Cardiovascular problems cause thousands of deaths every day. The main problem is neglect. Every day there are thousands of divorces, often because of neglecting problems, and each other. The relationships and things we neglect are damaged and deteriorate faster than the relationships and things we care for and pay attention to.
Think about your car. If you never wash it and never get it serviced it won’t last very long. It will start to break down and soon will quit running. Or think about a garden that is neglected. All kinds of weeds start to take over and they can choke out everything you planted. Our bodies and our relationships are the same way. If we neglect them they will stop working or weeds start to take over.
So what or who are you neglecting in your life?
The longer you neglect your health, your teeth, your weight, your finances, your marriage, your spouse, your character or your faith the worse it will get.
Why do we neglect things that are important in our lives? That’s a big question, because most people want to be healthy, most people want a great marriage, most people want financial freedom, most people want a good reputation, most people want a closer relationship with God. The problem is most people are not willing to do the basic principles that lead to health, growth and success in those areas of their lives.
It takes discipline to lose weight and get healthy, it takes discipline to work on your marriage and become a better person, it takes discipline to get out of debt and be generous, it takes discipline to grow in your faith and trust in God.
Our natural tendency is to do what’s comfortable and easy. We avoid conflict, we avoid the scales and going to the doctor. We eat our favorite foods and only think about exercising. We avoid having that conversation or going to a trusted advisor for counsel. In other words we neglect some of the things that are most important in our lives and stay busy with things that don’t improve those parts of our lives. Many people simply hope it will get better or that the problem will just magically go away.
So what should a person do if they have areas of their lives that have been neglected and damaged? Here are a few simple steps that can help get you back on track:
- Set some goals – We all have two choices, making a living or designing a life. When you write down goals and review them often you are paying attention to parts of your life that you want to improve. The first step in improving an area of your life is to pay attention to it. The ultimate reason for setting goals is to keep us focused on the things that will bring out the person God created you to be. To be a better man or woman, husband or wife, father or mother, son or daughter. Setting goals is the first step toward being a better person.
- Ask for help – Trying to accomplish major changes in your life is very difficult without the help of others. Whether it’s losing weight, reconciling a marriage, improving a relationship, transforming your financial condition or deepening your faith, find trustworthy people that can walk with you. Find people that want something for you not something from you. Look for people of integrity, honesty and character. Remember that God created you and has a purpose for your life. Talking to God and reading His words in Scripture can be a huge help in making changes in your life.
- Think long-term – Short-term fixes don’t work. Cutting out carbs might help you lose some weight but long-term weight loss only happens if you change the way you eat and exercise for life. The same in relationships, you can learn to do some nice things for each other but if you don’t address your core issues your right back in the same place a year later. Address why you eat too much, address why you get so angry, address why you spend so much money. That is the hard part of change, not just putting a bandage on the wound but cleaning it out and stitching it up.
- Don’t give up – The hard work is always worth it. When you exercise on a regular basis you get sore and hurt for a while, but as your muscles and lungs and heart get stronger you feel so much better. When you learn what your hot buttons are and how you defend yourself, then you can start working on changing your responses, which will improve your relationships. Put in the hard work, face your fears, keep pushing to get better and don’t give up.
So if you’ve been neglecting areas of your life start making plans to change that today. A year from now you will be glad you did.