Begin with the end in mind and you’ll have a great 2017. Put it this way:
What am I doing right now that the future me will be thankful for?
You want to live in January 2017 so that in December 2017 you will look back and say, “I’m so glad I did that.”
The reason for much of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction at the end of the year is we have done the opposite. We do things that make the January versions of ourselves happy, but the December (and ever after) versions of ourselves regret it.
While there are different answers for all people, here are four choices that we can all make that we’ll definitely appreciate in December 2017.
- Collecting Memories over Collecting Possessions
Last year, our family gave each other memories instead of gift items for Christmas. We all invested to go to Singapore at the same time. It was pricey but made for plenty of stories. Besides, we saved a lot of money in not buying a new phone or flat screen TV. You’ll be less satisfied with most of your possessions at the end of 2017. But great memories generate value all your life.
- Building Relationships over Building Your Brand
Focusing on building our brand robs us of the opportunity of authentic relationships. Don’t manipulate your image, just relate with people sincerely. Do your family and closest friends agree with the online persona or is it artificially produced?
- Mental Vitamins over Mental Junk Food
Junk food makes you feel full, but there’s very little nutritional value. Mental junk food makes you feel like you learned something new, but you’re really not a better person. These could be watching endless TV series, cooking clips we’ll never attempt, and updates on celebrities. Hey, I love junk food too. But that’s why we have to deliberately remove it from our presence or else we’ll keep bingeing. Close the laptop; pick up a book.
- Fulfilling Your Calling over Fulfilling Expectations
People’s expectations on us will never end. Someone will always have an opinion about how you did something wrong. (Usually an Instagram commenter) At the end of the year, we’ll be frustrated we gave so much away and are no closer to making everyone happy. Instead, ask God what He’s called you to do. Don’t just ask what He’s called you to do for life. Ask Him what He’s called you to do today, right now. Do that. And you’ll be glad you did.
In December 2017,
- You’ll be glad you took that trip over buying that new phone.
- You’ll treasure your relationships more than your social media following.
- You’ll benefit more from reading that book instead of binge-watching that series.
- You’ll be glad you obeyed God’s call over trying (and failing) to please everyone.
Proverbs 20:4 Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.