January 2, 2016

New Year: Looking ahead for 2016

Ok...it's that time of year we turn over a new leaf and begin again. Who's ready to Renew their efforts?

I always think of in the scriptures in Luke 2 where it talk about Christ's younger years. There's not much known of that special time in his life, but I like these two thoughts:

1. When his parents couldn't find him and search all over, they eventually found him days later in the temple. His response? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (v.49)

2. Then the summary of Jesus's daily efforts and the direction he was focused in...“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (v.52)

Little do we know of the particulars, but those two thoughts are a parallel for us...to establish a framework:
1. What is my mission, within God's framework?

2. How do I improve myself in the various roles and in the different realms (social, physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, etc.)?

Keep in mind...this isn't striving and hard core goals to make you cry. This is uncovering and becoming in-tune with your desires inside you. And then finding order and balance in your life to help it roll forward.

So, here is a simple visual to help breakdown your vision into functional and feasible plans.... It even looks like an eye or target. :)
(Instructions for the visual...and then examples beneath.)
1. First establish your core priority and foundation of the Spiritual dimension. (There isn’t much room for this, so I normally do a separate section on the bottom.) For me, I typically focus on this beautifully simple scripture that prioritizes my focus:

Matt 22:35-40
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.So here's 
a glimpse into a simple, general tool I use each year to reestablish my focus. It is a visual I draw in the back of my journal (so I know right where to find and refer to it often).

2. Then For each category, on the outer side, write a vision statement of how you see your best self—the ideal.  And in the inside write some goals and details needed to get you closer to that ideal. The key is that you establish a vision--and  a plan to work towards it. Not that you hit it exactly...but that you are working towards a higher aim daily.
3. If things are too hard or you don’t feel motivated to work towards it, adjust your goals. Your vision is a beautiful thing. Don’t make your goals blur your vision or make it feel heavier than it should be. You are great and the potential is within you already. Your vision is just better aligning your view of your own potential. Clear off those temporal glasses of present circumstance or looking back, and begin to BE who you already are, but have forgotten.

Example: Spiritual
I want to live my fullest potential and be in-tune with the spirit to know and act on what Heavenly Father needs of me for the benefit of others.
- feast in the scriptures daily: asking questions and writing answers
- invite uplifting music into my life when need extra support
- pray daily for opportunities to serve and give

I want to see goodness and truth in the things I read and learn about and seek a variety of opportunities to expand my views and cultural experiences.
- read a book a month
- try an ethnic recipe each month
- invite people into my home to share a cultural experience
- ask people I know to explain thing to me that I don't know much about

Example: Emotional
I want to have an awareness of my feelings and the feelings of those around me. Being present with those I'm with--thus knowing how to empathize with those in need. Being cheerful always through receiving all things with a grateful, childlike heart.
- write in my journal to get out my thoughts and feelings at least weekly, if not nightly
- use prayer as a way to get out my feelings and thoughts and work through them, turning them over to Him so I can best be objective in my judgments
- slow down and take time to just listen. Less talking.
- Reciprocate any and all forms of giving in word, deed, etc.

Hopefully that will get you started in the right direction.... Just remember life is not a race. Don't push yourself. "Men are that they may have joy." And joy can be found in aligning our vision and priorities and then as we daily seek help in realigning with those, God can provide us the opportunities and pieces to fit into our vision and get us closer from point A to B. We don't have to do all the work. Just set the course and be prepared to follow. :) Happy journey 2016!

Also, for those who are interested in chakras or symbology, etc. I do this same thing for more areas and it is so meaningful for me in deepening my understanding and appreciation for all those areas of my understanding too. SO I invite you to try it if you are familiar with the seven chakras, or however many you want for numbers. Maybe one day I'll post a big thing on that and some other perspectives on self-improvement and gratitude. What matters is that the tool you use if helpful or meaningful for you.

1 comment:

  1. I love that Shelley, thank you for the beautiful outline! You are inspiring Alaskan neighbor. ;)