Your Best Year Yet!

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Start praying, thinking, dreaming, and planning. This year is going to be the BEST year of your life!
This is where it all begins, both literally and figuratively: Start!
If you are going to change your life and the lives of those around you, you have to start. This may seem obvious, but it is a stumbling block for many people. Wanting to do something is not the same as actually doing it! We won’t change anything until we actually start the process of change!
Start: You are here, you are reading this, so you are, therefore, starting the process of change. Congratulations!
Praying: I am a person of faith, a Christian specifically, so I believe the first place to start anything is prayer. I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are, but I’ve discovered that most people believe in God or in some form of Higher Power or Creator. Scientific studies, completely independent of religion, have proven the significant power of prayer on physical and mental health. So, whatever your faith is, let me suggest that the first step in trying to improve your life is to connect to a power source that is greater than you. Pray for help, guidance, wisdom, and the stamina to stay on course when things get tough. Your prayers should also include giving thanks for the very life that you have and for the desire you have to improve your life. Prayer works!
Thinking: If you are like me, your thoughts have been more task-related than goal-related. I want you to think specifically about what you want to BE, more than on what you need to DO. If you can identify what you want to BE, it’s easier to know what to DO.
Dreaming: I want you to start dreaming again. People do not lose the ability to dream, we simply stop doing it! When we were younger, dreaming came naturally to us. We dreamed about being a _____. We imagined ourselves as _____. Silence the negative voice in your head that says “this is just silly; you’ll never be _____, so don’t bother.” Dream. You don’t have to tell anyone your dreams, at first; just get used to dreaming again. We’ll work on telling people about them later.
Planning: If this is going to be the best year of your life, what do you need to do differently? What do you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing? What are your goals? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. Write the answers down on paper or on your computer and look at them every day. Break them down into actionable steps and set a plan for accomplishing those goals.
The verb “Resolve” means: to decide firmly on a course of action. This is exactly what you need to do!
To change your life for the better, you need to be committed to the actions necessary for change. Not committed to the ideas or desires, but committed to the actions! You can want to change, even decide to change, but no change will occur until you take action.
Give more: Be a generous person. If I were to ask your family and friends if they considered you a generous person, how would they answer? Being generous doesn’t mean giving away all of your time or money to the point you have nothing left. It simply means that you intentionally look for opportunities to be a giver. It can be as simple as a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand. The more you practice generosity, the easier it becomes!
Love more: We get so caught up in our own lives and struggles that we often neglect to tell and show those around us how much we love them. Too often, we lose someone we love and regret not having told them how much we loved them. Don’t let that happen! Be generous with words and expressions of love. A spouse, child, or friend is never going to be sad to hear you say “I love you”, but will be very sad if you don’t.
Laugh more: Seriously, lighten up! There is a lot of really funny stuff all around you every day. Look for it and laugh at it! Smiles and laughter are contagious. Spend more time with people who like to laugh. Be a person who laughs genuinely and people will genuinely like to be around you!
Grow more: If you are giving, loving, and laughing more than you have previously, you will automatically be growing! However, I want you to grow intentionally, not just as a result of other behaviors. Look for areas of your life that you can expand. Do you like to read but just don’t have the time? I’m willing to bet you just aren’t making the time for it. If you audit your life, examine how you spend your time, you’ll find time that you can spend intentionally growing your mind, health and relationships. Be committed to growing as a person!
Starting today, I want you to pray, think, dream and plan your life. Give, love, laugh, and grow. Live intentionally. Take one day at a time, on purpose. This is how you start to have your best year yet!

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About Author

Bruce Van Horn is a Life Coach, writer, speaker, runner, and Dad. He is the host of the popular Life is a Marathon podcast and author of the best selling book You Can Go the Distance. His life’s motto is: “Life is a marathon, so let’s train for it!” His mission is “to reach, teach, and empower others to overcome challenges, think and act on purpose, experience true peace and joy, and live as the fullest expression of who they were created to be.” Learn more about Bruce at www.BruceVanHorn.com/COMag

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