Friday, January 27, 2012

Linkage: The Power of Implementation Intentions

One of the realities that we discover as we follow Jesus is the need for constant change.  We realize that we need to change our attitudes and well as our behaviors.  Yet time and time again we discover we don't have what it takes to change, and our good intentions remain good intentions.

The good news in this is that this change that needs to happen in our lives is not entirely our responsibility. The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22-23; "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (ESV).  One of the truths that Paul wants us to understand is that this changed life we are to live is the result of the Spirit working inside of us.  Our changed life is the fruit that the Spirit produces in our lives.  So when it comes to making changes in our lives we first need to surrender to God and ask Him to bring healing, wisdom, and strength to us through the Spirit.  We need God's help to change.

With that being said we have to realize that we have a part of play in our transformation as well.  Ultimately God wants us to be people who freely choose to do what is right.  We need to learn how to make the right choice, so that the right choice becomes second nature to us, something that we do without thinking about it because it is how we are.

Dallas Willard in his book The Renovation of the Heart provides a formula for the human side of transformation: VIM.  Vim stands for Vision, Intention, and Means.  We have to have vision of what that transformation will look like in our lives, we need to have the intention to bring that vision to reality in our lives, and then we have a means on making it happen.

It is in that last point, the means of turning our intentions into reality, that this article from the Art of Manliness about.  I hope that you find it helpful in your quest to become the person God created you to be.

If you’re like many men across the world, you probably set some new goals for yourself on January 1. Maybe it was to work out regularly or get into the reading habit. Or maybe you wanted to pay off your debt or increase your productivity. 
Perhaps you did okay for the first week or two, but have already fallen off the goal-achieving wagon. Oh well. There’s always next year, right? 
Hold on there, chief. No need to wallow in regret for the awesome life that could have been. There’s still hope for you yet. 
To end this month-o-motivation, I set out to do a comprehensive post about all the ways to increase your chances of reaching a goal. 
But as I waded into the research, what I found was that 1) summarizing all of the information required more of a book than a blog post, and 2) a lot of the methods didn’t personally strike me as all that helpful.

Continue Reading A Formula for Success: The Power of Implementation Intentions.

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