I’ll bet you didn’t know that we have it all backwards when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions. People are always waiting for a “feeling” before they make a decision or take some new action. We have all been taught to believe that we have to wait until we feel something in order to make a change in our lives. The whole world tries to work according to that erroneous theory. Instead of making a decision and taking action according to that decision, we wait and wait and wait for some elusive feeling to come first before we act and alas that feeling never shows up, or it shows up briefly but lacking sufficient strength to help us make a real change. So, the feeling goes away (apparently) and we go back to business as usual; no change, no result, same ol’ same ol’. The reality of successful change is in understanding that feelings follow decisions and not that decisions follow feelings.
Here’s an example of how this works. You have been eating, drinking and being merry for the holidays and somewhere along the way it becomes apparent that you are turning into a real fatty! (smile) And because you don’t like that chubby person staring back across from you in the mirror, you decide you are going to lose some weight. And because you are still “stinging” from the horror of that rotund image, your decision is very strong! Now, here is where it gets interesting. You find yourself totally and completely motivated to go to the gym. Oh there’s no maybe I’ll go, maybe I won’t! Doggone it you are going to take this weight thing by the ears and solve it! Now you have been going to the gym faithfully for about 3 weeks. The New Year has come and gone and you are thinking that this “weight loss” thing is a little harder than you imagined. You start telling yourself things like, “Hey, people gain weight and it aint the end of the world!” or, “It makes no sense to run on this treadmill for 3 miles to burn 500 calories only to put back on those same 500 calories with a large slice of post-holiday pie!” Then, suddenly your motivation (feeling) is gone bye-bye. You settle for buying larger, more comfortable clothes and get back to life as usual. So, what happened to you? Why did your motivation go away? What happened was that you got talked out of your decision. Feelings or desire follow decisions. Instead of waiting for the feeling, the desire, the motivation to come back (and realizing it just aint coming back) you have to re-make your decision! You have to re-decide. The strength of your desires follow the strength of your decisions. See what I mean? We had it all backwards.
In order to make a New year’s resolution that will result in real change for your life, you have to use what we call, “The Four D’s,” decision, desire, details, deliverance. First you make a logical decision about something you would like to change in your life. This is the most important step. Make a real decision! Get clear, get focused and make a resolved decision to do something different or to get a different result. You will discover that your desire, your feelings will line up exactly with what you have decided. Now with that motivation in place, take the actions you know you need to take. If it is a new job you are after or simply earning more money, take action on what you want. Okay, now here is where it gets a little tricky… Despite your enthusiastic beginning, you will find yourself feeling challenged to have the same motivation as when you started. Feelings, feelings, feelings… This is where most folks fall by the way side and why the gym is crowded on January 2nd and a ghost town again on January 15th. Assuming you still want to lose weight, get a new job, or earn more money, re-make your decision! Decide again. Recognize that you have been talked out of your original decision as evidenced by your lack of motivation and that you need to go back to square one – decide! Trust me, your feelings of motivation will come right back because they are based on the decisions you have made.
Feelings or desire are not some mysterious element of human nature that we cannot understand. Feelings don’t just “happen” to us and then we make decisions based on them. Yet, how many people think that’s the way it works? Have you ever heard the ridiculous quote, “Well, the heart wants what the heart wants!” Good Lord I hate that saying! Your heart wants what you have decided it wants. It is not some separate, mysterious entity that has predestined plans built into it, with your job being to find out what “it” wants. Your heart is you. It is the sum total of everything you have allowed into it. “It” doesn’t make decisions, you make decisions about what you believe; what you expect; what you desire. You do-do you see it? Okay, so desire follows decisions we have made and are making. Decision first, then desire.
Now you have made your decision and that desire is in place, what’s next? Details… You will be happy to know that when you are taking action on changes you want to see, certain details are going to start showing up to help you get to where you want to be. Hmmm.. “I wonder why I never thought to call him before?” Hmmm… “Where did that idea come from?” Hmmm… “All of sudden it seems real clear how I can get to where I want to go when before it was so muddy.” You won’t be able to recognize the necessary details until you have become serious about your decisions. If you are waiting for something (i.e. your ship to come in, your luck to change, your lottery ticket win) – you will most likely be waiting for a very long time. And, sadly, while you wait patiently for the great miracle where God just changes your entire life without your cooperation, you won’t be able to recognize the little details along the way that have the potential to get you where you want to go. Stop waiting; swim out to the ship, change your own luck (lol whatever that is), earn the money the old-fashioned way instead of begging for a free lunch!
Decision, desire, details then what? Deliverance! You arrived! You got the new job! You figured out a way to earn what you really need! You can finally look at that creature in the mirror and smile! God wants you and me to live a more than abundant life! He desires that above all things we prosper and be in health, even as our souls (minds) prosper. (III John 2) We can be everything we want to be in this life! We can have the things we want and need! The hold-back isn’t God but rather our lack of decisiveness in this life. Don’t get it twisted folks – feelings come and go, but the truth lives and abides forever!
Believing that you will make the decisions that lead to the desires; that you will uncover the necessary details and receive in full your sought after deliverance! Life isn’t hard people, error is hard. Do you feel me? (smile)
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