Some write down New Year’s resolutions, but I would say that almost everyone thinks about what we would like to change as each new year starts. We consider: What would we like to work on? How would we like to grow? What do we need to leave behind, as we step into a new year? It’s good to take this time to contemplate some new beginnings. And as you do, I urge you to surround all your thoughts of change with one attitude—hope! I wish you a hope-filled new year!
Here’s a short acrostic to remember when you think of filling your new year—2011 with HOPE.
H – Health. Focus your daily habits on health. In the physical sense, this means finding time to exercise. Include both cardio and strength training. Choose wisely what you eat, focusing on foods that bring health to your body. Eat for health, asking the Lord to guide your habits. And make time for good sleep habits; don’t neglect ‘rest’ for restoration and health. Spiritual health is of utmost importance, too. Daily fill your heart and mind with hope-filled truths from God’s Word. He is our ever-present help in trouble (See Psalm 46:1). Hope is the anchor of our soul (See Hebrews 6:19). Our hope in God holds us steady as we navigate the wild seas of life. Emotional and mental health also needs our attention. When we make wise time-management choices, we protect our minds and create balance in our life.
O – Obedience. Work on obedience this year. The word obedience is defined as “dutifully complying with commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority.” So what does this mean for us? Our authority is God and He is a God of hope. As we dutifully obey the commands and instructions in his word, we can live a hope-filled life. He will not lead us astray or ask us to do things that are not good for us. It is God who tells us that our body is a temple and that we can glorify him with it (See I Corinthians 6:19). As we are obedient to discipline ourselves to take care of our body, we can give God all the glory, and experience the abundant life that he desires for us.
P – Peace. What does it take to live a life filled with peace–peace of mind, peace in our relationships, peace as a daily presence in our lives?” God gives us a peace that passes understanding (See Philippians 4:7). Our peace wells up from our hope in God. We have eternity with Him to which we can look forward. That eternal perspective gives us overflowing hope, which spills out to a lifestyle of peaceful, peace-filled living. It is a peace that truly transcends understanding in the midst of the turmoil that surrounds us on a regular basis.
E – Energy. Isn’t it interesting that when we exercise, pouring out energy, we actually gain energy by creating health, starting at the cellular level. There are days when we don’t ‘feel like’ exercising, but don’t you find that if you can just take that first step, just get started, you gain energy as you do the right thing for your physical body? God wants us to have this kind of abundant, energy-filled life (See Psalm 145:7).
Wishing you a hope-filled, abundant life in 2011!
President, Body & Soul Fitness