Tag Archives: directions

A New Year’s Parent Pep Talk

We are one week into 2018.  Have you radically changed your life yet?  Me neither.  I’ve mostly been trying to convince my body that I’m not still in India.  I love mornings.  But I don’t love 2AM.

Many people love New Year’s Resolutions, and others just as passionately hate them.  I mostly stay away from the “resolution” word because it feels like as soon as theirs failure, there’s despair and giving up.  Anything really worth “resolving” at the front of the year should be worth sticking with as the year goes on, even if it takes you most of the year to start sticking.  If you want some help on getting a new habit to stick, I recommend you checking out one of the very early blogs and podcasts I did,  all about how to learn a new habit.

I like to take the couple of weeks at the end of one year and beginning of another to evaluate where I’ve been and where I’m heading.  As I do, I always remember a powerful quote by Andy Stanley:

“Your Direction, Not Your Intention, Determines Your Destination”

This is simple, profound, and convicting.

As an example, I live really close to U.S. 1 in Stuart, FL.  It’s cold right now, so perhaps I decide I want to get as far south as possible, and I know that U.S. 1 will ultimately get me to Key West.  If I head to U.S. 1 and turn left from my house, it doesn’t matter how much I want to get to Key West, I’m headed to Maine!  It’s my direction, not my intention, that determines my destination.  Therefore, a very wise, simple exercise we should do as humans, parents, followers of Jesus, is to take an honest look at our direction.

A simple, powerful question to ask yourself:

Given my current direction, without changing trajectory  where am I heading?

I think this is an important question to ask oneself, not just in general, but in specific areas of your life.  Take some time, apply this question to the following areas:

  • Your walk with Jesus
  • Your marriage
  • Your relationships with your kids and family
  • Your professional life
  • Your finances
  • Your physical health

Very likely, if you’re honest, you’re not going to be thrilled with all of the conclusions.  Given that reality, you’re left with two options: 1) Keep on doing what you’re doing and pretend that somehow you’re going to get a different result through magic 2) Change your direction.

If you realize you need a change of direction, I recommend you 1) share this with someone who can encourage you and keep you accountable, 2) make a plan to start baby steps in the right direction and 3) check out this “Hardwiring Habits” post I mentioned earlier.

And if you’re looking for baby steps, here are a few you might consider:

  • Read one chapter of the Bible a day; add a specific time of consistent prayer each day; get in a small group with people who will encourage you
  • Block one morning or evening every week or two weeks for a date with your spouse, or some intentional activity with your kids each week, or one specific night each week for dinner with your family
  • Write out 3 Actionable Goals for this year in your professional life
  • Take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course and follow his Baby Steps to Financial Freedom
  • Start a Food Journal.  Write down everything you eat.

These are just suggestions, and you likely cannot start all of these at one time and have any hopes at succeeding.  So pick on, or two.

Take baby steps.  Change your direction.  Change your destination!  By God’s grace and with His help you can do this!

Let me know what baby steps you’re taking this year!