Happy New Year to you, my friend. And welcome to episode number 114.
It’s a new year. And with every new year comes an opportunity to recalibrate ourselves or reground ourselves to our convictions and what we believe, to our desires, and to what we want to create in the world that leaves a legacy footprint.
Or, we have a chance to just roll into January with the status quo. But that’s not what we usually do, right? We make New Years’ resolutions. Which, by the way I highly suggest you don’t do. I went into depth on this last year on Episode number 65 - New Years’ Intentions; and that’s because New Year’s resolutions have a history of coming from a place of shame or regret or disappointment in ourselves. It’s based on what you didn’t accomplish in the past years. And then it just becomes a list of things you should do? It’s a recipe for self-sabotage. Go listen to episode 65 for more on that.
But that’s what we’ve been expected to do. The ancient Babylonians some 4000 years ago were the first to make New Years’ resolutions, according to History.com. So, we’ve been reflecting on our shortcomings, promising to do better this year for a long time. Of late, it’s been more popular to choose your personal Word-of-the-Year.
I’m not quite sure when this all started. In 1990, the American Dialect Society began the tradition of choosing a Word Of The Year that influenced dictionaries like Merriam-Webster and Cambridge to do the same. But there was a book written in 2013 called One Word That Will Change Your Life by three Christian authors may have had the biggest impact on the Christian community. The three authors believed that (quote) “The simplicity of choosing one word makes it a catalyst for life-change. The book explains how your one word will impact the six dimensions of your life—mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial.” End quote. I haven’t read it yet, and I haven’t really been one to jump on the one-word bandwagon. If you haven’t figured me out yet, I’m not one to quickly follow the herd just because they’re all moving en masse in one direction. I tend to stand back and watch a bit first. Hey, they might all jump off the cliff together. That’s what I heard as a teenager, anyway. But, I might just get that book and do that this year. We’ll see. No resolutions here.
But I’ll tell you why I’m more inclined to do that this year.
Did you know that the average life expectancy of a white female in the United States is 81.1 years? There are other reports, though, that add that if that white female doesn’t have any chronic health conditions, she could live an additional 17.3 years.
So, although I don’t have any chronic health conditions currently, if I just went with the average 81.1 years, I’m expected to live another eight thousand - three hundred and ninety-five days. Give or take. 8,395! And, just so you’ll know, I’m actually expecting to live way past that. And, I’ve got an app on my phone that is counting down the days.
Now, before you tell me that’s morbid, let me tell you why.
Eight thousand - three hundred and ninety-five days. And each one of those days count! Or at least they should. On my lock screen on my phone the countdown has a reminder that says: “This day counts!”
Psalm 103:15 says, “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.” I’m sure you know this, right? You might think this is depressing to think about, but what if you don’t think about it? What if you don’t pay attention? What if you think you have all the time in the world to do the things you want, or love the people well who are in your life, or become a new you - physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially? But you don’t. Your days are status quo and they’re fleeting.
There’s a song currently on the radio by country singer Cody Johnson called ‘Til You Can’t. I suggest you take a listen. The premise is that there are things that we want to do or need to do but we’ve got an excuse for not doing it at this time. The chorus of that song says, “If you got a chance, take it, take it while you got a chance. If you got a dream, chase it, 'cause a dream won't chase you back. If you're gonna love somebody, Hold 'em as long and as strong and as close as you can, 'Til you can't.”
Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” It’s a petition by the psalmist to have a right understanding of just how fleeting life is. And it’s stated with the belief that to have this understanding brings wisdom to the heart. Why do you think that is?
Because to have a sober understanding that each day is a gift and that you’re not promised tomorrow even, that your days are numbered and that might not even get you to the average life expectancy - having this understanding will make you very purposeful about what you do with your days; what you do with your life; what you do with your money; what you do with your relationships; what you do with your spiritual connection to your Creator.
I can look back on several days (maybe even long than that) in the past years that I wasted in self-pity, or worry, or anger. Days that I stewed over something or wrung my hands. Days that I would consider wasted. Days ticked off that counter.
But if every day is a gift, then how do we make each day count? What would you have to do to be able to say, “This day counted?” Well, I think that would be up to you. One thing I know as I get older is that I need to stay as far away from legalism as I can. It’s a joy killer. It’s full of rules and “I should”s or “I shouldn’t”s. Kind of like New Years’ resolutions. But, instead, if I had one word that would allow me to calibrate back to, kind of like I use my core values for decision making, then I could easily determine if I made that day count. For example, if my word was “connection,” then I could say I made the day count if I was to make one or more loving connections with people…or even with myself…or with God. Or if the word was “purpose,” then if I did something that day that was intentional in helping others heal and walk in freedom (including recording a podcast or creating a helpful guide), then I could confidently say I made that day count. See how that goes? Simple, huh? Now I’ve got a calibrated focus each day and I’m grounded.
Or what if you chose more than one word? I think you can do that, right? Yep, you can. You get to make up the rules. Having two or three words could get you even more dialed into making each day count. Like connection, purpose, and peace. Not that you’d have to do something to satisfy each word, but instead you’d have three different focuses that could drive any given day. For those of you who are like me, I’m thinking putting a big fat check-mark on the calendar at the end of the day would be awesome! What do you think?
Friend, what if we did that for 365 days - for this whole year? What about 8,395? Or 12054? What kind of legacy footprint would you leave? How do you think that would change your life and the way you feel about living? Each day? I don’t know how many days on average you have left, but my prayer for you is that at the end of this new year you’re confidently able to say, “I made every day count.”
Would you like some help getting this New Year off to a great start? I’d love to help you. I have so much evidence from past clients that the tools, teachings, and mentoring I have transforms lives…forever.
If you’re interested, I’ve put a link in the show notes for a free 30-minute call just so we can see if we’re a good fit to work together and show you how Life Coaching would work for you.
Also, don’t forget to get the free, downloadable guide that will help you make every day count. The link is in the show notes.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.