Happy New Year!!! It’s a brand new year!! I love a fresh start!
Last night for Family Home Evening we were reminded we can all change! My husband taught us that if we try to make some huge change we will fail, it won’t last, but if we take one small step toward the big change we desire it will be doable and becomes part of who we are. He loves the principle of kaizen from the book “one small step can change your life”. It echoes the scriptures that teach by small and simple means, line upon line, precept upon precept, great things are brought about!!
My 12 year old daughter piped up – she had learned from a goal-setting class in school that if you really want to do something BIG, reach a lofty goal, the ONLY way to get to that goal is one little step at a time. Just like climbing a staircase, you are not automatically at the top, but must climb each step, one (ok, maybe 2, at a time!) Accomplishing short-term goals IS what will bring your long-term goals to fruition! (OK, she didn’t use the word ‘fruition’ but you get her point.)
My husband has always strongly felt that
“When we deal in generalities, we shall never succeed. When we deal in specifics, we shall rarely have failure. When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” (Thomas S. Monson)
Mike taught us a system of goal setting that he has used effectively in the past. He gave each of us some worksheets. One can list up to five goals ‘short-term goals, aimed at the long- term goal results, across the top of the chart. Each day you give yourself a score 1-5 of how well you did on each small goal. You add up the points and give yourself a score for the day. You can see clearly how you are doing each day, week, month. Once you have mastered a small goal with a perfect score for three weeks you can choose the next step, or next short-term goal to work on.
He gave each of us individual binders with goal sheets inside and this quote on the cover,
“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
Goals, baby steps to seeing them happen, focused effort, is the only way our dreams of what we want to accomplish in this life will ever happen! “If it’s going to be its up to me!!”
I’ve really considered lately how much Christ gives us what we need to change. Hope, faith, and love lead to change.
In order to change we have to have HOPE that we can! He’s given us that gift by preparing the way for true repentance. We can be forgiven of God and have our past mistakes FORGOTTEN. Wow, I love the hope that gives me. Change can happen. He gave His whole life because He believed we can & want & will change. Will we believe in Him enough to do it?
If we really have FAITH in Christ we are motivated to become better, to follow Him. Believing in Christ has never been lip service only. We show our belief in Him by doing what He asks. That IS faith. Faith in Him motivates change for the better!
And the greatest gift and motivator of all, He has given each of us, LOVE. He LOVES us, unconditionally, completely. He gave His life for us He loved us so, and believed in us. ‘He loved us first’. In my own life, there has been nothing more energizing, lifting, joyful, and motivating than real love! I’m so grateful for my husband, his parents and mine, grandparents, even children and friends who have been very good at giving the gift of real love.
Love is patient, and kind, easily entreated, gentle, but I feel most of all it believes in the best within us, gives us the benefit of the doubt. Do we give that to our spouses? Our children? Each other? I’m so grateful Christ gave it to us. My parents passed out this quote on beautiful Christmas paper as part of our Christmas Eve celebration. I have it on the fridge:
“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses and short-comings; having patience with someone who has let us down, or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.”
May we give our spouses, children and one another the gift of hope, faith, and love this New Year! May we all change for the better in 2014!!
So here it is, a brand new year, a brand new start!! It’s so energizing!! May we all achieve our fondest desires, or at least get closer to them, this year! May we give our ourselves, our spouses, our children, and one another the gifts of hope, faith, and Love, the true force for change in the world this New Year!! May we all change for the better on 2014!!!