Excellent New Year All,
 
I’ve been hammering away at New Year’s Resolutions and new-life-starts for several weeks now as I’ve preached a sermon, written an article, taught a special session and been interviewed by an online news publication on this annual self-improvement frenzy. The news site was looking for people to say that New Year’s Resolutions were unproductive and a waste of time. My view is the complete opposite: A new start of any type is a possible win-win and we should embrace and live into each and every opportunity we have.
 
Psychologists and social scientists tell us that there are three times per year that we tend to have extraordinary motivation and energy to make a life-change; the New Year, birthdays and certain anniversaries. If we smartly attend to our new energy and drive we can positively affect change, but the key word is smart. It takes up to 40 days to create a new habit for the average person and up to that many days to lose a habit, so “sticking with and attending to” our desired life change is a must. Gretchen Rubin’s book is an excellent read on this subject. She has a Habits Manifesto that detail tips to successfully achieving change in life. Here are a few:
 
What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while
Make it easy to do right and hard to do wrong
Focus on actions, not outcomes
We can’t make people change, but when we change, others may change
We manage what we monitor
Once we’re ready to begin, begin then, at that moment
 
There’s no such thing as a “future-us,” when the future arrives it will once again be the “present-us,” so we must see any/all life change goals as a day to day adventure. And maybe adventure is a key word. “I’m working on my New Year’s Resolution.” Or  “I’m working on my new live change adventure.” I’m going with adventure.
 
HAPPY HIGH FIVES to Hannah for stepping up and taking lead on our Bags for Emory JC project.
 
Monday’s speaker is Lynn Carlson, former Verizon Exec who will speak on the mobile phone world, his specialty of cell towers and the new drone technology in place in this industry. If you have ever experienced a dropped call, wondered why we don’t have more towers, or have general questions about where this field is headed, this will be a fun meeting.
 
Monday January 18 will feature competitive shooter Alisa Sloan, who is also a professional singer, who will speak to us about the changing world of handguns, regulations, permits, laws, insurance issues and what it’s like to compete against the men.
 
International Service Projects Dates:
La Romana, Dominican Republic: May 12-16 – Dental and School Build
La Romana, Dominican Republic: October 6-10 – Clean Water Project
(Note both are long weekend trips which should make it much more attractive for a larger number of us to attend)
 
Peace & Blessings,
Michael