January has three weeks bulging under her belt. Many of this month’s early-date fans now resent her as much as their own waistlines. Unlike the fickle masses, statistics maintain a consistent view of January. She reflects human nature’s tendency to launch with the boldest of aspirations only to crash into the frigid craters of failed resolutions. In three weeks or less.
Ah January, you reflect our best and worst days. Your hours of heart-sprung hope soon falter as emotion loses its thrust mid-month. We flail in the impossible atmosphere and arc downward at full tilt. The crash sinks us deep into the tundra, below our New Year’s launch pad. We’re left shivering in the mid-winter season of defeat.
Before accepting our fate and shuffling into Fail-bruary, some of us dare to ask a simple question. Three letters hold the potential to guide us toward a new path which could spare us from another chilling and unsuccessful January in the future.
Statistics prove eighty percent of us give up within two months and ninety percent of resolutions will never last the year. These facts reveal a pattern, but the graphed data has no benefit on its own. We must examine the cause if we ever hope to change our course.
Aerospace engineers, world-renowned for mastery of data, never focus on unsuccessful results when trying to improve future outcomes. The success of a mission relies upon the preparation completed long before the rocket launch, after all. Breaking through the atmosphere of our current lifestyles requires the same attention to groundwork.
While most resolutions spring from feelings, the heart cannot sustain enough willpower to break the sound barrier oppressing us. We face spiritual warfare and negative self talk in addition to the simple inertia pulling us to revert back into comfortable ruts.
Emotions serve as important consultants in our lives, but make horrible managers. As we discussed in the previous post, spirituality must center and fuel us. Aligned with divine guidance, our doing and thinking must precede feelings. Most of us set resolutions and goals without laying the inner motivational groundwork.When launched from a backward chain of motivation, goals fail. Click To Tweet
Setting up the spiritual and mental framework might sound simple, but mindset shifts can prove daunting.
Today’s video discusses the following keys to manageable mindset shifts which lay the groundwork for renewing your life:
- Journal your negative self talk. Write down the accusations, shaming statements, and name-calling which create an oppressive sound barrier within you.
- Replace each line of your sound barrier with spiritual truth. (For examples, look for lists on sites like Freedom in Christ Ministries or in my book Beautiful Warrior). Carry these verses and inspirations with you. Most studies suggest our minds require a ratio of at least five positives to overcome each negative message.
- Identify the mindsets which lead to unwanted behaviors. Visualize these as moths in your mental closet, eating all your favorite dream-outfits. Catch these thoughts as soon as they come to mind and replace them with countering mindsets which lead to successful, life-optimizing habits.
- Look for justifications, comparing bad habits with worse habits, minimizing statements, and apathy mindsets.
- Examples include, “… just this once,” or “… who cares,” or “at least I’m not …”
- Ask yourself if a behavior will lead you where you want to go.
- Learn to listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in all things.
- Beware of distractions! As I’m working on my blog, I’m fully aware of the insidious nature of distraction and procrastination. Believe me, I GET how challenging this can prove for all of us!
- Adopt a discipline of gratitude. These two concepts might seem at odds with one another, but we choose our thoughts and actions before feelings shift into alignment. I can remind myself to thank God before I’m successful at what I believe He is shaping me to better demonstrate in my life. Praise has an antiseptic effect upon negativity. Click To Tweet
- Ask for others to pray for you through this process.
- Find someone to serve as an accountability partner. It’s easier to fail alone. Center your mutual encouragement on the Lord, inviting His presence and wisdom to strengthen you.
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
– Ecclesiastes 4:12
What step will you take this week toward shifting your mindset? Notice I asked about ONE step, not multiple objectives. Choose a single shift this week. After you’ve effectively practiced the first step, add another healthy mindset practice.
Let us know how you’re doing! We can work through these lifestyle habits to optimize our well being together. I’d love to gather a community of encouragement. Feel free to comment here or on my Facebook page. As always, I cherish your feedback and comments.
Next week, we’ll look at another aspect of well being. But please remember to work through these concepts at your own pace. A little at a time will prove more successful in the long term. And we don’t want to crash like another statistic, after all!