Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ten Life-Giving Habits for 2010

Every December, for as long as I can remember, I have created goals for the upcoming year. I tend to be an optimistic/idealistic type of person, and I always look forward to a fresh start and new opportunities to accomplish my ideals. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that I have tended to burden each new year with too many unrealistically high hopes for personal improvement and achievement, which have caused me great discouragement many times while the year was still in its infancy. Therefore, this year, I have decided to take a new approach.

I like to ponder things, and I can't help but re-evaluate where I am and where I want to be as a new year comes up over the horizon. This isn't really a bad thing. But, I often don't know quite how to accomplish my lofty goals, or I lack realistic plans for achieving them, so I end up with a bunch of noble aspirations that crumble around my feet.

As I thought about this, one day I realized that instead of concentrating on the amazing things I wanted to accomplish and instead of setting my sights on the Outcomes that I hoped to achieve, that what I needed to do this year was focus on the Habits that I desire to develop in my life.

I love this quote by John Wesley -- "Don't seek after a ministry, anticipate the fruit of a disciplined life." I think it has application here. Instead of focusing on the results I hope to achieve, I am just going to anticipate the fruit that I will reap from sowing certain habits and disciplines in my life.

If I set certain outcomes as my goal, and I work hard, but still don't achieve them, I feel like a failure. Often what happens, is once I realize that I'm hopelessly off schedule and have no hopes of reaching my goal, I just drop out all together. This has happened to me in the past in the areas of losing a certain amount of weight or reading the Bible through in a year.

On the other hand, by choosing the development of certain habits as my goal, then all I have to do is to be faithful to perform the chosen activity over and over until it becomes routine. At that point, it is much easier to continue that action consistently. As I continue to be faithful with my new habits, and leave the results to God, I should see life-changing rewards.

It reminds me of this quote:

"Sow a thought, reap an action;
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character;
Sow a character, reap a destiny."

Ten Healthy Habits

So, here are the ten eleven healthy habits that I hope to cultivate this year.

0. No mindless nibbling.

1. Read the Bible first thing every morning with the goal of reading it through in one year.

2. Be thankful in all things.

3. Take supplements daily.

4. Eat 4-6 servings of veggies a day, and 2-4 servings of fruit.

5. Rise at 5:00 or 5:30 each morning and follow a consistent morning routine that includes Bible reading and prayer, planning my day and exercising.

6. Exercise a minimum of 15-30 minutes every day.

7. Prepare and eat a nutritious breakfast between 7:00 and 7:30 every morning.

8. Drink at least eight cups of water a day.

9. Replace refined, processed foods with nutritious, whole foods whenever possible.

10. Go to bed by 10:00 or 10:30 pm, so that I can get at least seven hours of sleep a night.

I hope to elaborate on each of these habits in the days ahead.


mommyx12 said...

Love all the ideas. We are doing some, but definitely need to work on others. The rising at 5am is a tough one!! Always has been and now with hubby home from work it's extra tough. Staying up late with him is way too easy. But I plan to get my act together when he goes back to work and he has to get up early. Should help me get motivated I think.

Julie said...

Sounds like a great list. Lots of things that will benefit greatly and can actually be done. Thanks for stopping by my blog today :)Your suggestion for party potatoes is a good idea. I LOVE those and make them often when I make meatloaf.

Rebecca's Refining said...

Love the list! I have some of the same goals in mind for my life this year...we should encourage one another in well doing!! It is easy to not feel as accountable since we are so far apart, but we should really strive to do so anyway!

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