Don't Waste Another Year
Every year we say we are going to do better. We're going to finally lose the weight, chase our dream, or spend more time making memories and less time being stressed.
And then we blink and it's December and we don't know what just happened or how in the world we got here. Our dreams are still just bullet points on a sticky note and we are worn out from being overbooked, over stressed, and over worked.
We've wasted another year by letting the distractions this world is filled with (TV, social media, chaos causing news headlines, and extra commitments we really don't need to make) take our time away from what should be, our obligations (faith, family, and our future goals).
So how can we change this for 2017?
I've listed below 3 key things that I have learned this year, along with some other books that I highly recommend to help you not waste another year of your life.
(You may click any of the following images to buy/download books)
I would strongly encourage you to take a few weeks in January, disconnect, and really plan out what you want to accomplish and who/what you want to make time for in 2017. No, our plans will not always go as planned, but it is certain that when we fail to plan, we plan to fail (Winston Churchill).
2017 will be phenomenally better if we spend our time on things that will last.
Here are my bits of advice for you:
Know Your Why
Yes, your new gym membership might be a great idea (if you can afford it). And yes, your plan to do whole 30 in January is awesome. Good for you! Even your decision to cut back on social media is wonderful (just make sure you subscribe to my email list first ).
But if we are doing these things because it is just another year or because everyone says you have to have a "New Year's Resolution," then chances are, you will be burnt out and already back on Facebook before January is over.
In my new e-book, Reclaiming Your Time With God, I talk about what takes up our time and why we let it.
So many people today think they know why the do what they do, but in reality if everyone else started doing something different they'd most likely follow. We are open-minded to everything unless it personally affects us in negative way.
When we know why we are letting things take up our time, we have a better chance of using our time well.
As believers, we believe that God should be the one whom we give the majority, if not all, of our time to. And as believers headed into 2017, it is important for each of us to determine what takes up our time in order to figure out what is keeping us from our time with God.
We can lose all the weight we want, but if we get fit for the wrong reasons, we will not be fulfilled. And we can get off of social media for the rest of forever, but if we do not replace those things with something worthwhile and purposeful, we will remain just as empty and envious as we were when we were on it.
Don't Wait & Do Nothing, Wait & Do Something
One of the worst things you can do this year (or any year of that matter) is wait for something to happen before you actually do what God would have you do.
I know too many people and know that I, myself, have struggled in this. We think that we will wait until we get a new job or a raise or a husband or a family, and THEN we will start living our lives.
We live in stagnation waiting for our lives to happen while in reality we are just living stagnant lives.
I recently saw a friend share this devotional book on Facebook. I haven't started it yet, but this is an excerpt from the intro:
"It might be hard to believe that there is a purpose to some of the most uncertain, frustrating, and seemingly stagnant times in our lives. But there is! However we won't likely uncover what those reasons are if we simply sit back and check out. We need to be present through it all in order to understand what God wants to do in and through us during our waiting seasons."
Don't waste this year by waiting for something to happen before you start living your life. Live the life you were meant to live and be prayerful in the things you are waiting for.
Use Your Gifts More
Lastly, take this year, and make time to use your gifts more. Too many of us have found ourselves in jobs we just signed up for because they were "secure and smart." We got the degrees for the best job market instead of getting the degrees that matched our best skill set.
I don't believe everyone should quit their job and chase something that will never provide them with an income. But I do believe we were given certain gifts that were not meant to be kept to ourselves but instead shared with others.
Don't waste another year keeping what you love to do, to yourself. Volunteer in the church band/choir, start a blog, substitute teach, share your gifts with others and glorify God with them.
Start first by discovering what your true calling is by reading: Find Your Calling - Discovering What You're Meant To Do, by Dale and Veronica Partridge. There is a book for guys as well. I'm currently going through it and it is filled with great, introspective questions that will help you see the gifts you've been given and how you can use them to either enjoy your work more, or begin finding new work.
If we keep these three things in mind, use these resources to refocus our hearts and mind, and are intentional with our time, I feel confident that we will have a better and more fulfilling 2017.
Two people you might have heard of who have done these three things so well are Chip and Joanna Gaines. Not only do they know their why, but they have waited so patiently for God to show them His dream for their family. From closing down their business to raise a family, to now using their gifts to make towns beautiful and glorify God with their talents on Fixer Upper. You can read more about their story here.
Every year, every moment, every second of this life that we have been given, is a gift. Let's let our lives be our thank you note. Let's start with 2017.
Feel free to comment below and share this post on social media with one way you will choose to make 2017 better.
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33