I know we still have the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons ahead of us, but it's not too early to be thinking about 2017 and how your life can change in the coming year. I hope one of your goals for each year is to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally every year. We never get so old or mature that we cannot grow so growth should be on everyone's list of goals for the coming year.
Spiritual growth is most important. If you are not a Christian spiritual growth begins by inviting Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior. If you are a Christian then you should seek to grow deeper in your walk with God. Daily Bible reading and study is a must. No one can grow spiritually without spending time in the Scriptures. Daily prayer is also important, and not just over your meals or before you go to bed. We need to get in the habit of praying all through the day if we want to grow spiritually.
Healthy relationships with other people is one key to emotional growth. We need positive people in our lives who will encourage us to achieve all our goals and who will lift us up when we get down. We need people who will laugh with us and cry with us and who will love us unconditionally. Men often struggle the most developing such relationships, but they are essential to everyone if we want to enjoy emotional health.
We all know what we need to do to grow physically. We need to eat right, exercise more, and get sufficient sleep. The problem is many of us fail to do one or more of these things even though we know we need to. These are the areas most likely to be found on many people's New Year's resolutions, and they are often the first resolutions to be broken. Rather than making a resolution it might be better to set realistic goals in this area and work to achieve them.
Finally, we come to mental growth. This might come through learning a new skill or developing a new hobby. It certainly will include reading good books. According to research, 28 percent of Americans did not read a book in 2015. The median number of books read by individuals was four. However, highly successful people read between one to two books per week! When Warren Buffet began his investing career he read between 600-1,000 pages per day. Even today, this multi-billionaire spends 80 percent of each day reading. Mark Cuban reads three hours a day. One very effective minister says he reads about 100 books a year.
It doesn't matter where you are in any of these areas of your life today. You can improve in 2017, and that improvement will begin when you set goals to grow in each of these four areas. Unless you intentionally plan to grow, you probably won't, and you will be the same person at the end of 2017 as you are today. It's your choice, but it's always in your best interest to be steadily growing in each of these areas.