2013 started yesterday.

No doubt you’ve been inundated with posts and articles about resolutions and creating a new “you” in 2013. I place little stock in January 1st. Not because I rebel against goals or self-improvement, but rather because I believe a date should not be the primary motivator of change. Life happens in the present and setting goals should start there, too.

That’s why my 2013 started yesterday.

Change starts with you.

Too often I run into people who are waiting for catalyst to the life they really want. They seem to believe that some external force will shift finally allowing them to pursue their potential. That rarely happens. Not often do we just magically start eating healthy foods or crave exercise or mysteriously start reading more instead of watching TV.  The most likely result is no change at all. Just waiting. And watching. And living in stagnation.

If you want a different life, you need to create it. If you want it bad enough, you won’t wait to start.

Chance vs Change

Where do you start?

I don’t know what your ambitions or goals might be. I do know that every endeavor starts with a single step. So take a step. Even if it’s only a baby one.

Here are a few more specific ideas:

TOOLS: A Google search will reveal dozens of apps, websites, books and more, all with the intent of helping you set and keep your goals. I don’t have a program to endorse. If you have a favorite, share it in the comments. I’d love to check it out.

GUIDED INSPIRATIONAL SERIES: Coming in January, Mary DeMuth will host a series entitled “13 Days to a New Heart, New Life.” Follow along on her blog, Live Uncaged, or on facebook.

If that doesn’t do it for you, grab a book that pertains to your pursuits. It’s amazing how immersing myself in a topic fuels my passion for it. It’s like embers of a fire. They might glow for a bit, but eventually they die out … unless you push them next to other embers. Together they ignite one another. Passion is like that. Pursue books, blogs and people exhibit the traits and habits you want to possess.

CHALLENGE and ACCOUNTABILITY: Set distinct goals and tell people about them. It is exponentially harder to wimp out on a goal if others know you’re doing it. They’ll ask how it’s going; I guarantee it. And no one enjoys admitting defeat.

In years past I’ve hosted a “Read with Me” Challenge in which we — you blog readers and I — endeavored to read through the entire Bible in one year. For three consecutive years we had “weigh-ins” on Fridays to prompt accountability and fellowship in what we were learning. It has been a great experience, one through which I made lasting friendships. I was even blessed to have real-life meets with some of you! :)

When I started writing the studies for Big Word, Read with Me got bumped off the wagon. I want to get it back on and, instead of waiting for Wednesday, I started yesterday.

If you want to read through the Bible with me, I am doing the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan. This is the same one we started three years ago. It offers 4 short, but distinct readings each day (Old Testament, Psalms/Proverbs, Gospels, New Testament), 25 days out of each month. That means built-in grace. We love grace. By the end of the plan, you will have read through the entire Bible in less than a year. You can find this plan online HERE or on YouVersion.

YouVersion is awesome. If you do not yet have it, get it. It’s a fee app for your Kindle, phone, ipad … whatever. You can even use it on your PC. It offers hundreds of Bible reading plans and loads of different Bible versions. It helps you keep track of your reading progress. You can share notes and highlights with friends online. It’s just wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Your Turn: What are your tips for living the life you want? What are your next steps toward your goals?

Talk to me!

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