I used to fall prey to all kinds of resolutions at the beginning of a fresh new year, resolutions to lose weight, save money and to keep my home neat and constantly organized (ha). Walk inside any gym on the first week of January, and you’ll see lots of people who made similar plans for the new year. But the problem with resolutions is that life happens. Our kids’ schedules get busy, the weather turns colder (yuck) and let’s face it, change is hard. Change is so hard that when faced with a blink of being uncomfortable, most people will choose to just stick with their old habits, regardless of how bad they might be for them. So much about change is changing your mindset, and to change your mindset, you have to admit that the way you have been thinking is not so good for you.
I found something on Pinterest that I introduced to my small group, and it is actually a fabulous list of eight things you CAN do to change your life in one year.
- Stop complaining and realize how stinking lucky and blessed you are every day. Ouch. We seem to be addicted to complaining. It’s cold outside. It’s hot outside. I don’t like my child’s teacher. I don’t like my child’s school. I don’t like my skin. I don’t like my body. I don’t like broccoli (that last one was for my own child). If we hear any of those things come out of our children’s’ mouths, they sound a lot like whining…and whining makes most parents absolutely crazy. So, why do we allow ourselves to speak that way? We recently found out that Cole’s school, Central, will be closing. I don’t do uncertainty well, so this took me a hot minute, but one of the blessings is he will get to be with kids he was with in preschool. Change is HARD. But changing the way you think about it, when you cannot change anything about the situation is the healthiest way to handle it.
- Embrace loneliness. One of the main issues women talk to me about is loneliness. I have learned to cherish my quiet, alone time. I am an extrovert, but I love my time at home. Being constantly surrounded by people, or in unhealthy relationships, does not mean that you are not going to be lonely. Sometimes God places quiet and alone time in your life to get you to learn something in the process. (also difficult for most people to accept)
- Say “Girl Bye” to the people in your life who don’t bring positive energy. I read that life changing book, “The Best Yes” last summer and it absolutely changed my life. I am a pleaser and a yes woman. I would scurry around from activity to activity, helping this person and that person, only to find in the end that most did not appreciate it, and the people suffering the most were the very people I loved the most (my family). I counsel teenagers and tell them with frequency that you can dismiss people from your life. You do not have to be cruel, but you can stop giving them precious energy.
- Turn off the TV and put down your phone. My child is a talker, and can be very insightful. But when he’s playing a game, he becomes an unresponsive zombie. So, I gather that I probably seem that way to him when I am hooked into my phone. I have found that when I watch TV, most of it is just mindless fluff to me, I am watching it to rest my brain. But I love to talk to my kid, and hear his take on things.
- Pick one skill you want to work on and work on it. If you pine away for a garden, then plant a garden. If you have always wanted to try yoga, then sign up for a class. Life is full of possibilities. We encourage our kids to try new things, make new friends, be positive and full of energy all the time, but we hold ourselves to a different standard.
- Commit to the goals you set and don’t look back. Regular exercise and healthier meals will make you feel better. I found a life change last year and stuck with it. Exercise is a stress reliever, and most of the time, if you find a gym you love, you will find the accountability of other people there. The encouragement (and harassment, ha) of other women has made me stick with it. If you commit to paying off your debts, while it will be difficult, imagine how different your life will look at the end of the journey!!
- Sweat every day to boost your mood. There have been so many times that I most certainly did not in any way, shape, or form want to go to the gym. But I went, and I was always happy that I did. Just taking yourself out for a quick walk can lift your spirits. I do this at work from time to time, and chances are I will run into someone who was needing to talk too.
- Fall forward. Learn from your mistakes. How would we accept things if we allowed our children to make a mistake and just drop out of school and live in our basements forever? Um. We wouldn’t. So, why do you allow yourself to do that? There is something to be learned from every closed door. I have to pray myself through rejection, and pray for God to point me in the direction I’m supposed to go, instead of sitting down in it and wallowing, which would be the easy way to handle. You can do the hard things, you can move forward, one minute, one hour, and one day at a time.
Let 2018 be the year that you break the bonds of terrible habits. If you can’t do it for yourself, then do it for the people who love and cherish you the most, your family, your children and your dog (who would love a run around the yard with you).