30 Days to Your New Life
If you could clear your calendar and devote a month of your life to a single project, what would it be? Would you board a plane headed to Calcutta, to assist the Missionaries of Charity in their vital work? Or would you travel to New York City to lend a hand to the ministry of the Sisters of Life? Or would you journey to Appalachia, to repair homes weathered with age?
These are all certainly worthy pursuits and demonstrate Christianity in action. But many of us have families, homes, and work to attend to and, at least at this moment, cannot engage in such outreach efforts.
However, we may be called to embark in a journey closer to home—a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement and, more importantly, soul improvement. If you find yourself in that category, you may want to take time to read 30 Days to Your New Life: A Guide to Transforming Yourself from Head to Soul by Anthony DeStefano.
DeStefano has created a work that encourages the reader to strive for excellence in both her personal affairs and her spiritual life through a handy 30-day plan of action. The chapters include Action Items which offer practical motivational steps for achieving victories both large and small.
For instance, this action item struck close to home for me:
“Make a list of the five to ten things you complain about most. Then, for the remainder of this month, stop complaining about them! If you start to complain out of habit, calmly pause, re-collect yourself, and break off the complaint in mid-sentence or mid-thought. Keep doing that till you get a handle on this problem.”
Granted, my first reaction to this advice was: Ouch! But then, when I put it into practice, I found myself a great deal more content with my life.
DeStefano challenges us to become more thoughtful, more loving human beings and, in so doing, to become better witnesses to the Lord’s charity and mercy. While the exercises he proposes may threaten our status quo, they also hold within them the power to rebuild our lives and, in turn, our world.
One chapter, Getting Straight with God, offers wisdom for aligning oneself closer to our Heavenly Father. As DeStefano writes, “I know I sound like some preacher now, but no matter what religion you practice, there’s really nothing more important that all of us can do than ask God for forgiveness. I say ‘all of us’ because we’re all sinners. We’ve all got to stop this nonsense of blaming other people for our guilt. We’ve all got to stop letting our pride get in the way of our relationship with God.”
30 Days to Your New Life offers hope and a path for healing in its jam-packed pages. It’s the kind of book that lingers in your soul, long after you’ve turned the last page.