Does it seem too early to ask you if you have a New Year’s resolution? I realize it’s not the new year yet, but I’ve been working on my resolutions already. Now before you think I’m crazy, let’s talk about sustainability.
I was recently watching a sermon series that was filmed over the early spring, and the speaker asked the audience how many were still going strong on their New Year’s resolutions. You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you not many people were able to raise their hands.
And I’ve been in that boat, too. In my younger days, I would find a resolution and stick with it for a month or two, and forget all about it or regret that I couldn’t keep up with it. So I made up my mind to do it differently, and I’ve been meeting my resolutions with success ever since.
What’s the secret? My answer is re-thinking the idea of a New Year’s resolution. I think that in order to have a successful resolution, you first have to know your own playbook. We’ll talk more about that here. (In part 2, we’ll deal with practical solutions for setting goals.)
Knowing your own playbook is critical to understanding how to set yourself up for success. If you have a dog, you’ll know exactly what I mean. My dog knows things about me that I’m still learning. He listens to my phone calls and about 2 sentences before I say good-bye, he’s up and ready to go. He knows when I am getting ready to go somewhere – and he knows the difference between me getting ready to go to the grocery store and my hubby and I going out for a nice dinner date.
What I came to realize is that my dog studies absolutely everything I do. He’s always got one eye open and he’s a master-mind at remembering my patterns. When I began to increase my own awareness, I gained control over my behaviors.
One method that I think can be helpful is A. W. Tozer’s 7 steps of self-discovery. And this is my challenge to you. Find a space of time – whether it’s a Saturday morning or a quiet late night – and a comfortable space. Take these 7 items and really dig deep into them. Don’t be critical or judgmental about yourself. The goal is to look at them as if you were outside yourself looking in.
Ask yourself these questions, and then ask yourself where you want to be. We’ll talk about the practical steps you can take to accomplish this in Part 2. But for now, just make two columns and allow yourself to be real. Write your answers down and I’ll see you back for part 2!
-A. W. Tozer's 7 steps of self discovery