Today marks the first post of the second half of the 2014. Is that really possible? This year is half over? Yowza!
“It’s time for your six month checkup and cleaning.”
It doesn’t take long, but it’s necessary. After all, if you never get your teeth checked, you will never find out when something is really wrong. Most times you go in for the cleaning and everything is as it should be.
Then there are times when you hear things like I heard last December. I’ll spare you the details and give you the short version:
Crack…then root canal…then emergency extraction…then bone graft. Implant still to come. ugh.
We need the checkup. And we need the cleaning. I’m always amazed – and a little grossed out – at the amount of stuff they can dig out with their little tools. I brush. I floss. And yet, I can’t get it all without some help.
Today is about the checkup…and the cleaning. These are the questions to get you started:
Question 1: Did I make a plan in January?
If you answered, “No,” skip to Question 2. If you said, “Yes,” take a few minutes to evaluate. What did you read or study? Have you continued to think about the book, person, theme, etc. that you spent time reading and studying? Did you “finish?” If so, did you start something new or just let things taper off?
Question 2: How was my consistency?
Many people make new year’s resolutions to be in the Word consistently. Did you? Was it a general “I want to do this” or a specific “Here’s HOW I’m going to do this? (I bet you can guess which one breeds consistency.) Even if you didn’t make a specific resolution or plan, how regularly did you spend time with God – in silence, prayer, and in the Bible?
Question 3: What do I want the last half of the year to look like?
Answering this question is hugely important. I can’t put it any more simply or strongly than to say – If you want to succeed…you need a plan. It’s not just a good idea. After all, the enemy doesn’t want to you be consistent. He will attack. And he has a plan. You need one too. (If this just struck a nerve here is an entire podcast episode devoted to this.)
Here’s another way to put it…
Question 4: What will I specifically do this week to get started?
You don’t need to have the whole thing figured out. We frequently put off starting something we know will be beneficial, because we don’t have all the details worked out. A day leads to a week. A week leads to a month. You know the cycle. What is the one thing you can do to start?
- If what you need most is to get rid of distractions – reread this post.
- If you don’t even know where to start – here’s the post for you.
Question 5: When will my next checkup be?
Make an “appointment” for your next checkup. Actually put it in your calendar or on your To Do List. Set a reminder. And don’t let it be six months out.
Most book studies, small group studies, or devotionals are 8-12 weeks. When one of these comes to an end is the time that most people struggle with consistency. Your checkup should be 2-3 weeks after you complete your previous study, plan, or devotional. Don’t let months and months go by before you intentionally set aside time to evaluate what you’ve done and develop a new plan for the next few months.
Take some time in the next few days to spend some time with God, honestly answering these five questions. After all, if the first six months of 2014 has been outstanding, don’t you want to keep it going? And if these first six months haven’t been all that you hoped for, wouldn’t you like to change it?