September is the new January!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Can you use a restart to the year? This is it: September is the new January. Many people believe that September is the official start of the year because that's when the school year starts. Others, tired of not reaching the goals they set for themselves can use a reboot to their year. Today I want to encourage you to make September your January by doing the following:

1 • Look at your January goals and start working on them. Don't feel bad about your progress (or lack of it) but simply start where you are. The amount of time left this year is plenty time to reach the goals you set for yourself. You can train for a half marathon. You can learn a foreign language and improve your resume. There are incredible possibilities ahead if you choose to start. Don't let regret take a hold of your thoughts but simply, start where you are. Let me share a secret: one time, I got150 days late on my "Bible in a Year" reading. No I didn't take a Bible reading hiatus. Life simply took over and I got late. My goal was start from where I was and make progress. It worked! One year from now, what will you be the most glad about? Well my friend, let's start where we are. 

2 • Invest in your health today. You don't need an elaborate plan or thousands of dollars to take care of your health. Here are simple things you can implement in 24 hours: you can drink more water. You can manage stress. You can rest more. You can put more vegetables in your plate. Your life is unique and incredibly valuable to God and others. Invest in it. Make a commitment to make small improvements within 24 hours and keep those good habits going for the remainder of the year. 

3 • Take an honest look at the next few months. God doesn't want you suffering from anxiety. For some of us, a quick glance at the next few months will cause great distress - hello holidays! My challenge is to look at the next few months and delete the appointments (and habits) that are good but not best for me. I have been guilty of overcommitting. I have also been brave enough to tell the people I mistakenly committed to help that I didn't have enough hours in the day to help them. It was tough to get those words out but there was complete peace after those commitments were out of my schedule. People sometimes catch you in the most inconvenient of times. They ask you for things in a way and in a moment where you can't turn them down. I have learned to graciously tell them the truth. I recently met an elderly stranger who asked me to volunteer many hours to her non-profit. She pitched her worthy cause to me in a captivating way. I said 'I can't volunteer but you can consult with me and I will direct you to someone who can offer you the services you are looking for." I am yet to get a call back. Be honest with yourself: there are worthy causes out there but God hasn't asked you to stretch yourself thin. He did give you a family to care for a one or two things that you can do well. Let's all take an honest look at our schedule and free up space for the things God will actually empower us to do. For more on my thoughts in this area, read Focused Volunteering here.

I believe that if we focus on our goals, invest in our health and manage our time, we can make September the best January we will ever have this year.