Have you ever failed at a New Year’s Resolution? I have failed so many times that until last year I just quit and laughed heartily at others who made the grandiose attempt!
The truth is the first of each year we are ready to make improvements and we KNOW the areas we need to shore up in our lives, the problem is our myopic approach! I have learned this year after multiple failures to develop a new lifestyle, not attempt new THINGS. Let me explain as best I can.
As a young musician, I was taught saxophone by a great musician named Dr. Sonny Burnett. Doc was incredible, the best sight reader I have ever had the privilege of calling my friend and mentor. After frustrating him one day with the classical piece he tried to teach me, I said “I just can’t get it!” He then gave me a great piece of advice: “Slow it down,” he said, “You can play ANYTHING if you play it slow enough!” So I did, and I mean I really slowed it down…and much to my surprise I could do it in this fashion, and the more I repeated the music I gradually could speed it up to its written tempo.
If you are following me, you will note that this advice is not only for music, but for life. One old illustration asked the reader “How do you eat an elephant?” and the response was, “One bite at a time,” or as my Daddy liked to say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!”
My life last year evolved into a practiced set of many different things: gym, study, reading, marriage, family and friends, and a flood that destroyed my family farm. From this I discovered that without a plan to organize these, I would agonize over their importance and repetition. What I really needed was a plan. So I ask you, fellow elephant eater, are you prepared to attack from one corner? Let’s try a plan this year…just a few simple habits practiced on a week to week basis can bring us all great personal growth.
- Book Reading: Either electronically or on paper, read books on areas you need strength. Bible, finance, family or a new subject you need to understand. Plan to finish one a month… easy peasy!
- Audio Teaching: Need more time learning? Lay down talking and driving and use that time to listen to a group of Bible teachers on audio files! Pick one or two and just start. If you need some pointers ask me; I’ve picked up a great group!
- Seminars and conferences: We live in Myrtle Beach, the conference capital of the Carolinas! Check out KLove and HIS radio calendars for local events. Get a group and grow together!
- Coaching or Counseling: I am blessed to have a world class counselor on staff and affiliations with great coaches and mentors. I seek their advice constantly, and I surround myself with friends who believe in me, not people I have to prove myself to constantly. People are elevators…seek those who truthfully lift you up, even when it stings!
This is a workable lifestyle for even the simple such as me! Make a plan, sit with one of our care pastors, let them guide you to a greener pasture… that’s what shepherds love to do!