Ephesians 4:22-23 (NIV)
“With regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds”
What starts today? The answer is easy, the first steps to those changes you want to make but have been putting off. So, what have you been putting off? A healthier you, a better job, a cleaner house, changing a bad habit, or finishing your education? What if you are trying to cram seven different goals into those ten minutes you have between breakfast and running out the door in the morning?
Changing anything begins the same way no matter what it is. You first must decide you want to change. Not, I think or maybe I should, but a conscious decision that I am going to do it. Jump in full force with both feet, no half stepping. Most of us have probably dabbled in some of the categories above either with some success or we have failed miserably.
I know for myself that I have tried to get healthier by losing some weight but I soon found out that my favorite diet is the yo-yo diet. I have lost and gained the same 25 pounds numerous times over the past two decades and continue to struggle. Looking back today I can say that deep down I know that in this particular case I never fully committed to that all or nothing mindset that I have used in other areas.
I quit some habits cold turkey, I gutted through a physical activity, and I persevered through a taxing project, but yet I could not resist that piece of pie five weeks into the carrot and celery diet. I am exaggerating a little but in reality I was not being realistic with the overall incorporation of my goals into my real life parameters. What does that mean? Real life happens and you have to think about and plan how your major goals and lifestyle changes fit into it.
Many people have a favorite diet routine that is effective but when you throw in a change of schedule then add in some activities with a sprinkle of appointments you have that perfect plan spiraling out of control. We have all been there when we push hard but soon tire out, the pressure begins to mount, or we just don’t know where to turn. When we get to the point where our world feels like it is spinning out of control it’s time to put your foot down.
Before I get too far down the rabbit hole let’s come up for some air because no matter where we are, we still have the option to change. But again, we must be sincere about or motives and intentions before we can push toward any goal we are setting for ourselves. Many of us may have made great strides in certain areas of our lives while some have never even left the starting line, but that doesn’t mean the race is over. I know that right now I am stretching to begin another jaunt.
Giving up at any stage of life is like a recent commercial I saw. A person is lying on the couch and their phone rings. When they look at the screen the caller is listed as “future,” but they don’t answer it and lie back down. The next part of our future is calling and I am answering the phone. What about you? So, stop asking questions and using the same excuses and repeat after me, IT STARTS TODAY! It doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday, Friday or the 4th of July, IT STARTS TODAY!
I want to be healthier, IT STARTS TODAY. I want to stop smoking, IT STARTS TODAY. I want an education, IT STARTS TODAY. Anything you have been putting off or avoiding, IT STARTS TODAY. If you have several things you want to address or need to adjust as I do, be smart about it and start with small changes as you put your complete plan in place. The small victories will snowball and lead to success. As I am writing this it is Wednesday and I’M STARTING TODAY!
One final piece to add to this puzzle is support. I can say that far too often my custom designed yo-yo ended up with only one string before it broke. We need physical and emotional support for many of these journey’s we take because it is not easy. I know the times that I succeeded I declared my intentions at the beginning and had like minded support to help me along the way. It is not good for a no sugar diet when your support suggests a stop for an ice cream sundae on a hot summer day.
Much of my support also comes from the Lord and the strength I get through His Spirit. I can say that during my victories I drew strength from Him and joyfully thanked Him for that little nudge before I strayed from the path or caught me before I fell off the wagon again. One of my favorite scriptures in Philippians 4:13 reminds me that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and I know He does.
I also remember John 16:23, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” Humbly ask the Father for the strength and guidance you need for your new journey. When we do so in faith, He will be there with us through every circumstance we may be struggling with or that new plan we are putting in place.
You may have heard a variety of quotes that tell you that a journey no matter how long begins with the first step. However, the decision is not to just take that first step but to remain steadfast in the journey. It’s not that I think I should try A new path, rather it is a mindset that you have determined that this is the proper course of action that you need to take right now with no turning back.
So, as you read this what day is it for you? The day you use to plan to start tomorrow, next week, or next month? Instead no matter what day it is join me and say, IT STARTS TODAY. This is our first step on a new journey to change all our tomorrows to come. Now also please enjoy, “Let Your Journey Begin.”
LET YOUR JOURNEY BEGIN
Today begins another tomorrow for the list of things I have to do,
I think I crossed two things off but then added another few.
I have spent too many yesterdays moving in slow motion,
Or finding I went backwards from the path that I have chosen.
Regrets add to the excuses of why things were not done,
It is too easy to say I’m tired or just to find a place to run.
Lord, the time I have just seems to be slipping through my fingers,
Then as I close another day the sense of failure seems to linger.
Child, you must first just lift your head and rise up to your feet,
Feel my strength course through your veins as this new day you meet.
You must want to change and choose a path that will let you win,
So take my hands and walk with me to Let Your Journey Begin.