For the second year in a row, I blew my New Year's resolution. It's not a big deal, nobody will die, a business won't close and a war won't start. It was important to me, but now it's done - I blew it again. My goal was to walk 10,000 steps everyday for 365 straight days in 2021. On March 2, I fell asleep 218 steps short of my goal. Last year I fell asleep one step short of my goal. One step!
After last years failure I began again and lasted for 250 straight days before I failed again. I came up with a plan to defeat my failures. I bought a calendar book and put it by my bed with the intention of writing down my step count every night before I went to sleep. The calendar book became an appointment book and left my nightstand. Once again, I failed to do what I said I would.
One of the last things that Jesus said before He died on the cross was, "It is finished!" To the world, Jesus looked like a total failure. Folks mocked Him by saying, "He saved others, but he can't save himself!" What looked like a failure was only one small step toward the ultimate success of His resurrection and our gift of eternal life. When we believe in Christ, He takes away our moral failures. Following Christ means we form new habits and let go of our old ways.
I know how to form new habits - come up with a solid plan and stick with it for at least 30 days. The actions you take on a repeated basis will become second nature. Yesterday I started my new plan and today I made one step to ensure it will happen.
I asked my wife for a small pocket calendar and put it by my bed. It will not leave and I will write my step count down every night before I go to sleep and fail again. You might be thinking that Bob is making a big deal out of nothing. Here's the problem, I said I would do something and I didn't do it. That bugs me and it's a crack in my character. If I can't find a way to always keep my word - that makes me a liar. I will not be known as a liar, to myself or anybody else.
Working on your character is hard. It takes self-accountability to the next level. Some folks describe character as what you do when no one's looking. The bigger picture is, God's always looking. Here are some learning points that have helped me work on my character.
- When you fail, go the extra mile to find out why.
- Failures are stepping stones to success when we seek wisdom as to why we failed.
- Spend more time on the most important things in your life. Doing too much depletes your energy and focus leading to a greater possibility of failure.
- Write down your plan to succeed and tell others about it. Ask them to hold you accountable.
- Forgive yourself for failing. Grieve if you have to, and start again quickly.
- Ask God to reveal parts of your character that aren't reflective of His more excellent Way.