December is a great time to assess your life over the past 12 months. And this December 2019 is also the end of a decade so it is even a better time to evaluate your life before you decide to change anything.
To put this into our Create Your GOE context, let us look at what happened before the creation of the world in Genesis.
The first thing we see God do in Genesis 1.2 is to describe the state of his world. He looked at it and assessed and evaluated the situation and made a statement about the world. It was void or empty. It was without form or structure. And it was dark.
While theologians have several theories on why the earth became dark and void, we are focused on how to apply this system to our lives to get results. So let’s start.
When we start out in Creating our Garden of Eden (GOE), we start from where we are. I call this Day ZERO. It is not mentioned as a day in Genesis, but for our work here, we will use the term Day Zero. In the first edition of the book it was called “Pre Creation Assessment” but Day Zero is easier to remember.
What is your Day Zero like? Where are you now? Is this where you planned or hoped you’d be? Are you satisfied overall? Are you excited about your progress?
If you want to see more progress or you want to stop going in a certain direction, you first need to be very clear and specific in assessing your current situation. Write down a statement about your life now and mark the spot. Make it a definitive marker so that when you look back you can trace your progress from this spot and celebrate your successes. Yes, you will have success using this Create Your GOE system. God did. And so will you!
If you are not honest with yourself, you’ll never be able to move in the right direction. Many people can deceive or hide their true situation from others. No one can read your mind or hear what you say to yourself when you lay in bed late at night. This is the moment of truth. Or, perhaps it is when you first wake up in the morning and it is not yet daylight. Your moment of truth has to be your starting point.
We all must have a moment of truth.
Write in your journal or on a blank notepad. Create two columns by drawing a line down the middle of a page. One the left side, headline “I am here now”. On the right side, write “This is where I want to go.”
In this first part, we focus on the left side where you are now.
Here is a checklist of some areas to review and assess from 2019. Write your comments on the Left side of your page. Remember God’s world in Day Zero was not impressive. So don’t try to pretend yours is.
- Health and Wellness. How are you doing in this area now at the end of December? Are you healthy and fit or in poor health? If you cannot move, walk, or breathe comfortably, everything else really becomes secondary. Your physical body is your vehicle to get around in this earth realm. If your vehicle breaks down, you are limited. You can’t get another body. And health and medical support takes a great financial and emotional toll.
- Mental and Emotional Wellness. Are you positive and motivated about your life, or are you down, sad, unhappy, and depressed on the inside? Do you love yourself and feel valued? Was 2019 full of stress and are you carrying that forward? Are your thoughts positive or do you struggle with finding meaning and purpose in life? Do you feel you need help in handling your emotions and your thoughts? We focus on the internal first in this system so you need to be honest about it.
- Intellectual Wellness, Career or Business. How do you feel about where you are in your career, or the growth (or start) of your business? Are you challenged on a daily basis? Are you fulfilling your dreams or living someone else’s dream? Are you stuck or moving ahead? Do you have a clear long term plan for your career, business, work or ministry? Are you growing or declining? Are you excited?
- Social and family relationships. Do you have connections with others in a family or community? Are you close to your parents, siblings, children or relatives? Can these relationships be strengthened? Are you alone and lonely? Do you have real friends, or some support network if not with your immediate family? Everyone needs someone else at some point. Do not overlook this aspect of your life. Identify your true status. And while having friends on social media is better than nothing, determine who you can call on at a moment’s notice.
- Spirituality. How do you feel about your relationship with God over the last year and decade? Are you walking closer with Him? Do you feel you hear Him speaking to you clearly? Do you know what He wants of you and how He operates in the earth? Is this an area that needs improvement; in your bible study, connections with other believers, or in your involvement in sharing his Word to others? What’s your assessment here?
- Financial Wellness This is a significant area for most people. How was 2019 for you from a financial point? Is your earning power and net worth increasing? Did you make some unwise decisions? What is your current financial cushion if something happened to you today? Are you comfortable, challenged or celebrating? And are you sharing and giving to causes you care about? Can you even afford to?
As I looked back over my 2019, and the last decade, there are many areas where I could have made different decisions. The intention of this post is not to get focused on regret about the past, but to simply plant a stake in the ground and declare “I am here now. But this not my final destination.”
Often when we take ownership of where we are, we can breathe a sigh of relief from holding everything in and pretending it is all well. After you have written down your assessment of your current life, take a deep breath and open yourself to move forward to change your life.