With just a few days into the new year, it’s pretty common to have a regret or two about the past year as well as hopes for the new one.
Perhaps your noble intentions fizzled. You tried your best, but it wasn’t enough. Or maybe you flat out made a bad decision with really unfortunate consequences. Friend, I have been there.
I often hear this phrase: “If I could just have a do-over”. In fact, I’ve said it, myself. But you know, regretting and wishing we could undo past mistakes takes a LOT of energy and brain cells, and never makes us very happy anyway!
The truth is, we simply don’t get to have do-overs. You see, it’s impossible to undo that wrong choice, un-say those unkind words, un-eat, un-drink or un-skip that workout. We can’t un-spend, un-lie, un-cheat or un-fail to do something we meant to do but didn’t.
Which is why I’d like to share a different approach to this new year.
Rather than be consumed with debilitating, depressing, and useless regret, skip the self-accusation and line up your behavior with your goals…yes, One. More. Time.
That’s what Oprah Winfrey says has helped her lose 42 pounds in the past year.
As successful as Oprah is in other areas of her life, she has failed repeatedly to reach and maintain a healthy weight. But she didn’t let it stop her from trying one more time.
As you and I think about past failures, there’s a lie that calls to us: “It will always be this way”. But we must remember that that’s all it is: a lie.
What’s the truth? If you want to feel better, then do better.
Wow. That sounds so simple. But it really is true. Consider these timeless words of wisdom: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:18-19.
But, I have wrong doing in my past that haunts me, you may say. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.
My friend, don’t spend another second consumed with regrets about the past. If there is something about which you feel guilty, confess it to God, do what you can to make it right with others, then trust Him with your future. Thank Him that you still have breath in your body and time to make new choices. And do better, moving forward. In other words, make better decisions starting today.
Remember, if you want to feel better, do better. With God’s help, you can!
I’d love to hear from you about your dreams and goals for the coming year! And if I can pray for you about that or anything else, I’d count it an honor. I send my best wishes to you for a great year!