Resolutions, Words and Prayers.

new-years-resolutions-goals-ss-1920I think we all can agree on resolutions in the new year…they tend to be made with good intentions and often we find by next week we aren’t really doing too well with them, and we give up. Several years ago I joined the OneWord365 community where you pick a word to be the theme of your year. That’s often one I find I can stick to as well until around April or May, then revisit in the fall. I may even venture into another word theme for the year as I keep having a word pop up on my heart and mind for 2018, especially as I reflect back on 2017, as we are want to do these early days of a new year.

This year I wanted more of a prayer for my life. I am walking into this year knowing there are things I will accomplish and goals I want to set for myself. One in particular is getting certified to teach POUND fitness classes. I have been taking those classes for two year, growing to love it and the community it has brought. Another is to finish writing my book and have it submitted to literary agents. It’s a big goal but one I have carried year to year for a bit too long.

But the more I thought on this new year I couldn’t help but feel this pull to have a prayer for the year. For each month, each week, each day and even each moment. I desired to bring me back to the recognition of His Presence in moments, in situations, in my life in all things. I stumbled upon the words of someone as I was thinking through what my prayer would be, and it hit exactly where I was desiring to be in 2018.

Let me approach each moment as one God has appointed for His glory.

I don’t know about anyone else but that prayer, those words, were meant exactly for me to carry, to ruminate on, to pray fervently for throughout 2018. I want to cling to them and the moments He has appointed for me. Each and every one.

The hard ones? Yep.

The doubting ones? You got it.

The mundane ones? Um yeah.

The joyful ones? Oh yes.

And I have found that already I am running to those words as I begin to encounter moments where I can’t quite figure out why I’m in it, or how I should navigate it. Let me approach it knowing He has appointed it…not for me and my self, but for Him and His glory. It doesn’t mean all the moments will be good or #blessed.

It does mean I will need to look for Him in the moments, the days, the weeks, the months ahead, being proactive in seeking Him rather than retrospective of seeing Him when looking back.¬†Because we aren’t too far gone from Christmas, and the reason for the season, Immanuel Himself. God with us. He is with me in all things, if I approach it with Him, if I pray to seek Him, preparing before any and every thing to know He is in control, He is good even when I fail at keeping my resolutions.


Do you have a resolution? A word for 2018? Or even a prayer or mission statement for your life? Or even a Scripture? I’d love to hear about it, so share below!

Begin Again

So here we are a week into 2017. How are those resolutions treating you? Or better yet, how are you treating 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)

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.

Quitting the Resolutions.

Thursdays are good for quitting stuff. At least from what Bob Goff says.

With it being on the second day of a new year, I hope you haven’t quit this year yet. But one thing I do hope you will quit today is the need for resolutions. Let’s be honest and say that they truly don’t work. By the time we roll around to summer we have forgotten them for the most part, but then when December hits we rush to remember that we have yet again failed to live up to these lofty goals of our own making.

Let’s focus instead on how to better live into our year, instead of letting it remind us of failures at the end of it.

Think and pray on what word you would like your year to be defined by. Join us over at One Word 365 or follow the conversation on Twitter at #OneWord365.  Share it, be intentional about seeing it and living into it.

Photo courtesy of One Word 365.
Photo courtesy of One Word 365.

Tomorrow I will share the word I have picked for this year and how for the month of January I am living it out. We’ll be switching some things up on the blog with a new year, and I am excited about the coming days hustlin’ and wordin’ with y’all!

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!

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?