Though you may have already said “Happy New Year!” to most of the people in your regular circles, and you’ve settled back into the monotony of day-to-day living, it’s still a fresh new year. It’s only January 8!

New year’s resolutions? Nope. I stopped doing those a long time ago.

I try to change habits and set goals all year long.

Most of us, like I, have goals left over from last year that are still talking to us in the freshness of this new year. I haven’t left mine behind. I think I’m ready for them now.

I’m ready for some positive and permanent changes in my life this year, 2017. How about you?

I am ready to finally lose all the fat-based weight I’ve been trying to lose for years.

I am ready to make a run of seeing if I can do the side hustle as a writer.

I am open to seeing what new thing the Lord could and will do in my life spiritually and emotionally.

Before I can grasp ahold of what the Lord might have for me in any of these areas, however, I have to be willing to let go of something else. Something that is standing between where I am right now and what the future—and the Lord—has in store for me.

It’s a principle in physics that two things of the same nature cannot occupy the same exact space at the same time. In order to attain something I say I really want, I have to give up something that is hindering what I say I want. I have to let go of one thing to make room for and lay hold of a new thing.

For instance, in the weight-loss arena, I have to give up unintentional and unnutritional eating.

Self-assessment: I’m already doing the exercise thing pretty well. I incorporated a resistance training class into my weekly routine a year ago. Now I’m shooting for 2 resistance training classes and a dynamic stretching class in the midst of my cardio classes each week. I can feel the muscle developing as I’ve been working out over several months, I just have to poke through too much fat to feel them!

I’m doing well on the caloric burn. It’s the caloric intake I have to work on.

I have not been snacking as much late at night like I had been doing months ago. I can go days and weeks without visiting my supervisors’ candy dishes (and they stock great candy!). I still have several pieces of Christmas candy, a bag and a half of candied almonds, and a bag of chili-lime roasted pistachios sitting around in my room from my Christmas travels, which tells me my self-control has increased somewhat. (If I were to have done it right in the first place, I would have not even bought any of them at one of those wonderful roadside local farmer fruit and nut stands!) I am trying so hard to stay hydrated by drinking enough alkalinized water. And I have already started the lifestyle of having only two meals a day on my days off with healthy snacks in between like bananas, applesauce, and protein drinks, and eating dinner earlier in the day.

However, the three-quarters of a regular order of fried zucchini which I had for dinner tonight (this article was started Saturday afternoon) probably cancelled my entire week’s workouts, including my two doubles. I start over again tomorrow with our church’s annual week of prayer and fasting.

The bottom line is it’s all about exchanging… in my case, exchanging poor eating and snacking habits for better eating and snacking habits, exchanging inactivity and inertia for robustness and activity, so that I can gain the ultimate exchange of poor results for best results. Fat for lean. The body I have for the body I want.

It’s usually difficult to give up something cold turkey. Exchanging is a gentler way of working our way to a new and better you and a new and better me. That’s why you see so many people at substance abuse support meetings smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, or chewing gum. They need to replace the street drugs they used to use as they continue to reduce harm in their lives through the incremental development of healthier habits.

Exchanging is not giving up something you love for something you hate. In our case, it’s giving away something that is destroying you for something that will bring you life, vibrancy, joy, glory, and a testimony in time and eternity.

In Jesus’ case, He exchanged His glory, sovereignty, the worship and rule of angels, and unbroken fellowship within the trinity for a lowly, limited human body so that He could get us, His creations whom He loved, back into heaven, a redeemed and restored status, and fellowship with the Father.

Christian Single, how about you?

Are you ready for Your Great Exchange?

Are you ready, in 2017, to stop complaining, crying, whining, pining, wishing, dreaming, and envying for what you want and actually do something SMART about it?

You probably have heard of the acronym SMART. To refresh your memory, SMART stands for:

S            Specific

M            Measurable

A             Achievable

R             Realistic

T             Time-limited

Using SMART principles are an effective way to accomplish nearly anything.

So… what are the top three things you want to see happen in your life this year? Pray about them.

Me: I want to lose 25 lbs.

Then begin facilitating SMART principles.

Write your goals down so you can commit to them mentally and start forming a plan to achieve your goals. “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Make sure your goals are realistic.

Me: Experts say that one pound a week is more than reasonable to lose for fat weight and not just water weight.

Write down three steps you can take for each goal so that you can accomplish them.

Me: I will take my lunch to work at least 75% of the time. Though I should drink five, I will drink at least four 16.9-oz. bottles of water a day. And I will eat dinner before 7:00P at least 75% of each week.

Explain to yourself how you will know when you have accomplished these goals.

Me: I will continue to weigh myself every week to monitor my progress.

Give yourself a deadline by which to evaluate your progress and, if needed, recalculate your goals and the steps required to attain them.

Since 26 weeks is 6 months, I hope to lose at least 20 lbs. no later than June 30, 2017.

If you fail miserably, start over with more realistic goals or better steps.

Do you want to get married? Do you want to earn a better income? Complete that degree you started eons ago? Have more friends? Stop dating people who are bad for you? Stay connected with your family? Keep your house or apartment clean?

Pray about them and start SMARTing yourself for goal attainment.

Today, the day I post this article originally, is January 8, 2017. Are you ready? Really ready?

The number eight has Biblical significance. According to several Biblical numerology sites (not to be confused with “regular” numerology, which is the occultic and astrological study of numbers), the number eight stands for transcendence beyond human perfection and new beginnings.

This is from observations of the Bible such as Jesus being resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week, which was after the seven last days of His human life on earth. During those last seven days, He was honored as king, rejected by His own people and the Romans, tortured and executed as a common criminal, and had His body deposited in a cave.

Hebrews 2:10 declares that even Jesus needed to be “perfected” through suffering so that He could become an empathetic high priest to us:

“For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering (AMPC).”

Yes, our Lord and Savior facilitated the Ultimate Great Exchange so that we could enter into what He owned in eternity past. Only He could give up something great for something that was best for us, not Him.

As creatures made in God’s image, and like trapeze artists, we must learn to let go of—exchange—what what is destroying us for the best God has to offer. And I want to know what that best is!

Who’s down with me and the Lord to accomplish some new amazing things this year? Who else besides me wants to know personally what is God’s best for them?

Start writing.

Find me on Facebook at “For single Christians: One is a Whole Number” and Comment on the meme I craft for today’s blog!

 

REFERENCES

Messianic Prophecy Bible Project. Astonishing Bible Number Patterns Decoded: The Numbers 8 to 12.  http://free.messianicbible.com/feature/astonishing-bible-number-patterns-decoded-the-numbers-8-to-12/  accessed 01/08/2017

 

Posner, Eliezer. What is the Spiritual Significance of the Number Eight? Article for Chabad.org. http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/606168/jewish/Whats-the-Significance-of-the-Number-Eight.htm  accessed 01/08/2017

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