“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
As we consider potential goals for this upcoming new year, the following simple questions can help us develop an appropriate, Christ-centered mindset with which to evaluate how we choose each one:
Will this help me to be the man or woman God intends for me to be? Does it align with God’s Word?
If you can answer yes to these two questions, my advice is to prayerfully proceed with the planning required to meet your goal, and may they prosper and succeed through the grace of Jesus Christ.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
In hopes of encouraging and supporting you as HDD readers, I wanted to comprise a quick resource sheet that could serve as a blessing as you set any of a variety of goals.
1. If you’re in the Atlanta area and are looking to become a healthier, confident, and more positive person, then it may require the support of Christian counseling. You will be amazed at the amount of joy and freedom that comes from confronting and releasing our past hurts and trauma. Trust me, I can attest to this from personal experience. Here’s a great (and affordable) place for you to get started:
The Hope Counseling Center
2055 Mount Paran Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30327
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
2. If you’re interested in learning something new (maybe in a subject that has always interested in you), or want to sharpen a specific skill, then why not take a free online course this year at a highly ranked university? I’ve recently taken incredible courses in entrepreneurship and food economics, all at no cost. Now could be the time to sign up and expand your knowledge base.
Coursera – The World’s Best Online Courses for Free
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15
3. Become more financially savvy. Every person I know has some sort of financial goal, whether it’s creating a budget, saving more, paying off debt, or becoming more generous. All of those goals are related to money, and developing financial wisdom is a must. You can check out Crown Financial for a plethora of free online tools, great articles, and additional resources. I am a huge fan of understanding the biblical reasoning behind financial strategies, and this ministry will give you just that. Their topics cover everything from choosing a career to establishing an estate to dealing with bankruptcy.
Crown Financial Ministries
“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 28:20
4. Develop intentional, healthy, and mutually edifying relationships with others. If this is your goal, let commend you because it is extremely wise and ever rarer in our culture. Check out these books for some incredible insight and advice (whether you’re married or single).
“Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
“Safe People” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.” Galatians 5:14
5. Develop a stronger, healthier body this year by incorporating a few new items into your diet:
1. One tablespoon of Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil each day can give your brain a powerful dose of mental clarity and stamina, your body a boost of energy, and your heart a smile, all while cleaning out your arterial walls from plaque (caused by cholesterol);
2. Chia seeds serve as an incredibly quick source of fiber (and they are a great tonic for your large intestine), amino acids (protein so it helps fill you up quick), and a load of vitamins and minerals so your cells work quicker to repair themselves and communicate (giving you more energy and a stronger immune system). All you need is 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds in your food, a smoothie, or your juice.
3. A probiotic, such as Bluebonnet’s Acidophilus plus FOS, can serve as that “ounce of prevention” you may need against illnesses. A single serving will deposit over 3 billion viable microorganisms in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract that will bad bacteria in check, keeping your body strong. Recent studies have shown that over 85% of illnesses can be attributed to a poor GI tract. If you are prone to diarrhea or constipation, this is also a great option because it helps maintain a nice balance of microflora, keeping your large intestine and colon clean.
4. Finally, I would suggest glyconutritional supplements, which have proven to be incredibly beneficial in my own health. They’re made from organic vegetables and fruits (including the super food aloe vera), making them super convenient if I miss my day’s worth of fresh salad. Highly potent, they only need to be consumed once per day (in powder form) and provide a noticeable increase in energy and body strength. You can find it in the link below.
In addition to these suggestions, check your BMI to accurately set weight loss goals and know how many calories to consume each day in order to lose the pounds you are desiring. For example, let’s say I am 5″5 and weigh 165 pounds, and want to lose 15 pounds in the next 6 months. This is a healthy goal, but will require a consistent eating regimen and some exercise.
With the info I provided above, my BMI would be about 27.4, which is overweight (normal is below 25). The approximate caloric intake required to maintain this weight would be 2204 calories per day. In order to lose on average 3 pounds per month, I will need to cut my daily caloric intake from 2204 calories to roughly 1700 calories. Because 1 pound of fat contains 3500 calories, I’ll lose about one pound a week to reach my goal. Take the time to strategically plan so that your goals can be successfully achieved. Here are some links that can help you determine your metrics:
Baylor College of Medicine
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” 3 John 1:2
6. Develop your character this year by learning to make incredibly wise decisions. Wisdom that teaches us to fear the Lord, and wisdom brings forth wealth and long life. The entire book of Proverbs located in the B-I-B-L-E is seriously worth reading, re-reading, and re-reading again. It’s an incredible manual for making very wise, healthy, and God-honoring choices.
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:13-18
7. Grow in your God-given strengths. And encourage others to grow in theirs as well. Check out Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton. Whether you’re the parent of one child or a corporate executive with a staff of twenty, this book will help you produce greater results by focusing on what God has already gifted others with, rather than trying to meticulously fix the weak links in their personalities. This resource has served as a personal eye opener that has strategically forced me to improve what I already do well, instead of wasting energy on the things that I don’t naturally like to simply become mediocre at everything.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Here’s to our personal improvement this upcoming new year! (Through the grace of Jesus Christ, of course!)
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