Summary: Discovering the things that "suck" the life out of you.

New Year’s Eve is a time for us to reflect and remember the past events of the previous year, but for most of us it is a time to anticipate or EXPECT something new, different, and or exciting for the New Year!

Most of us make resolutions in hopes to write a New Chapter in our lives … we develop expectations …

What do we expect on New Year’s?

•We expect Dick Clark at Times Square.

•We expect confetti madness.

•We expect parties and family time.

•We expect a New Years Kiss.

•We expect the ball to drop in NYC.

•We expect lots of food and fun.

•We expect New Year’s Resolutions – most of which we do not complete.

•We expect leftovers.

•We expect to attend church services.

•We expect to run out into the street and yell “Happy New Year.”

•We expect introspection and change.

New Year’s if full of expectations … hopes … dreams … family … food … and the promise of a more rewarding year than the previous!!!

There is the usual New Year’s Resolutions, such as I want to lose weight, change jobs, or earn more money but they tend to be the same ones you’ve had for years and they’re still incomplete.

These types of Resolutions are too vague. It’s this vagueness, coupled with a lack of action, which means that most people don’t achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

For Resolutions to work, they need to be well thought out and have real meaning. If not, they become a vague item on your "wish list" instead of actually doing something concrete about them.

Expectations without commitment lead to disappointments!

A New Year typical allows us to WRITE A NEW CHAPTER … to have a fresh start and a clean slate!

I always think during the New Year about what I can do … I can’t look to the previous year (my previous chapter), but I look toward a New Year filled with expectations!

I am filled with the EXPECTATION of writing my next chapter of being a husband – I love my wife … I love being with her and I know God has good things for us in 2006.

I am filled with the EXPECTATION of writing another chapter on FATHERHOOD … I am filled with EXPECTATION seeing Malachi grow in 2006!

I am filled with EXPECTATION and HOPE for what God is going to do at MSO in 2006.

I have decided our theme for 2006 – “Life Beyond Me” – I want us, as a group, to learn what it means to live a life that is FULLY devoted to Christ … to realize that life is not about me and me alone!!!

As we EXPECT for God and from God let me give you a few steps to writing the NEW CHAPTER of your lives in 2006.

1. Be realistic

Don’t confuse reasonable expectations with realistic expectations.

Reasonable means "makes sense."

Realistic means "likely to happen."

It may be reasonable to stop cursing, start a new diet and begin exercising, but it may not be realistic to change all of them at once.

Look at 2006 and ask God, “What are your plans for me in 2006!”

2. Set specific goals and write them down

Most people have a clearer idea of how they want to feel (as in happier, healthier, richer) than they have a clear picture of what things need to be done to get there.

You know the saying, "Where there’s a will, there’s a way." The reverse is more often true, i.e. "Where there’s a way, there’s a will."

Once you figure out God’s plan for your life … MAKE IT HAPPEN IN 2006.

Habbakuk 2:2: “Then the LORD said to me, "Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else” (NLT).

LIFE PRINCIPLE: “What is not written is quickly forgotten.”

3. Tell another person

Telling other people you’re going to do something increases your commitment.

Select people that you respect and admire, and whose respect you would like to receive.

This is called ACCOUNTABILITY!

We need people in our lives that will MAKE SURE that we are doing what we ought to be doing and that we are headed in the right direction!

Ecclesiastes 4:12: “By yourself your unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”

4. Eliminate energy vampires

One reason we fall off diets and exercise programs is that we need a quick fix every time we deal with negative people or no-win situations.

These can be so exhausting that you say "the heck with" your diet or exercise and grab a candy bar or bail on exercising.

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