The first step to causing a successful transformation in your life is to specifically identify the things you want to change! You need to ask yourself, “What exactly is it that I want?” Most people just drift through life without ever knowing what it is that they really want.
I used to live close to a launching pad for hot air balloons. Those big, colorful balloons are magnificent against the backdrop of the Colorado sky, but the pilots can never be quite sure of where the balloons will land. Several balloons actually touched down in my backyard! A pilot can control the elevation of the balloon, but he or she is totally at the mercy of the wind.
Just like these hot air balloons, many people rise up and get excited about the possibility of change, but because they never identify their specific desires, they end up drifting along and landing toward an unforeseen destination. They may be aware of a few things that they do not like about their lives, issues that make them uncomfortable, but they cannot define what they want to see changed. They may even have some a few vague goals, but because they are not clearly defined, their lives continue to drift.
In Mark 11, Jesus instructs us to identify in prayer the things we desire. But in order to pray, you need to know what you desire. All the major areas of your life can be improved with change. It may be helpful to think about each area and define what you want. And if you’re like me, it helps to write these goals in a journal.
Area #1 Spiritual and Ethical Life: You can grow and change so that your spirit becomes stronger. My prayer life, for example, was revolutionized when I allowed a friend to mentor me in this area. Other avenues of spiritual growth may be reading and studying your Bible, being honest in the little things, or even working toward discovering your primary purpose in life.
Area #2 Family and Home: It seems that almost everyone has issues of forgiveness. We all have fences to mend with a relative, a spouse, a child, or a neighbor. You may argue, “But you just don’t understand! That person is impossible!” I do understand, we all have those people in our lives that we fundamentally don’t click with. But it is so important for you to let go of any bitterness. You have to protect your heart from it or it will absolutely destroy you. You cannot control how other people are, but you can control how you are.
You can also define the positive things you want in your relationships. I write down goals for what I want to see happen with my wife and kids—one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year goals. You may think that is a little compulsive, but I guarantee you my family is not neglected. I never take my family for granted because my goals keep me accountable.
Another aspect of the family and home area is improving practical things, such as installing new carpet in your house or purchasing a hot tub. Every year between Christmas and New Year’s Day I categorize my goals like this in my journal.
Area #3 Financial and Career Life: Do you have career goals? Perhaps there are changes looming on the horizon in this area. You need to come up with a plan! What would you really like to do? Maybe you want to change your finances. It’s never too late to learn how to save and invest. You need to set goals to increase your income and to continue developing your skills for the marketplace.
Area #4 Mental and Educational Life: Some of us may need to go back to school. Or we many want to learn a foreign language or become computer savvy. Some of us just need to commit to more independent study. To continue growing mentally, you should try reading a book a week. If you don’t, then in ten years you will have missed out on more than five-hundred books! There are many opportunities for growth in this area. It all depends on your personal goals.
Do you have any transformations you’re hoping to make? Let me know in the comment section below!
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