This is not your typical New Year’s resolution article. Truthfully, I don’t like or even make resolutions. You shouldn’t either (not that you were in any danger of that anyway).
I wonder if that is still a thing…nobody talks about it if it is.
I do think a new year is a great time to think about you. Are you where you want to be? Is the new year going to be filled with the same you or do you think you will be different in 2024?
As wonderful as you are, it doesn’t mean there is no room for improvement. We can all get better, and we should. (More on that later). It is in the HOW we get better where things get muddled.
Some people are goal setters and goal achievers, most of us are not. Of course, you can set a goal and hit it but it doesn’t motivate or inspire you, at least not the way it does for goal accomplishers.
Do the goal people bug you a little bit? Not that you would say it out loud, but does their constant stream of accomplishment get a little old?
Good news, did you know they are wired that way? It is not that they are better or worse than anyone else, they are motivated by a goal, especially by checking a box next to a goal completed. It is one of the most fulfilling things they can do. It is in many ways a core component of their personality.
But not everyone else’s. For many of us goals are, well…meh.
Growth appeals to more people than goals. The idea of getting better and healthier is a good motivator. We love the idea of a better version of us, even if we aren’t sure how to get there. While goals may be meh, growth is yeah!
Do you know the secret sauce though? The thing that motivates everyone? It is not goals, not even growth, it is progress that is the universal momentum maker.
When you make PROGRESS, you get and stay motivated. Think about it. What last hard thing you did? As you were struggling along, what kept you going?
When you experienced progress it gave you the juice to keep at it. Progress is the killer app, the momentum maker, and the inspirational fuel cell.
Progress works in every area. If you want better health and start to see progress, you not only feel better but you engage consistently.
When you are trying to make financial progress and the spending or saving is closer to where you want it to be, bang you get even more disciplined.
Trying to learn a new skill or take on a new experiences, when they get easier you start to sense more satisfaction.
It is no different when it comes to spiritual things. Your spiritual life is not a goal and growth can be very difficult to measure, but progress is attainable.
When you see yourself making spiritual progress you realize you are becoming a better version of yourself. It is almost addicting.
Making Progress makes you want to make more progress.
So, progress is not just good it is great. It isn’t about goal setting perfection or even a hard to define desire to “grow.” Progress is real and surprisingly easy to build into your life.
Good intentions vs Real Strategy
Here is where things get real. Good intentions are things like, I would like to pray more, my goal is to have a better attitude, I am setting a goal to be more loving, I am going to help others more in ’24.
These are great starting point but for most people saying these things means nothing will happen. Sounds good, great ambitions, and admirable but without any strategy for making progress they will die a quick death.
Everyone wants to lose 10lbs. Saying I am setting a goal to lose weight doesn’t move the needle. Setting your alarm 45 minutes earlier so you an exercise and eating a 2,000 or less calories a day means you will make progress and lose weight, probably more than 10lbs.
How about this one. I want to save more money. Great goal. If you want to make progress set up an automatic bank transfer to put $250 into a retirement account every time you get paid. You will see progress happen quickly.
The same thing applies to your spiritual life. The area I would contend matters more than all the others. The area where even progress can be hard to gauge. The good news is the principals are the same.
Do you want ot hear God speak and renew your mind so you think differently, then read God’s word. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and spend the time reading the Bible. It will change you.
Do you want to help people more this year? Find a place to volunteer at church and invest in others.
Do you want to pray more? Join the prayer team, we will send you a one-week personal prayer training and invite you to pray with us as our church and community let us know about their needs.
Make spiritual progress this year! You should be a better follower of Jesus 12 months from now and it starts by doing something specific to make progress.
The best part is you don’t do it by yourself. Your church is eager to help you make progress check out some of the ways you can get started.
Want to make progress hearing from and talking to God? Check out Moving Forward. It is a six-day online video course designed to help you move forward. Over 150 people in our church have already used it to make progress. You will get 5 minute video with other resources in your inbox everyday for six days. As you put what you are learning into motion you will make progress.
Want more? Do you want to make progress in your connections, serving, giving or even explore baptism? Click HERE and let us know how we can help you.
2024 can be a great year of progress for you.
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