New year, new you?

Today is the start of 2024 and I felt like I should share a little wisdom that I received about New Year’s Resolutions and have taken to heart. A new year should not equal a new you, no matter what messages you are seeing on social media or in your email because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

While God is big into offering fresh starts, (in fact, His mercies are new every day (Lam 3:22)), His gift of turning to a new calendar year doesn’t need to be met with the harsh criticisms and standards we inflict upon ourselves. Whether it’s losing weight, starting an overambitious Bible reading plan, 10 habits we are going to drop or pickup- all of that is too much to handle. Instead of seeing a positive change in our lives, our “resolutions” usually end up as a weight of shame around our necks come February. 

What if, instead of putting more pressure on ourselves, we decided to have “new intentions” for the new year? We need to set goals that are more realistic and attainable. That way we don’t feel defeated, we feel encouraged.

Take a moment to yourself to think/journal/pray about the thoughts below:

  • Let’s start with thankfulness and gratitude, remembering that thankfulness cultivates peace…
    • What are you thankful for in your 2023? What are your top three highlights? 
    • What were three things you accomplished in 2023?
    • Well done to you!
  • Now let’s ask ourselves some more questions for 2024:
    • Who do I want to become?
    • What do I want to develop in myself? 
  • With that we can move to action. What actions will help make me into this person? We’re going to list 2 things 2 START, 2 STOP, etc.
    • What are 2 things I’m going to START doing?
    • What are 2 things I’m going to STOP doing?
    • What are 2 things I’m going to FACE?
    • What are 2 things I’m going to EMBRACE?

I’m going to put myself out there and share with you one of my ‘2 things’ so you have some examples:

  • Who do I desire to become?
    • A peaceful and loving presence who represents well the love of Jesus Christ who saved me 
  • What do I want to develop in myself? 
    • Positive self-talk, changing the script of negativity and doubt that I say to myself
    • Extrovert tendencies when it comes to getting the Light Bearers Trilogy into the world
  • 2 START:
    • Consistent bedtime at 10pm so that I’m able to wake-up and have a consistent morning routine
  • 2 STOP:
    • Watching a TV show at lunch
  • 2 FACE:
    • My inner critic – I want to be kinder to myself in my thoughts and my actions
  • 2 EMBRACE:
    • My body as it is – I’m turning 40 in May and I’m tired of the back and forth and diets and body shame. I eat healthy (mostly) and get exercise most days of the week. I am the woman God created me to be and she is beautiful!

You may ask, “What’s the difference between what you’re sharing and resolutions?” I believe the difference is our hearts. If we’re looking at who we want to become, we can find small things we can do to grow as a person. If we skip a day, that’s okay, we haven’t failed our resolution and a cloud of shame won’t come over us. We truly can’t completely change between 11:59pm on 12.31.23 and 12:01am on 1.1.24., but we can decide to make some small changes that will help us to move in the right direction. (Did you see that the date for yesterday was 123 123? I didn’t see it until I typed that!)

Other examples: 

  • Resolution: I’m going to lose 30lbs/fit into a size 12. Intention: I’m going to walk five days a week. Every day that we walk we feel victorious versus get months done the road and feeling like we failed because we didn’t lose 30 lbs.
  • Resolution: I’m going to eat healthy every day. Intention: I’m going to meal plan for the week to eat healthier.
  • Resolution: I’m going to read 30 books this year. Intention: I’m going to put my phone down and read every night before bed. Every night we read we feel encouraged, instead of reaching the end of the year and seeing how short we came of our goal of 30 books.

I hope this helps you to embrace the gift of a new year, but with hope instead of a mountain to climb. If you don’t get to any of these questions today, that’s okay, because there’s always January 2nd, 10th, or even March 8th! Be kind to yourself, my friend, and please share with me any insights you gain or some of your “2’s” for 2024! 

You are seen. You matter. You are loved.

Mindy

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