Sunday, 28 December 2014

New Year’s Fresh Start



During New Year, hopes are high, change is very possible and possibilities are many. At New Year’s Eve church services we are admonished to realize our resolutions and make our lives better in the coming year as compared to the former. Prophecies upon prophecies billow from the church room. Hopes are high and everyone is full of energy to change and let his/her world rock! It always seems like that passion will never fade but all too soon, many backslide as if New Year’s Eve never happened.
 I must say, for most people in this world, fantasy is what we want but reality is what we get. Wishful thinking is not enough even with a “magic” portion from someone divine. It is actions that get things done and not sleeping and dreaming. Dreams will remain in your head until they become goals. Goals (plan of action or intention) are what you reach or realize.
Personally, I don’t like to make much noise about New Year’s Day because I believe each new day gives us a fresh start. But for some reasons a New Year obviously and easily inspire and encourage people to make improvement in their lives. Technically there is no difference between the fresh start of a December morning and that of a morning in January. However it is the norm or ritual, people are more motivated to better themselves in January. That is not bad, though not the best! New Year [celebration] is not going away any soon. God has given it to men to set special days and seasons (Gen 1:14). I’m sure New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve will be with us for a very long time.
So then, how do you start afresh in the coming year? Do you pray hard! Or do you do die-hard stuffs? Do you ask for the blessing of a prophet, a pastor or a priest? All those (things mentioned above) are necessary and good but your daily decisions will determine at the end of the day whether your life will be better in the New Year as compared to the old one. You just don’t have to look at the mistakes of the past and wish your life will become better the next year. Your wishes mean nothing if you don’t have a blue-print to ameliorate your life. And your blue-print must be elaborate to keep you pushing ahead when all others are giving up!
Unfortunately, God will never plan for you, you can wait ages but He wouldn’t.
How do you make your future bigger than your past?
First, retrospect and identify. If you don’t know where you coming from, you will surely end up anywhere. The man that doesn’t know his history does not have any future. Before you enter the New Year or just when you have entered the New Year take time to reflect on your life so far. Identify where, why and how you made mistakes in the past. Admitting your mistakes is the first step to take for change. If you are not ready to accept your mistakes then you are not ready to make amends and grow thereby. Therefore, identifying the when, why and how you made mistakes in the past through retrospection is the first step in your journey of improvements.
Secondly, make a decision to change the way you do things. It is preposterous to do the same thing and expect different results. It does not matter the number of prophecies or blessing you’ve receive from the man of God, if you don’t change the way you do your things you will only make a mockery of those blessings and prophecies. The prophecies or blessings provide the force-field to help easily change your ways. Yet you can fight the force-field by not complying. To have a better life this New Year you must change the way you do things daily in the coming year. It is your daily activities and decisions that determine the kind of life you will have in the long run. The things you do daily without even thinking is what normally chart the course of your life. Accordingly, you must have a daily plan to have a better year. Growth or improvement doesn’t happen at once, unless sometimes you are referring to some forms of miracles. Growth and improvements don’t happen automatically, instantly or by accident, diligent efforts over time produce them. Even with miracles, it is your daily activities that will determine whether you preserve or lose that miracle at the end of the day (see Gal. 5:1). What you normally get instantly or through a miracle you must go back and developed the necessary characteristics to guard or keep lest you lose it. But what you achieve or get through diligent efforts over time you would have already had developed the necessary character, fortitude or spirit to guard or keep it by the time you get it. Whether it is your marriage, life, ministry, career, business, family that you want to improve, you must know how and what you will do differently daily, then weekly and monthly this time around to get that results you so desire.
Thirdly, measure your progression. You cannot achieve what you cannot measure. At every point in time you should know where you are with respect to your journey of improvement. If you don’t know where you are, you wouldn’t know where you’re getting to. Rather, you will roam aimlessly, wasting precious time, energy and resources. Hence, make it a point to know how you are doing well with your change plan. This means that your goals must be measurable. Assuming it is your relationship with God that you want to improve this New Year. You will usually set the targets of reading the whole Bible, developing your intimacy with the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting, and evangelizing this New Year. Let’s say reading the whole Bible in one year is preponderant among the rest. In that case, you should know how many chapters of the Scriptures you will read daily, weekly and monthly. With that, you can measure whether you are making progress or retrogressing. If you can’t measure your progress then obviously you are not serious about growth, change and improvements this (new) year.
Lastly, don’t just fuel your passion but develop the right habits. Passion drives our actions and inactions. As a matter of fact, passion is what get us all started. As you approach the New Year or even during New Year’s Eve church service, the passion for change is fresh and extremely high due to the messages and prophecies we hear but that passion fades with time. In reality, information fuels our passion which turns to drive our decisions. Since these same messages (we hear on New Year’s Eve) don’t follow us everywhere we go the passion with which we promised to be different persons in the New Year fades away with time. You can choose to fuel your passion by listening to or making yourself hear the messages or prophecies (or the likes) that kicked your passion into motion, over and over. But sometimes passion just dies and it’s never the same irrespective of the information available to resurrect it. So this is the trick: instead of depending on your emotions or passion for the moment to drive your actions, develop the right habits! Your habit make you do the things you do daily without even thinking about them. They are not fickle. Habits stick around for so long. Habits are difficult to lose. Habits are stronger than desires. Passion or emotions do change. When the passion dies out and the “high-feeling” has taken an exist will you throw in the towel? You will only stick around if you have developed the requisite character – the winning character. That passion or high feeling may get you started and make you set lofty resolutions but it will leave you when the going gets though. It is only discipline – practising the right habits – that will take you to the finish line.
If you are ready for and serious about change, let’s hit the ground running!


Copyright © 2014, Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.

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