Dear 2018, I’m afraid our honeymoon period is now over.
We’ve officially concluded the first 10 days of 2018. The holiday decor has been returned to storage, and kids are back in school. The alarm clocks have been turned back on (in my case, this happened on Tuesday, so we were LATE to school on Monday – whoops!), and making real lunches have resumed, and no longer consist of leftover ham, Chex mix, and holiday cookies with a hot cocoa chaser.
For many of us, those little resolutions that we made on or prior to the beginning of the year have tapered off a bit. Either we’ve missed a few days, excused ourselves one way or another, or fallen off the wagon completely. For me, I started off the year trying to do one push-up and sit-up on day one, two on day two, three on day three, etc. Except for me, there was no “etc.” I stopped on day three. It was not because I didn’t think I could do it. I mean, hey, only four push-ups. But rather, this activity was put on the back burner because other things came up. This challenge was apparently not that big of a priority in my life. Instead, I was out and about enjoying the day with my kids, having lunch with old friends, and spending time growing. (Grow is my word of the year. You can read more about it in my last post here.)
Now is the best time to reevaluate!
So now that the sensationalism of the new year has worn off, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate how our goals fit into our lives. Let’s step back and ask ourselves a few things:
- Is your goal REALISTIC? If you find yourself spending more quality time with your children more than diving into your book reading challenge, perhaps you’ve uncovered something better, something that is currently bringing you joy. It’s TOTALLY okay to scale back our goals: Maybe I can realistically read 25 books instead of 75 books this year. Maybe exercising 5 times a week is more realistic than 7 days a week.
- What is your WHY? When I look back at the push-up/sit-up challenge I set for myself, I wonder what my WHY was going into that. In hindsight, I think that goal may have been a bit prideful. Like why in the world would I want to do that other than to say that I did it. If my why was more to be disciplined with my exercise, or to gain strength and build up a healthier lifestyle, I’m sure I could have chosen something different, and therefore would probably be more successful with sticking with it.
- What would you rather be doing? Now, I’m not saying we should be lazing on the couch, eating a tub of ice cream and binge-watching The Crown on Netflix…. (The Lord knows there are times when I want to be doing that.) But I want you to think about what one productive thing you wish you were doing – you wish you could do – instead of what you’ve assigned yourself to do this year. The thing that would bring you joy. …Ah! I bet something came up in your head right now! Write it down! Now, take the steps to accomplish that. Is it a big thing? Is it small? Think you can accomplish that? (Okay, now I’m curious, so if you feel like you want to share, let me know in the comments below!!) And if you’re a prayerful person, I encourage you to pray over your dreams and goals. Sometimes you’ll be surprised by how clearly the Lord can nudge us in a certain direction!
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s not let our negative feelings of jumping off the wagon, or let fear of inadequacy get in the way, because really? What is that going to accomplish? God wants us to live in freedom, and let’s allow ourselves to dust ourselves off, and head back out onto the road. Maybe you find yourself heading in a new direction with new goals, or maybe you’re heading into the same direction with the same or similar goals. But what I’m hoping for you is that you now have a greater purpose behind each step you are taking.
I’ve recently (as of four days ago) begun one of the hardest non-wife and non-mom related projects I’ve ever undertook in my life: I’m writing a book! Up until now, it had been just a dream, or something I was preparing for and learning how to do. But this year, one of my goals was to take the leap, and to JUST DO IT ALREADY! Lol. Normally, I’d kinda keep this under wraps, but for my own accountability sake, I’m sharing it with a few of my closest friends! It’s a long and arduous process, something I’m not used to, but I’m committed to its completion, and to also allowing myself lots of grace in the process. Even in these first few days of writing, I’ve allowed myself to reevaluate my timetable to make it more realistic, to find where it fits on my priority scale, and to reevaluate my WHY behind it. Having a better handle on my goal in real life gives me a greater chance of achieving it.
Let’s Do This!
And so, as we enter the real beginning stage of the new year, the time when the honeymoon period is over, and the hard work resumes, let’s look upon our Heavenly Father for His faithfulness and guidance.
Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you’ve done for us in 2017. It was a year of full of ups and downs, miracles and heartache. A year of both division and healing. We pray your blessings over this new year, and a special blessing upon this special person sharing these words with me.
I pray that you help us all to see our priorities clearly and to adjust our schedules accordingly. I ask that you lift up our friends and our neighbors who are needing and wanting to feel Your love. Let us reflect Your light, the light they seek in the dark times. Let us be the peacemakers and comforters in times of trouble. And let us celebrate in knowing how great a God you are.
Thank you for allowing us grace and for showing us your mercies each and every day. Help us to allow that same grace and mercy both on ourselves and on others from whom we’ve felt wronged. There is so much freedom in forgiveness, and we are so blessed by yours.
We love you. We thank you. In Jesus’ mighty name.