Resolutions. Whenever a New Year rolls around, lengthy resolutions, changes, and goals for the new year dominate many people’s minds and contemplation time. In our family, we have a tradition of gathering around the fireplace at midnight, chatting about what went right, what went wrong, what the major disappointments and major thrills and accomplishments were of the freshly-eulogized year and then compile a list of all of the things we’d like to accomplish in the freshly-inaugurated year. We laugh a lot and get introspective. Then we take turns praying about those goals we feel God has led our hearts to pursue. We pray for ourselves and for one another.
The problem is that most people have trashed or failed miserably with their resolutions by the end of the first month of the year. Why is that? Did they pick the wrong ones? Did they not make the right plans to achieve them? Were they too ambiguous, without concrete plans for achievement? Did they set themselves up for failure the moment they put pen to paper? Did they take a wrong route that resulted in them getting hopelessly stuck, unable to break free? Are they simply so mired in poor behaviors that they find change impossible?
In his great book, Getting Unstuck: 7 Steps to Freedom, former Family Life Radio host Lee Escobedo outlines steps you can take to succeed at setting reasonable goals and achieving change and control over your life. Changes that will last you well beyond this year.
Escobedo, who describes himself as a personal development coach, says the first thing you should do is identify three things in your life you’d like to accomplish. And he stresses that you should arrive at that list after much prayer.
After identifying the three things, you then need to ask: Why do I think I haven’t been able to accomplish those three things? Be honest. Our first reaction might be to come up with a list of excuses, or say, “Gee, I don’t know.” But if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll quickly arrive at the correct answers. If you really can’t come up with the answers, I suggest you ask a loved one, a significant other, or a trusted friend. They’ll probably know the answer. Give them the space to be honest, and listen carefully to what they tell you, without being defensive about their response. Listen, take it and ponder it.
Then ask yourself another question: If I could eliminate my obstacles, how would my life change? Take some time to think about and answer this one.
Then come up with something concrete you can do quickly to change your life. That boosts your determination level and makes you feel more self-confident and able to achieve those goals and make those necessary changes. It’s positive mental reinforcement, and it's the first baby step to accomplishing more complex goals.
Escobedo stresses that the most important things you do are centered on improving your relationship with God, others, and yourself, so focus on those first and foremost. He thinks we spend so much time in negative self-talk that we never get started and sabotage ourselves. We compile a list of excuses before we even get out of the starting block. And our failure becomes self-fulfilling prophecy.
And Escobedo also emphasizes that this process is ongoing. You keep pursuing, changing, growing and having fresh experiences.
But there are seven points you always need to face up to and keep in mind:
1. You have to want to change.
2. You have to take responsibility for yourself.
3. You have to refuse to give into temptation.
4. You have to continually cooperate with God in your transformation.
5. You have to be humble and dependent upon God—all of the time.
6. You have to realize that temptation never goes away.
7. You have to keep going through the process. Like a concert musician, you never stop doing the basics. That way they become so second nature you don’t need to think about them. They become an integral part of you.
So if you’re ready to really make some serious and long-lasting life changes that will stop the hurt and destruction in your life, strengthen and improve your relationships, help you experience health, happiness and peace of mind, and progressively prevent anything from ruining you, then start your year new year off right with Escobedo’s nine-chapter, 170 page goldmine. Take a fresh look at your life and make a new start.
As Escobedo points out: You’re worth it. Your life has meaning.
Why wait any longer?
The book is available at amazon.com. You can follow Lee Escobedo on his inspirational blog: http://leesniteradio.com/ Or email him directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
May God bless you on your pursuit of positive, life-giving and long-lasting change, and may He prosper you greatly this year!
When the eyes of the soul looking out meet the eyes of God looking in, heaven has begun right here on earth. ~ A. W. Tozer