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New Year

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Let me begin by wishing you a Happy New Year. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Whether you have or not, I want to encourage you to “strive for mediocrity.” I have borrowed the phrase from an article written by Tristan Taylor Thomas.

His argument is that we should consider a number of things before we make any resolution. His advice to us is not to pick something that is too big to achieve. When we aim lower and strive for mediocrity, we will probably be more successful.

I know we hear from promoters, coaches, and motivational speakers that we should strive for excellence. We should pick goals that stretch us and empower us to be better than we are. I don’t disagree with that, but I also think we should inject some reality into our lives.

Many people who are going on a diet today, and many people who will be signing up at a fitness club this week will fail to keep their resolution a month from now. A diet that lasts a month or a workout that lasts a month isn’t going to be very effective.

Let’s face reality. Where you are today is the result of lots of cumulative, incremental decisions. It took awhile for you to get here. It will take some time to get to a different place. I think that a person who plans to lose a pound a week or a pound a month and keeps at it will be much more effective than someone who plans to lose ten pounds a week. He or she might have a good week or two but seems more likely to relapse.

Of course this also applies to your spiritual life. If you have no prayer time or quiet time, getting started may be much more effective than saying you will devote an hour a day. A regular, consistent quiet time that lasts only a few minutes each day will certainly serve you better than an occasional quiet time. Consistency is better than hit or miss.

Feel free to set big goals, if you want to do so. But I would also recommend you consider the value of striving for mediocrity. Making smaller goals or resolutions that you can keep is a good way to be successful.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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