We often start the year motivated to make changes in the way we live. Goals, like losing weight, saving more, and getting organized are part of the most common New Year’s resolutions – but only 8% of people are able to stick to their goals.
So why do we make them, just to be disappointed in the end? The answer to that question is the pursuit of happiness.
To understand what to pursue, you have to identify what happiness really means. True happiness is not just an emotion. It’s having complete peace, despite circumstances. It’s being able to rejoice, whether you’re living the dream or you’re going through trials.
Here are 5 things to consider to help you prosper in 2019:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This may seem an odd point to lead with in an article about prospering in the new year, but the truth is that faith is something that none of us can live life without.
Each of us place faith in something or someone. This makes your faith the core foundation of who you are and how you live your life. What’s more, it’s not just the amount of faith you have that matters, but what that faith is placed in.
Just like in any house, it doesn’t matter what is built on top of the foundation–the quality of material or the expense or the aesthetic appeal–none of that matters if the foundation isn’t solid.
In 2019, make certain that your faith is placed on a solid foundation–that the foundation of your life will hold, not just when things go well but when the storms of life hit too.
A life well-lived is always going to be a life aimed at something that is bigger than yourself. Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, begins his book by saying, “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.”
Yet, too many of us are distracted by all the shiny things we’re told we need, and we end up chasing things that don’t really matter. In the end, this pursuit of stuff leaves us feeling empty.
However, we are more than the sum of our possessions. We exist for a purpose beyond our own accumulation of things. At the heart of every person is the realization that we were made for more.
Furthermore, your purpose isn’t discovered within yourself. Instead, discovering your purpose is accomplished as you engage with the truth of faith–learning why you were put on this earth. Make 2019 a year that is lived to discover and pursue your purpose in life. Don’t settle for less! A life that is fulfilling will always be a life lived on purpose.
Being passionate about what you are pursuing is important, and our passion is directly proportional to our drive for accomplishing the purpose we’ve set out to achieve.
However, we often think about passion as something we find or discover. While this may sound somewhat romantic, it’s dangerous. It makes our passion something that happens to us rather than something we act on.
In fact, research shows that rather than passion being something we find, it is instead something we develop. In order to develop your passion, you must invest your time, work, and resources into goals that are worthwhile. And as you make progress in developing your passion, you will see your aptitude for whatever you are working toward increase.
As your aptitude for your passion increases, so in turn will your level of satisfaction. In 2019, aim high! Work hard! Develop your passion!
A wise man once said, “To fail to plan, is to plan to fail.” Without a plan to reach your goals, those goals will forever be out of reach. A goal, with no plan for achieving it, is simply wishful thinking.
As you set your goals for 2019, make sure that you break those goals into small, achievable actions steps. In fact, the best way to achieve your plans is to use goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable, and Time-oriented).
For example, if you have a goal for buying a home in 2019, then you will need to have a plan of action steps that you will take toward meeting that goal. This would certainly include steps like
Whatever your goals are, if they are worth accomplishing, take the time to sit down and make a plan with SMART action steps that will bring it to reality!
“I have learned in whatever situation I am, to be content.” The man who wrote this was not encouraging mediocrity. Few men have ever been more driven and productive than this leader, but instead he was recognizing the truth that satisfaction is not bound up in what one has, but rather it is a state of mind characterized by gratitude and contentment…recognizing that the journey is still underway.
Our fulfillment doesn’t depend on what we have, but on the foundation laid in faith (remember that first point?). Our society with its consumer-driven marketing emphasizes all the things that we don’t have and tells us that if we can just have that one last thing, it will finally bring us the happiness that we lack–but that’s a gimmick.
There is no amount of product we can buy, no amount of wealth we can accrue, no amount of promotion or status we can attain that will fill discontent. This is because discontentment doesn’t come from outside of us, but instead comes from our own mind and heart.
Discontentment is a lack of gratitude and fulfillment. It ultimately reflects an idea that we do not measure up or have the worth we need.
If we’re going to find worth, we need to stop looking at ourselves as the sum of the stuff we own, and instead return to the first point of faith and look again at the foundation of what we are building our lives on.
If the foundation of our lives–the one we are putting our faith in is solid, then we can enjoy the journey toward purpose–a journey we are on with passionate and diligent pursuit and careful planning for productivity, all the while living in satisfied contentment by being grateful for the blessings we have already received. And looking in faith toward the future of a bright and fulfilling 2019!