Welcome to this big, shiny New Year and all the adventure it holds! Praise God we’re still here growing and going strong! I love January because it signals we have 365 new opportunities to refresh, renew, and restore ourselves. I pray that 2017 will be your best year yet. To help get you there, here is your official 2017 magic formula.
Every magic formula needs really cool words to sprinkle and fling over dreams to make them come true. This formula has only four and they are powerful when mixed and applied liberally: shall, never, ask, and be.
First, here are two critical shall statements to consider: shall removes negotiation and discussion opportunities—think the Ten Commandments: (1) You shall listen to, trust, and follow your heart. That small voice that signals something doesn’t feel right is there for a reason. Whether it’s friends, work, relationships, or that last piece of chocolate pie, trust your heart and instincts. (2) You shall do more of what makes you happy. Life is short and even if you live 100 years, there’s still “more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done” as the Lion King hit The Circle of Life gently reminds us. If you’ve always wanted to travel, go while you can enjoy it. Don’t wait until you become physically unable to enjoy the experience—do it this year and bask in having done it!
Second, Never say never but these three nevers will bless you: Never spend your money before you earn it. Debt is a noose around your neck when it is out of control. My daddy always told me ”Cynthie, you can’t borrow yourself out of debt,” and YOU CANNOT. Give, save, and spend— in that order. Never co-sign for or lend money that you can’t afford to lose because folks don’t always pay like they say. Paying you won’t be a priority in a crunch. Never get too busy to pay attention to your health. Annual check-ups and preventive care are critical. Without good health, you have nothing.
The third word is ask. Ask for help, ask for clarity, and ask for what you want— whether it’s a raise, promotion, or permission to soar. Ask the tough questions: Am I more than I have become? Am I afraid to explore the possibilities? Am I happy in this relationship? Am I respecting and honoring myself? You might not like the answers but you must ask the question.
Finally, be. I believe we must be before we can do, and being is often the hardest part. Be patient—with yourself and others. Be present—focus on fewer things and doing them well instead of being like a triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich where you just keep piling things on. Be persistent but know the difference between surrender and letting go. Be powerful and confident—in your walk, your thoughts, your conversation, and your expectations. Be prayerful, faithful and still so you can hear God’s plan for your life.
Is this formula really magical? Absolutely! Close your eyes, click your heels, believe and trust God, and apply your formula liberally every day. The rest is easy! Be blessed and keep shining!