It’s hard to believe that 2013 is almost over. It feels like the older I get that the calendar is picking up speed. Did you know on average that Americans have 3,700 weeks to live? If you think of life as a clock you can visualize how much time you have to live (on average). For instance at the age of 22 your life clock would read 8:20 am. At the age of 32 your life clock would read 11:20 am. At the age of 42 it would be 3:20 in the afternoon and at the age of 52 your clock would read 6:20 pm, with a little under 1,100 weeks left to live. (Assuming you live to the average age of 72, after that it’s all bonus!)
The Big Question
So, what’s my point? It’s simple; you were created to live as a masterpiece – so get on with living! Regardless of your age time is running out. And the truth is, if you don’t determine to do something with your life, it doesn’t matter what time your life clock says it is.
The important question to wrestle with right now is what are you planning on doing with 2014? Perhaps 2013 was a year that you are looking forward to getting behind you. It may have been a year of failure, loss, challenges and disappointment; a time of endurance that you simply can wait to be done with. The beauty of a New Year is that you get to have a fresh start. Notice we don’t celebrate Another Year’s day – we celebrate New Year’s Day. A fresh start – a clean slate – a new beginning.
Make A Plan
How will you make 2014 better than 2013? It all begins with a plan. You’ve probably heard the quote from the great Benjamin Franklin: “if you fail to plan you are planning to fail.” True. It’s important to begin planning now for 2014 to make it better, to grow, to move toward living life as the masterpiece God created you to be. In the Good News Translation the Proverbs writer said: “An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.” (Proverbs 17:24 GNT)
Notice the writer says they aim at wise action. That is to say an intelligent person has a plan. A plan is basically a goal or a target. Without one you will get to this time next year and not know if you made any progress or not in 2014 – without a plan it won’t matter what time your life clock says it is.
Your plan needs to be realistic and challenging so that you can consistently aim at it each day. I wrote about this in chapter 8 of my book Life Palette: “One time, while I was prayerfully considering my goals as an artist for the coming year, I took time to read through what some other artists I knew were trying to accomplish in their lives. For the most part, it was inspiring and challenging, but I came across one artist whose goal for the year spoke very clearly as to why she was where she was. She said she was planning on working on the three paintings started the previous year and was hoping to finish them. She also stated this goal was “aggressive.” Her goal told me she was either the slowest painter alive, or she did not paint consistently. I like to finish three paintings a week. The discipline of “daily” is the key to consistency, and without consistency on your Life Palette, masterpiece living will be a wish rather than a reality.
The clock is ticking. 2014 is almost here. A few moments of prayerful planning will give you something to aim for in the coming year and move you in the direction of living life as the masterpiece God created you to be.
“…but those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.” (Proverbs 14:22 NIV)
Make the most of 2014, begin now by prayerfully considering the plan God has for you as His masterpiece in the New Year. Write down your thoughts and talk with your mentor or someone close to you about it. Make sure it’s realistic as well as challenging.