San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year . . . Putting First Things First

New Year . . . and New Beginnings . . .

AS we recognize that a new year symbolizes a new beginning, an opportunity to start again, to put old habits behind and make a new beginning, with great hope of changing prior activities to realize a new and improved self . . . or lifestyle . . .

 . . . There can be little doubt when it comes to making plans, setting goals, and being accountable for actions . . . these are fundamental principles that would benefit the lives of people everywhere . . . but for missionaries of the Lord, these principles are paramount to experiencing success in the mission field.

They principles will also bless their life, education, income and families forever more.

For this reason, we put much emphasis on these principles .

(We are as the army of Helaman!)

Many people are disinterested in goal setting, in pondering on and expressing "New Years Resolutions" as they feel a sense of failure when they fall to the wayside after a few weeks or months.  But those that preserver, and set realistic goals that are achievable are able to accomplish great things.

What does a realistic achievable goal look like?

  •  For one thing it should be specific.  Don't just say I will lose weight . . . say, "I will lose 10 pounds".
  • Another . . . it should be measurable, "I will workout every morning at 6am".
  • The goal should be attainable, as a missionary, we encourage them rather than setting baptism goals which are dependent upon another's free agency . . . to set teaching goals each week.  To challenge each investigator to baptism.  Those are attainable goals for a missionary, goals they can meet each week.
  • Timely - each goal or plan should be accomplished within a certain time frame.

Other hints and tips for being successful 

. . . review your plans on a frequent basis, weekly or monthly and make adjustments to the plan based on your experience, keeping the end goal post in sight.  Work on these things with a companion, a spouse, your favorite cheerleader, a parent, a close friend, a support group . . . someone you can feel an accountability to for continuing in the goal, or readjusting to better meet the purpose.  These sort of things are always much more pleasant if you include a social side in your plans and work on things together.  

For those of you who see setting goals and making plans as a form of drudgery . . .

Here's a few unique ideas - 

. . . Commit to reading four books, audition for a play, write a business plan, learn how to zumba, start guitar lessons,  unplug from technology one day a week for a month, send handwritten thank you notes to 30 people this month, set a goal to do something for someone else!

There's nothing like the sweet feeling of success . . . even in the small things in life.  And the small things can soon become the big things . . . as we slowly climb a mountain or . . eat an elephant . . . 

Become  your best self - starting now!

An old proverb says . . .

 "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now."  

Now is the best time to start becoming the person we want to be . . . we can do it.  Not only for 20 years from now, but for eternity.  

 18 Whatever principle of aintelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the bresurrection.
 19 And if a person gains more aknowledge and intelligence in this life through his bdiligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the cadvantage in the world to come. - - D&C 130:18-19

Don't let your fears stand in the way of your success.

As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained (Ensign, Jan 2014) 

"that even when we fail to reach our goals we are still empowered.  Even though we might fall short of the finish line, just continuing the journey will make us greater than before."

When we approach our goals this way, failure doesn't have to limit us.  

We sometimes delay, waiting for the right moment to begin.  Fortunately, each new day is a new moment to begin.  Today is a good day to start moving towards that eternal self that you desire.  That pricking of the heart to change a behavior, make a new start, move in a different direction.  Setting goals is a worthy desire.  And in the case of sin, the wonderful process of repentance allows us to clear the burdens of our hearts, to be free from the oppression and darkness and come into the light once again through the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  

Yes, there is much hope in new starts, in new years, new days and new beginnings.

And today is the day to get started.

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