January 2nd

So how many of you set goals and have already slacked on them?

Ha. I know it’s January 2nd and you may feel behind. Or that you’ve failed.

I mean I had resolved to not write this year. I felt I was being led away from writing, and yet, here we are. But when you have these deep seeded goals for your life, not just this month, this year, you find yourselves coming back to them giving them another go, right?

I think that’s why people set goals on better health-whether dieting or working out-around this time of year because we know we want to feel better, and our health drives so much of the rest of our lives. When we feel good about our health, we naturally let it flow into other areas-our relationships, our families, our work.

I was chatting with a member of my class yesterday before we started about how I like to work out first thing in the morning a few times a week (I teach after work the other days) and she was floored that I get up that early to run or lift weights. I told her it’s a direct correlation to how I feel. If I don’t, I am typically in a funk, shaming myself for sleeping in or choosing “I don’t wanna” over a good day. I will inevitably eat worse, I’ll feel sluggish throughout the work day, and frankly, I tend towards grumpiness.

That may not be for everyone, but how you start your day flows into what choices you make throughout your day. It’s something I learned much later than I would have liked. It would have saved me alot of wrestling…and I will be honest with you, I didn’t make it this morning, but I consciously told myself today would be a rest day because I had already prepared out my week for working out and other plans with friends.

Be intentional about your week, your days. If you set out with a plan instead of cannon-balling into them, you’d be surprised how much extra time and energy you can make for yourself to accomplish those goals.

And yes, it is work. You have to put effort into what you want. It took effort for you to get where you are now, and if you want to be at another marker or meet a goal, you’ve got to do the work. Only you can do it, and you have to figure out the map for you specifically on it.

That Insta-model or celebrity you follow has trainers, they have time because they put in the work elsewhere. They can spend three hours with a trainer in their home because of other factors that just aren’t applicable to you. Maybe for you, it’s two visits to the gym this week. Or taking one group class instead of getting on the dead-mill (yes, I use it but I prefer running outside). But it won’t just happen in your schedule.

You have to prepare and you have to work for it. Pack that bag the night before while the kiddos pack their lunches–and by the way, pack your lunch too. Prep out so you aren’t leaving rushed from the house. I never feel more like an adult than when I have set the coffee brewing timer the night before and have pre-packed my lunch before I go to bed.

Because on January 2nd you’ve not failed. You’ve only given yourself room for growth and opportunity. So don’t shame yourself today if you feel like you’re already behind on your goal for 2019, or for your self.

It’s Day 1 for you. And you are the one that matters to you. Your goal is the one that matters to you. You are the one who has to do the work to make it happen for you. Be intentional. Put in the work.

 

What A Hip Hop Dance Class Taught Me

Lately I have been taking a hip hop class at the gym I go to. I was getting bored quickly with the elliptical and treadmill, even though it had a tv and I had podcasts.

When I run outside, it’s just different. The monotony of a machine makes me want to put a pencil through my eye, but I digress.

Nervously I entered the incredibly full class the first week, inching my way to the back so I could blend in. (SN: a woman from my Tuesday step class had misinformed me that this was also a step class, it is most definitely not.) That just wasn’t possible because this class builds on itself each week. Regardless of my trepidation, I told my 34 year old self that this wasn’t middle school and that I was going to do this. So I have for the last few weeks.

Last night I looked around at the smaller group, since it’s the holidays, and saw a pregnant woman, a 70+ year old woman, and a couple on the back row with me that were just having fun, moving. Yes we were out of step, but we were having a good time and getting some exercise in.

It takes us all a while to loosen up in these situations-where we are out of our comfort zones or are pushed to be beyond our boundaries of security. I felt a little whisper last night as I was completely off on one whole routine that said, “Be confident in yourself.”

Fear’s a good liar. It reminds us of the long-forgotten mistakes, errors and embarrassments. It points to the awkward and the negative, the judgements and the critics. And we can buy into fear, and it’ll keep us on the back row in alot of life, or even outside the doors. It’ll tell us that we don’t have the body, the rhythm, or the drive to do that. It’ll whisper we aren’t as good as the former dancer in front of us and cause us to misstep. Then it will point at that misstep any time we falter or question whether we should go back, try again, or take another leap.

Yes, this is about a group fitness class, but it’s so much more than that. That’s where we often find the lessons in life-in the unexpected. That’s also where we take one more step against fear and self-doubt, banishing them with a confidence in ourselves to be bold, be brave and to fear not.

As we start to look at a new year, may we live in the confidence of the gifts and abilities we have been given by a God who designed us to live fully into them. Using them as blessings and goodness, and understanding that fear is based upon the lie of worth and value. Take that step into the room, move up from the back row and get off the sidelines this year. Show fear it has no place in your head, your heart and your life.

Because if I can take a hip hop dance class, trust me, you can do the thing you have been fearing too.

It’s a New Year Y’all!

If you haven’t noticed, it’s a new year. The slate is clean on this year. It hasn’t defined you, or beaten you down. While I like that idea, I also know I carry some of 2012 into this year. You cannot just magically leave it behind, as if it never happened. It did.

I know for me 2012 was sort of an odd conglomeration of emotions, opportunities, heart breaks, and joys. I am thankful for the last year, but I can say I am excited to see what God has in store for this new one!

A new year for me brings a time to review my year and also lay out goals for the next year. Many have resolutions or Finish Year objectives. For me, I am taking it 30 days at a time. Someone once wrote that you can do anything for 30 days, so I am putting that to a personal challenge in my life. I have set some larger aiming points for my year, but I also trying out some new 30 day challenges.

The first is a healthier lifestyle both physically and spiritually. The last half of the year I allowed myself to get out of sorts with my eating, exercise, and devotional time. I started yesterday with a new devotional plan that lasts 21 days and planned another one to follow it up. I also ate mildly better the last two days in the hopes of getting on a better track for food consumption.

In the new devotional I am doing one of the questions that was posed was interesting and I thought it was timely with a new year, and with my physical goal for the next thirty days.
What is the one thing God wants me to give up that I crave more than Him?
Pretty powerful question to think on, as God has given us the ability to crave…but we misuse it as He purposed it for good in desiring Him and Him alone. Instead we choose to run after food, relationships, false love, approval, and many other deceivingly good things in life.

Today I am sharing that for the next thirty days I am committing to reading the Bible and praying daily. I am also committing to making smart and intentional decisions about what it is I am eating and only eating out of necessity rather than to feed an emotion or desire that should only be fed by God.

What are you craving instead of God?