“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” -Brad Paisley
The New Year is just around the river bend (in my Pocahontas voice). The time of year when millions of people make a resolution to get fit, organize their life, and maybe try something new. While most have great intentions, only 8% actually keep their resolutions. I’ve certainly fallen into this statistic and looking back, I think that’s because I made resolutions just for the sake of making them, not necessarily putting a lot of thought into them. One year I told myself I was going to learn french. My cousin and I split the cost of French for Dummies and began to study. The only word I remember learning? The word for “cousin”, HA. While some may think go big or go home, I’ve realized the best way to achieve something is set an actual attainable goal, a reasonable goal. And that’s why I’ve limited myself to just 7 resolutions this year, resolutions that I’ve actually taken the time to think about, ones that I’ve started before January 1st, resolutions I truly want for myself, and for you! So here goes. : )
1. Eat More, Workout Less. (Jusss kidding…kind of) I might be alone in this but while I certainly enjoy food I’ve always been more of an eat to live over a live to eat kind of girl. If it didn’t make me lightheaded I would probably skip more meals just because A. I’m a mom and as mom’s know we have time for everything but feeding ourselves. And B. I would just rather be doing other things, ha! This past year I discovered an amazing(!) nutritional system that allowed me the convenience of taking a meal on the go if I needed and that’s been wonderful!! But seriously, I want to eat more this year in that I want to take the time to actually make some of my meals on my Pinterest board. I want to try different flavors and conquer my fear of jalapeños. I want to actually try some of the amazing restaurants in Greenville and not just hit up Panera. Also, I want to workout less and be active more. I’ve realized life is too short to workout just for the sake of working out, hoping you’ll eventually look like some fitness professional you follow on Instagram. I want to get out and get active doing things I love like hiking or biking. Maybe I’ll take that barre class I’ve wanted to do for forever. I want to take care of my body because I love it, not because I hate it. And I want to do that doing things I love, not things I feel obligated to do.
2. Get Involved in Community and Serve. These last couple years I’ve found every reason to skip out on this one. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I never want to find myself on the path of isolation ever again. It’s lonely, it’s unhealthy, and it can be super detrimental to spiritual and emotional well-being. So this year I’m resolving to plug into my church somewhere somehow and get busy giving back. I think one of the devil’s biggest lies is that you’ll be just fine on your own (um false) and that you’re not really that important or needed. But I’m realizing that that couldn’t be further from the truth. God has instilled in us individual gifts, given us individual experiences, and unique and individual perspectives that He truly wants to and will use to make an eternal difference.
3. Make My Bed Every Day. Ever heard the saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything”? Evidence has shown that this small but mighty act can actually improve your life! It gives an instant sense of accomplishment making you feel more organized and ready to face the day. It creates a more positive state of mind as you go to bed, even lowering your stress levels. But ultimately, it will lead to other good habits. In a commencement speech at the University of Texas, U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McRaven said, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
4. Invest in Quality Over Quantity. If you follow my Instagram you’ll know that back in the fall I created a capsule wardrobe, trading in literally hundreds of clothes for around 40 items in my closet. I cannot tell you enough how much freedom I’ve found from this! I truly love every piece I have. But I will tell you, this did not happen from finding “good deals” per say. While I love a good sale, I’ve realized that in the end it’s actually way more cost effective to invest in quality items that will truly last in style and wear. If you’re seeking to develop a personal style, choosing a few quality pieces will also cause you to consider more thoughtfully what you like and what you don’t. There really is something psychologically more pleasing when you put on something well made. Quality looks better. When you look better you feel better. And when you feel better you do better.
5. Allow Myself To Guiltlessly Enjoy Things. Is this a mom struggle or a me struggle? I’m still figuring that out. What I have figured out, however, is that in 2017 I plan to stop and breathe. I plan to sleep in (until my child awakens, ha). I plan to take more bubble baths and not just detox baths. I plan to drink hot chocolate every now and then and not just herbal tea. I plan to occasionally use my free time to just be and not feel obligated to be doing laundry or cleaning something. I plan to slow down, stop the glorification of busy, allow myself to enjoy the calm. And I plan to not feel the least bit guilty about it.
6. Pray Out Loud. How many of you are in the same boat as me in that you tend to keep your quiet time…well…quiet? I get my shower, get comfy, and snuggle into my bed to read, write, maybe listen to some music, and then typically will just pray silently to myself before drifting off. If I’m being totally honest, sometimes my heart is in it. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes my silent prayers just turn into silent thoughts and I’ll forget what I was even saying to God. What if we were talking with a friend over coffee and just kind of started talking to ourselves. Um, awkward. And that certainly wouldn’t make your friend feel like that’s what they are–someone you love and want to be with. I think because we can’t see God, we sometimes forget who He is, where He is–incredibly near, acutely attentive, ever willing to hear, to listen, ready to send his angels into action. There is absolutely nothing wrong with praying silently. He knows what we’re going to say before we even say it. But I’m learning that there is actually power in using our tongue, not just the power of keeping focused, but the power to bring spiritual breakthrough. It can bring destruction to the enemy’s plans and bring victory to God’s purposes. When you pray in your mind only God hears you. But when you pray aloud the unseen spiritual world hears you, and trembles.
7. Give More Grace. I remember one time back when I was living in FL going to Whole Foods after one of the most stressful days at school and literally going off on my cashier for how expensive my organic bananas were. It wasn’t that I had a fruit frugality issue, but that I was just completely emotionally spent. And the poor guy just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I look back and wish I’d had the nerve to apologize to him later but alas, in my embarrassment I would always choose a different checkout if he was working. I read a quote recently that said, “Those who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.” I think I need to chisel this on my dashboard for when the idiot (*cough* I mean other driver) decides to cut me off on the highway. I need to have this written on the back of my hand for when I’m standing in line at Target and the customer in front of me is making a scene because the store won’t honor her coupon. I need to write it on my napkin when my waitress acts rude and impatient. We truly have no idea what others are facing in the moments when they seem the most unloving. Everyone has days. Everyone has stuff. Everyone needs someone to see past their actions and ask why. And not just why, but what. What does this person need? More likely than not, they just need more grace.
So there ya have it–a little preview into the nutshell of what will be my twenty seventeen. If you yourself have made some resolutions that you really are hoping to stick to this year I’d encourage you to share them with someone! Accountability breeds responsibility. Begin well. End well. Give yourself grace. Cheers to the new. 💗