It’s that time of year where just about every adult I know is making resolutions. It’s the beginning of a new year. It appears to be the time of year we are all looking for a fresh start. We want to become newer and better versions of ourselves, or want to make a complete 180. We have somehow decided the way we have been is no longer good enough and we feel we must change in order to have a great or even slightly nominal year.
My question is, are these resolutions realistic? Do we put so much on ourselves this time of year that in a matter of weeks we are back at our old habits and gave up on any changes we really wanted to make? I also often wonder if we feel we are so unlovable or unlikable that we feel we need to make changes in order to make those around us like and accept us. While I will always encourage soul searching and getting before the Lord about our lives, I wonder how much of what we “think” needs to change, really does?
Yes, there are often changes we need to make. Too many times we let our diet and exercise slip by the wayside. That being said, make those changes realistic. To make the decision to run 5 days a week for an hour is not going to work if you hate running. If you vow to give up chocolate (my personal vice) for the year and it’s your favorite treat, you are setting yourself up to fail. I’m picking on diet and exercise because those seem to be the big changes most of us want to make. Make small changes and work your way up from there. For instance, if you have been a couch potato, or only walking every once in a while, try walking for 15 mins twice a week. As you can comfortably do that, then add time and distance. As you improve on that, then add weights.
On the diet front, do not, I repeat do NOT go on a diet because it won’t last. Make changes. Make a lifestyle change. Start making small substitutions and cutting back on certain things. I love my chocolate and sweet tea, probably way more than I should. There is no need to never enjoy either of those again, it’s time to not have them on a regular basis. Any diet that tells you to completely cut out something isn’t healthy. Your body NEEDS fat, carbs and protein!
We all want to learn and grow as the year progresses, just make sure it’s for you and you aren’t doing something because you feel it’s what’s expected of you. If we only do what we “think” others may want or expect of us, we never truly learn who we are and what the Lord may have for us. Fight for your own personal authenticity. In the words of Dr.Seuss “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” If you feel the Lord is calling you to one thing, don’t go down a different path because someone else is telling you to, explore the calling from the Lord.
The last thing I want to encourage you to do this is year is to follow the advice of The Women of Faith and that is to “Build Your Porch.” This means finding 2-5 people who you trust more than anything with ALL of of your stuff. These people are ones who have seen you at your best and at your worst and love you just the same. These should be people whom you feel free to take of whatever mask it is you tend wear and can allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Share your goals with your porch, or put them out there where you will have at least some accountability for the year.
To practice what I preach, here are some of my personal goals for 2016:
1) Spend more time writing and update my blog at least once a month.
2) Be more deliberate about time with my husband and kids.
3) Spend more time with the ladies on my porch.
4) Get my eating and workouts back on track. This includes a 15K in February and hopefully at least 1 more half marathon, along with a couple of 5Ks.