getting started. It is the same moment we decide we are jumping off the cliff rather than thinking about doing. It’s the 5-Second Rule Mel Robbins talks about. Set yourself up for success and if you hesitate count backward from five to zero. On Zero you MUST move. If you have not read her book, do! Doing hard things, or things you have avoided will set you free and build a new level of confidence in you.
Galatians 6:4 “But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Sometimes staying in our routines also keeps our mindset in a mundane. The value is routines are predictable. The trouble with predictable is that we stop looking outside our direct vision. Shifting our focus and saying yes to new opportunities stretches our habitual thinking and may lead to improved prospects.
Take a hard look at growth through the lens of Philippians 3:13–14: “…But one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of Christ Jesus.”
Go through a process of eliminating everything in your life that causes being stuck in a rut. Nothing is sacred. Ask yourself the tough questions:
- What keeps me from growing?
- Do I live my life with purpose?
- What really matters to me? And do I live my life as if those things are priorities?
- If I knew I was dying, what would I do with the time I had left?
- What frivolous things rule my life instead of the important things?
Stand in awe of our heavenly Father, who is willing to encourage and equip us to grow to His best. Working in tandem with the Master, we can learn to grow outward and feel safe outside of self-inflicted entanglements. He provides daily opportunities for growth, and if we are willing, hands us the tools to equip new adventures.
Do you start your day dreading it or looking forward to the new adventures that may come your way? A lot of people work at jobs they hate—STOP! If you hate your job or life, start planning for a new life and move in that direction. Or be really brave and just jump! Eliminate the word can’t from your vocabulary. Avoid being the person whose first thought is how something won’t work. Ask yourself, what would be the first step in moving in that direction—what’s the next step. Focus on the first step and then move on. Do not be a party to analysis paralysis. Those people are so analytical attempting to solve every problem down the road that they NEVER get started. Every lesson teaches—Every lesson. And contrary to popular opinions, failure is the best teacher. Failing eliminates a strategy which points to the true plan.
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I cam that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
If you’re unhappy or frustrated with life, your priorities need to be realigned. Work hard to put your self-care first, then family care, then home and business. Self-care involves your physical health, spiritual health, mental health, and fun health. Put sleep, exercise, healthy food, quiet times, and fun on your schedule first. Then schedule family care—food, fun, household, etc. Once your fitness is top shelf, and your family is taken care of, business will fall in line. Business could be a home-based job, outside activities, volunteering, or anything that takes your time outside of self and family. Once your priorities are aligned, it will be so much easier to decide where your time will be spent and how much of it.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
1 Timothy 4:8 “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Setting solid boundaries not only benefits you but lets others know what you will and will not allow. I have found with clients, that the hardest person to respect boundaries is us. We allow our boundaries to get pushed by others and before long we do not like being involved with them when truly we should be angry with ourselves. I love what I do for others, but I allowed my work to consume me 24/7. Soon I hated work and was grateful for excuses NOT to work. That was on me. I re-aligned and scheduled my work, my chores, my fun, my self-care and fell back in love with life. I have had to work hard to keep my boundaries, but when I respect them, others do too, and I avoid burn out.
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1 Peter 5:7-9 “ Casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you. Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
Too many people look for confidence, happiness, peace, and success outside of themselves when in fact all these desired characteristics already exist within our souls. Life can be tough, and these gifts can get buried. Give yourself permission to evaluate and change. It will feel weird at first, so embrace change feeling weird anyway. Start with the end in mind. What do you want Jan. 1, 2023, to look like? Work backward to where you are and start today to take the first step toward saving those things you love about you and changing the things you don’t. The hard stuff is rewarding, and the results will feed your soul.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worth of praise, think about these things.”
Jeremiah 2 9:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”