“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law, he meditates day and night.”-Psalms 1:1-2**
No disappointment. No unfulfilled promises. No guilt. I have decided to tackle setting goals for 2018 in a different way. Not going to do it. BUT, I want to start a new habit.
If you Google search ‘how long does it take to start a new habit?’ there are hundreds of responses anywhere from one to eight months to build a new habit. This is based on many variables including the person, behavior tendencies, and surrounding circumstances. The key to building a new or “good” habit is to repeat the habit daily and be accountable (journal, partner, small group, etc.). So what is my 2018 habit?
I was challenged to pick a word for my focus in 2018. I prayed and wrote down several words which I thought “needed” me to dedicate my time and effort. No one particular word was screaming at me, until a few weeks later when I picked up my bible. It is titled “Women’s Devotional Bible-New International Version” but the word “Devotion” is what was glaring in gold color to me. Lightbulb moment and yesssss, my word was chosen.
I have decided to use this word as my theme for the year; in my quiet time, writing, relationships, and in my health and wellness. I’m excited to see where this assignment will lead me.
The online Merriam-Webster dictionary* describes devotion in three different ways:
- 1a: religious fervor: piety
- b: an act of prayer or private worship —usually used in plural during his morning devotions
- c: a religious exercise or practice other than the regular corporate (see corporate 2) worship of a congregation
- 2a: the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity: the act of devoting
- the devotion of a great deal of time and energy
- b: the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal her devotion to the cause
- 3obsolete: the object of one’s devotion
Most are familiar with devotion pertaining to religion such as reading devotionals, praying, and bible study. I am intrigued by the second definition-the act of dedicating something to a cause, enterprise, or activity. That’s what I am talking about, living out devotion daily in all my circumstances.
- Devotion to my God
- Devotion to my family and friends
- Devotion to my job
- Devotion to my volunteer efforts
- Devotion to my writing
- Devotion to my health
- Devotion to my hobbies
How am I going to tackle this endeavor? I will ask myself three questions before I invest any time in a particular activity:
- Does this activity fall into one of my categories (listed above)
- Would God approve?
- Is this a beneficial choice for someone?
The first two questions are obvious but I want to make sure if I am investing my time, talent, and energy into an exercise, I want it to benefit someone, including myself.
I know the reality; this will be a challenge, and I will make mistakes and neglect it some days. What excites me is I have a game plan and if I implement it every day, hopefully, I will make it part of my natural routine. Bring on 2018!
So what will you do for the New Year? Sets some goals? I challenge you to go a little deeper and pick some action, which if you commit to accomplishing, then perhaps, we can all make a contribution to improve ourselves and bring joy to our communities. Merry Christmas ya’ll!
**The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society