(less than) 90 days from January

I was reading a book last week that talked about 90 day goals. I started thinking about what that would mean. And I realized that 90 days from now is in January 2014. That will be after Thanksgiving, after Advent, after Christmas, after New Year’s Day. By 90 days from now, we will all be looking BACK on our 2014 goal setting process, whatever it is.

I was stunned.  I didn’t realized 2013 was that close to done.

As we start thinking about the rest of this year and the beginning of next, I want to offer you excerpts of posts I wrote about routine around the beginning of 2013. As I wrote then, “Routines shape our days. They give our minds and hearts tracks to follow through the chaos of our daily life. A routine is a set of thoughts and behaviors performed consistently.”

Routine: If we’re going to change our lives to be like Jesus, our routines need to be examined and adjusted. We need to consider whether the collection of thoughts and behaviors we perform every day are the ones that Jesus modeled, talked about, taught, commanded.

Learning to be routinely pleasant: To be gracious when we are old takes practice. Practice on the outside, and practice on the inside. It means regularly remembering we are not the center of the universe. It means regularly remembering to thank people for shaping our lives. It means regularly, routinely, remembering to ask for counsel from God and from others. It means routinely smiling, routinely listening, routinely showing up for whatever your work is. It means routinely accepting correction, the possibility that there are other ways to do things.

Examining our routines:  At the beginning of 2012, when I was working on my health, I had to look at why I was snacking. What was happening inside and outside of me that made me think eating something was the appropriate response? The question is, “When I do that, what am I really doing?” That kind of analysis helped me change my snacking. Twelve months and forty pounds later, I’ve made progress. I’m still learning.

Leaving things the same: When you look at what you want to do in 2013, what do you want to leave the same? What habits are already working great? What do you want to do for the second year in a row? What do you want to do for the third day in a row? Each of our commitments moves from minutes long to months long to decades long by decisions to leave the commitment intact and finding ways to make it work.

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And, if you’ll forgive the commercial, Learning a new routine is an ebook I wrote that will help you read the sermon on the mount.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.