It’s usually right around now where the hype of a “new year, new you” hits a major rut. Inspiration has disappeared, monotony has set in and discipline is so UNappealing. So it’s easy to feel blasé about the resolutions you’ve set. It’s easy to think, “I’ll wait till Monday and pick it up again.” But ta-dah, Monday comes and goes, and before you know it it’s January 2015 and you find yourself making the exact same resolutions all over again. I know. I’ve experienced this more than I care to admit.
Two weeks ago I read this timely quote that actually clicked, “Prepare for setbacks.” Rather than letting it go in one ear and out the next, I actually pondered what it meant. I sat down and wrote myself three points as way to prepare for when the road got bumpy.
1. Reach up.
You are going to feel discouraged along the way. You are going to question yourself and want to think your way out of the confusion. But don’t. Instead, dig deep into the devotional plan you put in place. Remember, first and foremost, you desire to be a man/woman of prayer. Pray more than you think. Pray more than you talk.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
2. Reach in.
You are going to feel like your dreams are so far away, so why continue? When this happens, re-read your goals, re-read your life plan, and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Then add one more grateful thing to your, “Cool Things That Have Happened in 2014” list. Practicing gratitude for what you’ve already done diminishes the noise that you haven’t done enough.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
3. Reach out.
You are going to need to relax and have fun and have deep meaningful conversation. Don’t be so isolated and blinded by your pursuits that you forget to spend time with the people who make you laugh, the people who give you encouragement, the people who love you unconditionally. The greatest gift God ever gave you was your family and friends. These communities are God’s hands extended to you. But remember, be with people who will pour life into you rather than suck the life OUT of you.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
When you take a moment to think through the kinds of foundations you want to have in place when the setbacks come, it helps the discouragement seem a little less difficult.