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Happy New Year! I hope 2021 brings you more peace, joy, and fulfillment than any other year of your life. People were so eager to get to the new year, and we all know why. New Year’s mean new opportunities – a chance to implement changes in our lives destined to lead to incredible outcomes. At least in our heads anyway! Who among us hasn’t fantasized about being debt free or making more money or leading the best team or losing the most weight? And how do most people take on these daunting tasks? Yes, the dreaded resolutions. “This year I resolve to…” I get it, you need a starting point, and for many Americans, the resolution is it. But is there a better way? I propose another method exists, one more applicably suited for the goal of transformation and life change. If you really want to change your life, don’t make a resolution, change a rhythm.

Believe it or not, you’ve got rhythm. Yes, even you sir. We’ve got rhythms we’re living into every day. Think of them as the cogs by which your world turns. There’s the rhythm of work, which is moving back into motion although so many are still working from home and meeting by Zoom. You’ve got a home rhythm, when your family eats meals, who is responsible for household chores, and all the other things. Then there’s your life rhythm. This is how you care for yourself, things like exercise, time with friends, meditation, and prayer. When you make a resolution to do something big, like say run a marathon or complete Murph in under 40 minutes, what you may not be prepared for is the disruption it’s going to cause. Deciding on Friday that you’re going sugar free for 30 days the following Monday is not setting yourself up for success. The reason is you haven’t looked at the impact on your established rhythms. Additional exercise means additional time in your schedule. What do you plan on reducing in order to take on your new challenge? Cutting out sugar could mean cleaning out the pantry to reduce cravings, or committing to cooking two meals every night, one for you and one for everyone else in your house who’s now apparently against you.

I want you to take on new challenges this year. In fact, I’m going to give you a pretty big one. But I don’t want you to become a February statistic. All the coaches reading this know what I’m talking about. That’s the person who joins the gym in January, commits to five classes a week at 5:30 am, and then posts something to their feed in February like “there’s always next year 2022comeback” If you don’t want to be a February statistic, study the rhythms of your life. Become an expert in understanding where you spend your time and how your life flows. Then figure out how to blend your new challenge into your way of life. What’s going to need to change for you to be successful? How willing are you to change your rhythm for something new?

Speaking of something new, here’s my challenge to you. Read the Bible every day for 365 days. Yep, that’s right, one year. Now, what I did not say is read the entire Bible in 365 days. You could do that, and maybe some of you need to make that a goal this year. What I’m challenging you to do is blend daily Bible reading into your life. Daily Scripture reading has a huge impact on your perspective, a critical component of joy and peace. One of the ways I like to read is topic devotionals. I’ll find a relevant topic for something specific I’m facing in life, and then I’ll dive in and read. I love how the authors tie the content to one or more specific Bible passages. I’ll read those passages and if there’s one that speaks to me, I’ll expand my reading to the chapter containing it. Here’s a link to a devotional on leadership to help get you started.

This year is guaranteed to bring its own challenges. The great news is you now have a formula for navigating them. When life gets rough, don’t resolve to do it on your own. Instead, ask God to show you how to change the rhythm of your life to be in better sync with His will for you. Your daily Bible reading challenge will help get you there.

Questions for Reflection:

What do you want God to do for you this year?

How aware are you of the various rhythms of your life?

To make 2021 your best year, is it more important for you to start a new rhythm or stop an old one?

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