Begin Again

So here we are a week into 2017. How are those resolutions treating you? Or better yet, how are you treatingĀ them? I know all the statistics surrounding the people who keep their resolutions is staggering at best. It reminds us of failure and best laid plans.

Shoot, even I indulged in cheesecake yesterday and thought “well, here you are ya failure.” But then I remembered it’s my choice. I chose to grab that deliciousness (and it was delicious) with the same choice I made to get in good health this year. One doesn’t nullify the other but it can overshadow it if I let it.

I can allow the weight of one poor decision to counteract the good intentions and focus I had the other six days of the week. Or I can say that this was a choice today, that has no effect on what I accomplished the other six days this week and will have zero bearing on the next six days following.

new-years-resolutions-calendar

Recently I was listening to a friend speak about beginning again…something we all often like to do in January each year. We have come off the indulgences (and some over indulgences) of the holiday season that lasted well over six weeks. We have said “come January” more often than we would care to admit. In my friend’s sermon I couldn’t help but think about how we reserve January 1 as a do over day. We hit reset, wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

But what about April 18? Or July 24? Or October 1?

I think we put far too much emphasis on the date on the calendar than we do the intentions and purpose of our hearts and minds. We lump in so much, put alot of pressure on a new year, on January 1 to bring about some radical shift in our lives that when it’s a week later and we’ve not seen much we grow discouraged. Or when we slip up because we’ve lived for the last eight weeks, eight months, eight years, a lifetime a different way that we chalk it up to us being failures.

What if instead of letting one slip up damage the whole focus of your determination, preparation and focus, you allow it to give you another reset? What if instead of focusing on the location of where you find yourself on January 8th, you focus on the people you get to interact with, what you can learn from them, how you can bring brightness to their day?

Maybe you do need to begin again today. It’s a new day, full of new mercies. It’s full and waiting for you. Maybe it’s about not letting the date on the calendar or one poor choice dictate how your life is structured and lived out. You get the choice. You get the decision. You get to tell failure that it had it’s time, you have learned and you are utilizing that to move in the direction you feel led. That it’s not about where you are in location, job, relationship, hardship or joy but it’s about choosing to begin again with yourself.


You can listen to my friend’s sermon here. (And you should)

A Single New Year

December 30th…when the tension starts to rise a bit for the singles. We have navigated the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukkah, hopefully with some success and self-confidence in tact.

But y’all we are heading into New Year’s Eve. So many years I spent puttingĀ alot of pressure on this eve of a new year, thinking that it would be the culmination of hopes that I had all year long. Plans, dresses, dinners, and plenty of social activities. Some years I had plans months in advance, others found me with none. Absolutely zero plans. It felt like it was a reflection of my marital status…FAILURE.

So for quite a while I lived in that reality that I had to have plans, a date on New Year’s Eve. That this specific date-December 31st held some significance in how my life lived out the next year. It set the standard in my mind for quite a while.

But let me tell all my singles right now, on December 30th, that it’s a lie. NYE is just a reason for people to make life goals they’ll have forgotten by April and an excuse to indulge in excess one last time before the slate gets “wiped clean” so to speak. How you spend your NYE is not a reflection of your life in the last year, or in the one to come.

Don’t let a day define your life. Don’t let plans, or lack thereof, do it either. And most certainly DO NOT LET YOUR MARITAL STATUS AS SINGLE DEFINE YOUR YEAR! I think that’s hard for some people to accept and live with. I think they wrap up all of who they are in having someone, being with someone, whether a date or a girlfriend or a spouse, that’s how they define all of their life.

But it doesn’t have to define your’s. Whether you find yourself sitting at home watching the ball drop this December 31st, or in a large crowd of friends and family, know that your 2017 isn’t laid out in how you spend it or who you spend it with (or who you don’t).

Happy New Year readers!

It’s Time to Begin.

Isn’t it?

We talk so much about well when I get to this point, or to Monday morning, I’ll start.

You don’t have to wait for a new year to start. You don’t even have to wait til tomorrow morning. Start right now.

Start letting go of that hurt you have held on to for far too long.

Start reminding yourself you are worth so much more than what you have been selling yourself for.

Start by taking one step in the direction of your heart’s desire.

Start by making that phone call. Writing that letter.

Start by ending something that should have long ago been put away.

It’s time.

For you to begin. Again. Anew. Afresh.

30 (plus) days later…

January 31st is here. We are 30 days from those resolutions we shouted out on New Year’s Day. What have you advanced on those resolutions? How have you lived into that One Word?

Instead of full blown resolutions for a year, I decided to pursue a change of course. Let’s be honest, 12 months with only four goals would get stale and boring. Hence why we typically don’t keep resolutions. So my commitment was for 30 days, and then after 30 days I would reassess, potentially getting rid of it or adding to it.

January’s 30 Days:New Image

1-Track my daily food and exercise regime. Prior to the holidays I wanted to join Weight Watchers in order to lose weight that I had tacked on since moving to Nashville. I also wanted to be more aware of what I ate, when I ate it, and why I ate it. Instead of forking over $64+ for three months, unsure of if I would stay with the tracking, I chose to use a free app on my phone to keep up with things. I researched calorie intake and set a daily goal. For the last thirty days I have tracked everything from a snack, to my cardio step class, to how many glasses of water I had a day. It’s an eye opener for sure.
Result: Realization of the fact I emotionally eat at times, and that I need to better educate myself about the calorie intake on foods I eat.
Next 30 days? Keep!

2-Workout more than half of the month. I had often defined workout as some three hour regime done in the morning. Then I understood that just being mobile and active for 30 minutes made all the difference. I tracked my habits on a calendar I keep on the fridge (also a deterrent to forage for food when you see that calendar). With one final day left, I have worked out 18 days this month! There were days I didn’t because I just didn’t feel like it, but I didn’t let that deter me from the next day. I took Saturdays off because I didn’t want to overwhelm or guilt myself. I had a motivator and encourager. Most of all, I dumped my gym (where it was easy to excuse not driving there) for the fitness center across from my office. It’s also free, bonus on saving $50 a month now!
Result: I have more energy and a better sleep regime on the days I work out. I have lost eight pounds over the last 30 days.
Next 30 days? Hit at least 20 days of workouts.

3-Pray and read my Bible. Talk about the most impactful of all commitments this month. God’s really used this daily time with me to teach me, discipline me, and encourage me. I was relatively good about having a daily time of reading Scripture or devotions. What I am horrible about is taking time to talk and listen to God each day. That’s where alot of my discipline and struggle come in with relation to God.
Result: I am being intentional in talking but also listening for Him even outside of the time in the mornings. I have come to understand the “Pray Continually” verse more and more.
Next 30 days? Keep, keep, keep!

4-Eat at least one meal, out, alone. While that used to not be a big deal, in Nashville it’s a bit daunting at times. Nashville is a connection city where people use meals out to group and fellowship, more than any city I have ever been to before. I had gotten into a funk of allowing fears to not let me experience great food just because no one wanted to go.
Result: So I went to breakfast on Saturday morning alone. It was this mom-and-pop place and I was encouraged to see many people eating solo there. Great food by the way too…
Next 30 days? Eat dinner out alone at a fine dining restaurant.

 

So what are some of your resolutions/goals for this year? Where are you at in those? What can you quit today (as Thursdays are great for quitting)? February is tomorrow…it brings newness and refreshing….start something tomorrow.

 

I am beyond excited about one of my February goals. I am still eight addresses shy of what I need to accomplish it…so if you’d like to help me out shoot me an email at sarabstacy (at) gmail (dot) com!