Living on Purpose with New Disciplines in 2013

by Tom Sine —

Are you ready to embrace new disciplines to follow Jesus in living on purpose in 2013?

[Photo of: Jeanette Kwakye during World Indoor Championships 2008 in Valencia via Wikipedia This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.}Last week I asked: “Do you want to start the New Year by ‘living on purpose?’” I outlined one way you might begin to discern how to connect your life more directly to God’s loving purposes for a people and a world.

If you have a sense of God’s call on your life then the next step is to develop the disciplines necessary to actually live into your calling in 2013. In Hebrews 12:1-2 the author reminds us that we are all running a race in front of a large crowd of witnesses. “So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go.” (CEV)

The only way to get rid of those things that slow us down is to develop serious disciplines for every part of life. Years ago I learned the best way to become a disciple of Jesus was to put first things first one new discipline at a time.

Listen to the research about how to succeed in establishing new disciplines included in the new book Take the Stairs: Seven Steps to Achieving True Success, by Rory Vaden*.

As we race into this new year most of us will fail to keep our resolutions but “… a new study offers hope, revealing that you are three times more likely to achieve your resolution if you do one thing: stick with it for the first 30 days.

’Sticking to New Year’s resolutions is a perennial challenge,’ says Vaden. ‘There are many contributing factors, but at the end of the day, it simply comes down to a lack of self-discipline. Yes, it’s tough to make real changes – but the irony is that if we can just make it past the one-month mark, we are three times more likely to make a permanent change.’

Given the challenges facing goal-setters, Vaden offers six tips for getting over the 30-day hump and sticking to New Year’s resolutions in 2013*:

  1. Pick one resolution – or pick none. We suck at multitasking. The more goals you have, the more difficult it is to achieve any of them – because the time and energy it takes to make behavior changes is spread too thin.
  2. Put a price tag on your failure. When we break commitments in life, there are consequences. Your resolution is a commitment to yourself, so there should be a cost if you don’t follow through. My friend promised his business partner $2500 if he didn’t lose 50 pounds in six months. Do you think he achieved that goal? You bet.
  3. Don’t measure your results – measure your efforts. Focus on stellar efforts – not results.
  4. Set a weekly alarm on your calendar. Schedule a weekly check-in with yourself to evaluate your progress. And remember – you are evaluating the progress of your efforts, NOT your results.
  5. Start from scratch every week. Renew your intention to stick your plan. Remember, you are only 30 days away from making a change that you will keep forever!
  6. Find a friend. Make sure you have an accountability partner, because while you are likely to lose your motivation at some point, it is much less likely that both you and your partner will feel unmotivated at the same time.”

Are you ready to embrace new disciplines of following Jesus by living on purpose in 2013?

**Why do we break our New Year’s Resolutions?