If you’re anything like me you love new beginnings. There is something almost relieving about a new year. A fresh start. A do-over if you will. And -If you’re anything like me- you tell yourself the same thing at the beginning of every single year and it goes something like this: “This year will be different. This year will be the fresh start that you’ve been needing so badly.” and without fail, every single year nothing really changes. The first 3 days in you feel set and ready to conquer, but by the 4th day you are just ready to give up, because no matter how bad you wanted to start over, nothing is different. If I had to guess why, it is because we get thrown right back into our old routine. Habits are hard to break and when you’re under pressure and stress you resort back to what you know, no matter how much you may want to change. I read in a Psych journal once that it takes 21 days of conscious effort to form a habit, and about double that to break an existing habit. Now of course there are exceptions to those statistics, its nothing set in stone, but it brings up a good point. Change takes time, and change is never easy. Even if change is for the better, it can still be hard. If there is anything that I’ve learned over time, its that you are going to mess up. You are going to fall, fail, trip, stumble, and sometimes land smack on your face. What matters though, is not the fact that you fall. No, what matters is that you get back up and keep pushing forward. There was a quote I read once, and it said –
What defines us is how well we rise after falling.
There is a lot of truth in that. Progress isn’t defined by how for you get before you fall. Progress is defined when you fall and say “I may have fallen, but I’m going to get up and try again anyway”. This year plan your new beginning, set goals for yourself, but don’t be disappointed if you mess up. You can’t avoid slipping up, that is just a part of life, but I want to encourage you to keep pushing forward toward your goal. Like Paul says in Philippians 3:12-14.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Forget what is behind and press forward! Just like a new beginning. Just like this year. On January 1st 2016 you will have 366 blank slates to project your life into. 366 empty pages waiting for you to write on. Change takes time, don’t give up when you don’t see results right away, just keep pushing forward. Take baby steps, and don’t be too hard on yourself. If I had any advice for you for 2016, it would be that. Take baby steps, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Often times we are our own biggest critics. I am way way way harder on myself than I am on any other living thing in the universe, I guess that is just how I’m made. Take the time to realize that you aren’t perfect, and what really matters is the fact that you are trying. So, I guess my point in all of this is that, no, we may never get our brand-new beginnings, and nail our New Year’s resolutions in a week’s time, but we can try our hardest. We can get back up when we fall. And, we can keep pressing forward toward our goals.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.