I like what Benjamin Franklin said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” With every new year you have a fresh opportunity to evaluate what has been, and dream about what will be. There is a tendency during this time of year to look in the mirror, and ask life-altering questions about who you are, and assess if you on track with where you thought you would be. Regardless of where you might find yourself, taking the time to be honest with where you are, how you feel, and where you want to be is essential.
The wonderful thing about life is the fact that you are always one decision away from changing the course of things for the better. The only question is whether you will find the courage to not only look in the mirror to be honest with yourself, but will you also have the courage to make the necessary changes in order to make yourself, and your relationships better.
As you think about the things you want to address this year, there are a few things to keep in mind to help you not only identify what you want to do, but to help you actually finish what you start. This is the first of 5 articles revealing the 5 steps to making a new you!
Step #1: What is your vision?
Everything begins with your vision! Scripture even in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Failure to have a clear vision for yourself, or for your family makes it almost impossible to find success. According to research finding from Harvard University, there are 5 things to consider when thinking of your vision.
- Responsibility & Self Discovery: Sometimes in life in order to get a hand, you have to give a hand. You must make the decision to take responsibility for where you want to go in life. This requires some self-discovery to see if your pride or ego is keeping you from asking for the help you need to accomplish your goals.
- Recognize your strengths: A part of the process of determining your vision to make sure it aligns with your strengths. I may have a dream of being an NFL quarterback, but if I can’t throw the ball more than 20 yards downfield, I need to find another goal. Identifying your strengths allows for your goals to also be realistic with what you can actually accomplish.
- Identify your values: Your values simply answer the question, ‘What is most important to you?’ Many times people will say that the things that are most important to them are their faith, their family, and their friends. But if you took time to reflect on the last 30 days of your life, how much time have you invested in any of the areas that you say are important to you. Your values should be a guide to help prioritize your time, and energy. If your vision is not aligned with your values, you are not likely to follow through with it.
- What are the benefits, and do you need more education and training? What will happen if you accomplish your goal? Is it worthwhile? Is it something that you really want? If there isn’t a passion that is ignited when you think about your goals and vision, then you need to find another dream that does. Another question to ask yourself is if there is any additional education or training that you need in order to accomplish your goal? How long will it take to get the training? Are you willing to get the additional training to accomplish your goal?
- What is your self-image? You can have a clear vision of what you want. You can recognize your strengths and have made sure that it aligns with your vision. You can make sure your goals align with your values, and identify the benefits for accomplishing your goal. But if you don’t BELIEVE that you can accomplish it, you won’t! Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” That simply means that whatever you think about yourself…you are right. At the end of the day, you have to believe what’s in your heart more than anyone else!
There is a clear reality that we always must remember. It is impossible to have a healthy relationship if you aren’t healthy yourself. I’m not just talking about physical health. I’m referring to your total wellness, inside and out. Think about it, professional athletes have to prepare on multiple levels for optimal performance. They not only prepare to be stronger, quicker, and faster physically, but they also have to prepare.