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Archive for January, 2015

The Ultimate Trade-Off

newbeginningsThe beginning of each year brings talk of resolutions. While I stopped making New Year’s resolutions years ago — they never work — I have continues setting annual goals each January of things I hope to accomplish throughout each new year: personal goals, writing goals, relationship goals. Something just to keep me focused. A checklist to mark my progress throughout the year. Somehow, checking each box makes me feel as if I’ve accomplished something and am moving forward.

A few months ago, I began thinking even beyond goals. Do the things I accomplish really matter? Or is it my character, my attitude, my outlook that truly makes a difference? I began creating a list of trade-offs: things I want to give up in exchange for something better. No, I am not perfect, nor do I expect to achieve everything on this list by the end of the year. The process is ongoing — lifelong. These are challenges I see daily all around me. I hope that each trade-off will slowly transform me, day by day, year by year.

Here are a few items from my Ultimate Trade-Off List:

  • Instead of fearing that which I cannot control, I choose to focus on change within my power.
  • Instead of finding fault with another person’s opinion, I choose to build bridges and relationship.
  • Instead of speaking words that tear down, I choose words that bring life and hope.
  • Instead of staying occupied with busy work, I choose to make time for the people around me.
  • Instead of judgement, I choose to listen and seek understanding.
  • Instead of focusing on my current situations, I choose to focus on the big picture.
  • Instead of frustration or tears, I choose to smile or laugh.
  • Instead of dreading what may come tomorrow, I choose to enjoy every moment of today.
  • Instead of avoiding the uncomfortable, I choose to embrace it as an opportunity.
  • Instead of following the crowd, I choose to take the road less traveled.
  • Instead of dreading what may come tomorrow, I choose to enjoy every moment of today.

You have turned my sorrow into joyful dancing. No longer am I sad and wearing sackcloth. I think you from my hear and I will never stop singing your praises, my LORD and my God.” (Psalm 30:11-12 CEV)

What’s on your Trade-Off List?

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