It is a new year and many of us are planning new and exciting things for ourselves. Some are a bit pessimistic because the infamous new year resolutions never seem to last. After a few days, weeks at the most, we are back to old routines. How do we make this year different? How do we finally accomplish some of those goals we have dreamed of accomplishing?
All too often we set too many goals, or we set very difficult goals and fail to divide them into steps. Other times, circumstances change our lives and we do not acknowledge the reality of our situation. Other times we are too vague with our goals. It is hard to reach a destination when we aren’t sure where it is. Then there is just plain-old-laziness. There is no cure for this condition other than working it to death.
There are four areas everyone should consider when planning new year goals. They include physical goals, emotional goals, intellectual goals and spiritual goals. This list is not all-inclusive. There is nothing wrong with adding another category but over the years I have found these to be the most important areas of one’s life which are often neglected.
Physical goals should include exercise, good nutrition, and attending to medical needs but don’t forget about rest and decompression.
Most of us don’t get enough exercise. There are many excuses for this. Life is indeed busy, so start small. I mean really small. Exercise for five to ten minutes three times a week to begin with. Set yourself up for success. Once you have been able to meet this small goal set a more competitive goal. Nutrition means eating healthy. You will have to do some research to educate yourself on this subject, but it is well worth the time.
Rest speaks for itself, all human beings need to get plenty of sleep. That means seven to eight hours per night. Decompressing means finding a healthy way to unwind at the end of the day. And finally, we must stop ignoring our body when it tells us something is wrong. Nothing good will come from this.
Emotional goals means taking our feelings into account and processing them. By the time they are adults, most humans have suffered some sort of trial. Some of us have suffered loss of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, financial setbacks, betrayal, etc. What we normally do is ignore the pain, suck it up and pretend we’re OK. We never process the trauma and work through it to the point that is only a memory and no longer has control over our lives. Surround yourself with positive people who live in reality and begin confronting your feelings.
Intellectual goals are important. We are intellectual beings. Feeding the brain is something that makes all of us feel good. It always gratifying to know we have learned something new, that we are good at something, that we have mastered something. Our brains are powerful organisms, understood only by God. Let’s do something radical. The easiest goal here is read. If you hate reading, then listen to books on tape or a podcast. Just feed your brain. You won’t regret it.
Finally, and most importantly, we arrive at spiritual goals. This is the most important of all our goals because, according to the research, we will spend more time in eternity than we will in this life. According to recent studies, 97% of mankind believes in a God. According to Barna Research, there is also data indicating that those who have a strong faith in God experience a better quality of life. I won’t tell you who to worship or how to worship. My intent is merely to give you something to think about.
Happy New Year! Live life this year to it’s fullest. Despite the many trials I am sure to face this year, I plan to live my life to the fullest. Won’t you join me?