As the new year approaches, it’s customary to reflect on your life and look to the future, setting goals about how you want to live the next year. I don’t know about you, but each year setting goals only gets me so far. I have great ideas about what I want to accomplish, but in...
So, we’re already into the second month of 2016! How are your resolutions coming along? If you’re like most people, then it’s possible that you’re finding it difficult to stick with it at this point. Most New Year’s resolutioners (yes, I made up a word there)...
As the new year approaches, it’s customary to reflect on your life and look to the future, setting goals about how you want to live the next year. I don’t know about you, but each year setting goals only gets me so far. I have great ideas about what I want to accomplish, but in application, I fall way short. I eventually give up, and then I’m right back where I started with very little to show for it.
I’m tired of empty wishes and goals that obviously don’t really matter to me. I’m tired of living a passive life, waiting for something to happen or scared of what might or might not happen. I’m ready to do meaningful things that make a difference not only for me, but for the Kingdom.
Solomon in the book of Proverbs writes, “A person plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) I would rather have the Lord direct my steps than meet any goal that I set without him.
John, while he is writing about love in the book of 1 John notes, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9)
Do you see the end of that sentence, “…that we might LIVE through him.” I’m betting when we let ourselves live through Jesus that we will really understand what living is.
In reading further in 1 John 4, he tells us what truly living is; “ Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:11-12)
It seems to me that the secret to living through Jesus is love. Loving God, loving yourself, and loving your neighbor. (Matthew 22:37-40)
So this year as you set goals or resolutions or make plans for the coming year, instead of making empty promises to yourself and others, let the Lord direct your steps. Let yourself live through him by loving.
Make the coming year more meaningful by setting your goals around love.
- Show love to God by spending time daily with him in prayer and reading the Bible. Listen to what he wants you to do, and fulfill the purpose he has given you. Meet together with other Jesus followers in small groups and at church on Sundays. Make what God wants also what you want.
- Show love to yourself by eating well, stretching and exercising, and speaking kindly to yourself.
- Show love to others by helping anyone you see has a need. Trust that God will put people in your path daily who need to know his love and are looking to you to show it. Love others in big and small ways…your family, your neighbors, the people you work with, they all need an encouraging word, help with a problem, or a loving gesture that shows there is still some love in this world. Be love to the world.
When you put living through Jesus in love first in your life, you will truly understand that God lives in you and his love is made complete in you (1 John 4:12). This is surely a good way to live in the coming year.
It’s definitely the way I want to live.
So, we’re already into the second month of 2016!
How are your resolutions coming along?
If you’re like most people, then it’s possible that you’re finding it difficult to stick with it at this point. Most New Year’s resolutioners (yes, I made up a word there) start waning on their resolutions around the one to two-month mark—but that doesn’t have to be so for you.
Here are seven easy tips for you to follow to help you achieve whatever your weight-loss goals are:
1. Drink More Water – Drinking water helps aid in your weight-loss in several key ways. First, drinking more water in general is good for your metabolism. Adults should drink at least six 8 oz. glasses of water per day, and more if you’re even moderately exercising. Also, drinking a large glass of water 20-30 minutes before every meal will help you fill up faster. If you’re drinking that much water per day then hopefully you’re drinking a lot less of other drinks that contain calories. Try to avoid, or at least minimize, how many sugary drinks you’re taking in.
2. Portion Sizes – Most people don’t necessarily overeat on their total amount of food per day. The problem is that oftentimes adults, especially working adults, eat 2 or 3 large meals a day and don’t eat much in between. It’s more advisable to keep your meals smaller and spread out during the day. Look up the “Plate Method” on Google. Try to portion your place in this way. One-half fruits and veggies, one-quarter protein, and one-quarter starches. Following this method, try to space out your meals to about every 3-4 hours, with your last meal ending about 3 hours before bed. This helps keep your metabolism going.
3. SLEEP – Getting adequate sleep is incredibly important if you want to perform at your best. Not only does getting at least 8 hours of sleep help with energy levels so that you can be more active, getting that much also helps your metabolism perform at its best as well. If you’re having trouble sleeping, then there are some solutions. Try turning off electronics at least 1 hour before you go to bed and if you can, limit how much electronics you use throughout the day. Also, try to give yourself some relaxation time before bed so your mind can rest.
4. Keep a Food Journal – Keeping a food journal can help you get a better grasp on what, and exactly how much, you’re eating. This is important because most people don’t realize how easily the calories can add up. And besides calories, it’s important to monitor your sugars, unhealthy fats, and carbs. Most people don’t eat enough protein and under eat the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables.
5. Stay Active – Many working adults are sitting the majority of the day, and most don’t get the chance to be very active, even if you’re not sitting. So, be decisive about ways to get out of the chair or out of the office and move a little. A 10-minute stroll every few hours helps keep the blood flowing and gets your metabolism out of a sedentary state. Also, most stay-at-home moms (or dads) are often busy with the kids, but even then you can do workouts with your kids or find clever ways to workout using your kids as the weight! They’ll have a blast and you’ll be blasting some fat away!
6. Have a Workout Plan – Don’t just go to the gym and always head straight for the treadmill. Variety is the spice of life, and running on a treadmill every time won’t get you too far…plus it’s boring. Doing high-intensity cardio in short bursts can actually ignite your fat burning for longer than just running or walking. Also, don’t be afraid to pick up some weights. Weight-training is key to a well-rounded workout routine. Just make sure you’re smart and know what your limits are. If you need help or have questions, just ASK!
7. Be Accountable – Being accountable to someone will make giving up a lot tougher. If you don’t have someone, then be accountable to yourself. Keep a workout journal along with the food journal, and put post-it notes around your house to constantly remind you of your goals. Once you skip a day (or two) it becomes harder and harder to keep up the routine. Remember that you won’t hit your goals in a month. It also generally takes more than a month to create a habit, and if you’re like most people it will take 3 to 6 months before you really start seeing visible changes. But more important than how you look is how you feel. If you feel better, then you’re doing something right. Keep at it and DON’T QUIT!
Hopefully these few key tips will help you out wherever you are right now. The main thing to remember is that there are a TON of free resources available to you if you need help staying motivated or if you don’t quite know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to read and exercise your brain just as much, if not more, than your body. It will pay off and you’ll feel much more confident about reaching your goals.
Also, don’t be afraid to pray and ask God to help you. He wants us to be healthy too!
We wish you the best of luck and God bless!