Happy Friday, and happy 2017, y’all! (I can’t even believe that it’s 2017. Here’s to several months of continuing to write sixes instead of sevens! Then I’ll finally get the hang of it and have to switch to eights! 😉 ). Last week, Steven and I had a few days of vacation, so we took a holiday hiatus. There was lots of puppy snuggling, movie theatre time, a rib smoking adventure, our church’s Christmas Eve service, road trips, and lots of sweet time together.
But we are back and ready to do 2017!
During that time, we had some discussions about our goals for 2017. I hate the word “resolution” because it puts so much pressure on it, and makes it sound like you’re doing something wrong and need to change to be right. I feel like “goal” better describes what I’m wanting- there are areas of my life I’d like to work on, whether or not it’s to be “better” or “improve” or “accomplished”. I think self-improvement is important, but starting out down on yourself, requiring major change from yourself seems like a recipe for failure (I don’t like the “f” word…).
With that in mind, I’m going to share my #favefive goals for 2017 and ways I’m working with them today. I’m sharing these with all of y’all because I think accountability is really important, and one of the best ways to accomplish a goal. In brainstorming these ideas, I kept going back to the word “grow”. Apparently that’s going to be my word for 2017. And with that in mind, I’ve picked a verse for 2017…
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To HIM be the glory both now and forever! Amen. – 1 Peter 3:18
One of my goals for 2017 includes growing in my walk with the Lord, but I think one thing I’m really wanting to work on this year is growing in grace. Grace for myself and grace for others, just as Jesus has for us. And that through all things- to HIM be the glory.
So, without further adieu, my potential growths for 2017…
1. Grow in Health
So, I’ll be honest…. I’ve been cheating on this one.
I started part of this at the beginning of December.
(Not what you were expecting, right??)
I felt a big surge of motivation the first week of December to make some lifestyle changes (like, for real this time 😉 ), and I knew if I waited until the first of the year to start, I would lose momentum, and it wouldn’t happen. So, since the first week in December, I’ve been working out 5 times a week. I found a studio gym that offers Barre (which I was addicted to when we lived in Lubbock and haven’t found a good class since), Pilates (on the reformer machine, which is a GAME CHANGER, friends), Spin (I have a love/HATE relationship with this. With all cardio, really.), and Row (I just tried this yesterday, and I think I like it. We’ll see.). I’ve found that the 6:15 AM weekday class fits well into my schedule, and then I add a Saturday morning class (because S is usually working). You schedule the classes you want ahead of time, and then if you cancel within a certain time frame, or skip… they charge you. What a motivation! And so far so good. Except the morning my alarm wasn’t set. 😐
I don’t have a number goal here, not weight wise or clothing size wise. I just want to feel better and healthier because being a healthier person is going to help me accomplish a few other things down the road. Because exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy 🙂
Along with this, I cut out caffeine a few months ago, and have been okay (oh, coffee. you are missed! but, really, decaf is basically the same!). Moving forward, I’d like to cut back on sugar, especially in drinks, but if you cut out caffeine and sugar, you are pretty much drinking water, friends. Which is good– I want to be drinking water as the majority of my liquid intake. It’s just hard to get used to. 🙂 Eventually, we’ll work toward eating healthier as well. For now, we’re going to try just eating at home more (like 5-6 nights instead of 3-4, and at lunch for me) because there is such a difference health wise between home cooked meals and restaurant meals.
I’m going to try to keep the pace of working out 5 times a week, but giving myself grace if I don’t (things happen, and if it’s a busy week, that’s ok. But no excuses for just being tired!). And like that, trying to cut back (not out- that will mean failure!) on things that aren’t great for me. Baby steps, friends! I think it’s best to start with baby steps, and be proud of yourself as those steps increase in stride length. My ultimate goal is just to be healthy and fit, and to be able to set an example for our future kids about the importance of being healthy and active.
2. Grow this Blog
This is definitely a hobby for me, and I like working on it, and sharing with all of y’all. But, with that said, I have big dreams for this space. I want to continue to grow in content, and in audience. I may not have super important things to say, but I like sharing, and I love and appreciate all of you for reading. And if you like what you are reading, share with a friend! 🙂
3. Grow in my walk with the Lord
Just like my verse for the year says, I want to grow in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I grew up going to church, and was in a Christian sorority in college, but I want to get a little more than that. We have a wonderful home church here that we love, and a great small group that we’ve plugged into, which is helpful, but I’m mainly looking to shift some focus in my life to where the Lord is the main focus, and everything else works around Him. Because I firmly believe that everything else works in tandem with Him being the center.
Some of the ways I’m working on this are a daily Bible Study, and getting more involved with our church. Steven and I discussed doing a New Testament study together, so I’m on the lookout for one of those (welcoming suggestions, friends!). I also made a goal a little before the first of the year to read the entire Bible in the year, so I bought The One Year Bible (NLT translation). And ironically, our preacher set a goal for our church on January 1 to read 200,000 chapters of the Bible as a church– and don’t we all like to feel like we’re contributing toward a bigger goal??
In addition to just being more in the Word, I want to increase my prayer life, realizing that prayers don’t have to be this big thing that you block out a huge amount of time for. I want to make prayer a second nature habit, such as saying a small prayer for someone that’s had a wreck on the side of the road as I pass by, or saying one for a friend that has announced something on Facebook as I scroll through, instead of just driving on, or scrolling past not thinking about those people.
Over the last few months, I’ve started a form of bullet journaling, so everything pertaining to my everyday life is in one place- one Moleskin notebook that I keep with my planner. I started using these books in grad school because it was nice to keep all my to-do lists in one place, but since then, I have started adding notes from that Sunday’s sermon, lists for blog posts, and random notes (recipes, grocery lists, things I need to remember, etc.). I use my Inkjoy gel pens and color code everything so I know what’s going on at a glance. And, I started adding a prayer list under my sermon notes- because I want to be actively praying for big things through the week, as well. Like, my husband. And our families. Having it there with all the other important parts of my life makes it one of the important parts.
I’m never going to be perfect, but I want to be constantly striving- not for perfection, but more grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
4. Grow as a Wife
March will mark our 1st wedding anniversary. This past December marked the start of the fifth year we’ve been together- laughing, eating, goofing, studying, working, and living life together. I feel like the Lord made the perfect partner for me- one who recognizes and maximizes my strengths, but holds me accountable, and helps me improve my weaknesses, and I pray that I am that for him.
I had a sweet friend tell me years ago when Steven and I were dating and considering marriage that marriage is not 50/50 like the old adage says. If you want to be truly successful, each person has to bring their 100%. Your spouse will never be perfect, but the only way to ensure your best chance for success in your marriage is to bring the best you can and fight for it. So, my 2017 goal is to grow better at the things that will continually make me a better partner for him, with the idea that he is doing the same for me.
Some things are small- I want to be better at keeping up with housework (particularly ironing 😐 ) and making our home a place we want to be and spend time together (plus, making sure we actually get to be together when we are home, and not spending the majority of our time doing chores and such). I want to continue growing in my organization skills (I think 2017 will be the year of the decluttering…), and using that organization to make our lives more seamless, less hectic, and less chaotic (which, we aren’t living in crazy, but we could be a little more calm with a little more planning).
This goal and the last goal I think roll hand-in-hand. I think deepening my relationship with the Lord, and recognizing the spiritual importance of the gift of marriage makes a big difference in how you treat your marriage. One of my goals from day one has been not to complain or tell personal stories about my husband or things he does to people outside a tight-knit group. Our relationship is ours, and he needs to know that I am a safe place.
I also want to focus on the small things as big things. I think it’s easy to get bogged down and frustrated in everyday life (especially with the demanding schedule of residency), but I want to focus on little victories- that we get to eat dinner together most every night, when he could still be at the hospital working, or that sometimes noon conference gets cancelled and we get to have lunch together, which is bonus time together (apparently we focus a lot on food…). I think that acknowledging the little things and considering them wins means the negative things roll off a lot easier when they come. And I think we all need to realize that when things go wrong, or we get frustrated, things could be much worse.
This leads me to my fifth goal, which somewhat ties everything together…
5. Grow in Happiness and Positivity
I will say that I am very happy with my life, and that I don’t think I need to make any major changes (or any at all) to be happy. We’re there. The happiness portion is more to really savor the joy in everyday life. That laundry is a joy because it means we have plenty of clothes to wear (laundry a joy… ha!!)- things of that nature. I think when you start to savor the everyday joys, you cultivate an attitude of gratitude (which I want), and a positive spirit. I want people, whether they are people I connect with on a daily basis, or just once, to feel good about the time they have interacted with me. I want people to feel uplifted by having a relationship with me, and that they want to spread the joy and positivity that they get from that relationship.
Obviously, no one is going to have a Barbie smile attitude all the time, and truth be told, I wouldn’t ever want someone to mistake that positivity for a fakeness or ingenuity. But I think a true joy the majority of the time is contagious, and sharing with those close to you during times of trial makes it easier to get back on track to the joy.
So, I am declaring 2017 the Year of Joy and Growth. And I pray the same for all of you. 🙂