In Pastor Jeff's Blog


It’s almost a New Year. Are you making any resolutions? About 45% of Americans do. Here are last year’s top resolutions according to one survey:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less; save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Get healthy and fit

Not bad. Unfortunately, research reveals that only 8% of Americans actually followed through on those resolutions. Ouch! Want to get more traction? Check out this research in the science of motivation.

I’ve failed enough at the resolution business to make me wary, but I’m going out on a limb this year. It’s a small limb but one that I trust is going to make a significant difference in my life and hopefully in the lives of those I interact with. I want to grow in gratitude in 2014. That’s it. I want to train my brain to focus on the abundance that’s all around me.

But that’s not a very specific resolution (a recipe for failure according to the experts) so here’s my actual resolution: I’m going to practice the Daily Examen three times each week throughout the year. This ancient practice, developed by Saint Ignatius, is both simple and powerful. Done consistently, it’s a tool that can literally rewire your neural pathways from negativity to positivity. Seriously. And who couldn’t use a little more positivity (if you’re not sure you do, just ask a friend or family member and they’ll set you straight).

I want to invite you to join me for the journey. Let’s do this practice together. Really. It’s simple, potentially life-changing, fun and only takes about ten minutes. Ten minutes to change your life. Come on, where are you going to get that kind of return on investment?

Here are some simple steps to hedge your bets for success:

  1. Write down your resolution and put it some place where you’ll see it daily. Try a post-it note on your bathroom mirror!
  2. Decide exactly when and where you’re going to do the Daily Examen. Be specific. Put it into your daily planner if you use one. No, really.
  3. Share this resolution with someone else. Post it on Facebook for some really public accountability!
  4. Set yourself a short-term reward for initial success. For instance, if you do the practice consistently for two weeks promise yourself a guilt-free hot fudge sundae.

Need to know more about the Daily Examen before you try it? Here’s a video that will tell you more. Or, if you like to read check out this article.

Here’s wishing you (and me) a heart filled with more gratitude in 2014!

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