Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keeping on Track and out of the Ruts

OK we’re three weeks into the new year. Time to take inventory of those lovely New Year’s resolutions I decisively jotted in my journal. How am I doing so far? Now where were those things I wrote out? In fact, what were they again? Vaguely it’s coming back…

Maybe you’re like me. New Year’s resolutions are great to help identify changes I want to make in my life. Commendably, I’ve suspended frantic activities long enough to recognize the need to change and paused long enough to want to do something about it. But if my insight and desire surface only on that one day at the beginning of the new year I’ll sadly join the ranks of petrified characters who dutifully mount their soap boxes again at the end of 2009 with regret and recycled resolutions.

So here I am in danger of getting off track with my well intentioned and Spirit-prompted changes! I’m pouring into my work with fresh vigor and passion. The pressing emails, phone calls, reports, planning, and errands are taking over my waking hours. Oh, did I tell you about my increasing interest in the finer points of writing? Oh, yes, did I tell you about joining Facebook that consumes valuable minutes during my coffee breaks?

Enough. What can I do to sharpen the focus and possibility of the success of my proposed changes for 2009? First of all, find them. Get them out and put them some place where they’ll stare me in the face each day. For me that’s my Power Point prayer list. For others it’s their refrigerator or desktop.

Secondly, make them a matter of prayer. How obviously simple and yet so easily forgotten. Prayer provides a daily reminder and is the given means of involving God in the process of my change. Through prayer I invite his grace, strength and Spirit’s promptings as I begin the daunting task of disrupting well established routines and habits that have made up my previous behaviors and responses.

And thirdly, involve someone else in accountability, someone who is willing to risk challenging me to keep on the progress track and willing to call me out when I run straight back into hobbling in the old ruts of habits that I vehemently deplored last December. For me that’s my husband. I give him the right to challenge, badger, question, and encourage me to keep on track and to stand beside me on 31 December with a banner of victory and a fresh list of resolutions for the next year. How about you?

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