A Time of Resolution

New Years! It’s a time of contemplation and goal setting – looking back over the past year and also looking ahead to the new.

Much has happened in my life over the past twelve months, more than I could have ever dreamt or planned for as I contemplated what 2014 would hold for me. So much loss, so much sadness and soul searching…and yet so much discovered about myself. It’s quite amazing how life can plop you right down in a set of circumstances that you aren’t ready for and that you don’t know how to deal with. And yet out of those circumstances come something you could never have learned without having gone through what you did!

Wow – contemplate THAT!

I don’t really care to spend much space reflecting back on what happened in 2014. I’ve written about it enough, cried over it enough and beat myself up enough over what I coulda/shoulda done or over my whoa-is-me attitude. There are a few things, however, that I want to make note of that were special.

First, I got to witness the baptism of my niece and nephew and accepted responsibility to serve as “god parent”.  I pray that this will be a life-long following for them and a source of strength and love as they grow in their faith. Second, I learned that as strong as I always thought I was, I am infinitely stronger through the love of Christ and the support of my family and friends. The line “I get by with a little help from my…” really took on new meaning for me this year! And lastly, I accepted that I cannot always control my, or anyone else’s, circumstances. That was a huge one for me!

2014 was certainly a sad but enlightening year!

So now, as I look forward to 2015, I’m picking myself up by my bootstraps, cherishing my memories – both good and bad – and moving on! I’m looking forward to a year of new experiences and opportunities, and for me, a year of new hope.

So let’s talk about New Year’s resolutions!

Most often forgotten by the end of January, many are set just because it’s “the thing to do” this time of year. Most resolutions are not well thought out, are too lofty, too general and often we don’t have any plan in place for how to make them actually happen. Yet it’s good to have goals! A few years ago I tried to take a more business-like approach to my goal setting! I try to pick one big thing that I want to focus on, then set small manageable steps to attain through the year. If I’m being honest, some work out well and others…well, not so much! In any case, my method seems to keep things a little more organized and efficient for me, and gives me an easier way to view my progress. Just the way I like it!

I’ve thought a bit about what my focus will be for 2015. In the past I’ve gone with goals to eat better, exercise more or learn a new skill. Each were great plans to address my health, wellness and happiness. This year, I’m putting my focus on the same end goal, but with a slightly different spin.

I am going to “Lighten Up” in 2015!

Yes, it’s true that I need to lose weight and get healthy, but I’m not really talking about that. See I’ve become this person who takes absolutely everything too seriously. The weight of all my worry and fear has taken more of a toll on me through stress, than the extra pounds have taken on my poor body. I’ve become the drama queen, dullard that no one wants to be around. Sometimes I wonder if I even know how to have a good time anymore.

So I need to lighten up! Lighten up my mood, lighten up my outlook – lighten up my life!

Too vague of a goal – probably! So I’ve set four mini-goals to help me get there…

#1 – Time to get the heck out of my own head!

I tend to over-think things, take some things way to personally or read too far into things. Other times I obsess on something until it becomes unrecognizable. And at the end of the day all of these things amount to exactly one thing – me being miserable.

This last year I really closed myself off from people – not just physically, but also emotionally. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in my misfortunes. Spending that much time with yourself, without having something productive tied to that time, is detrimental. It leaves too much time to think, to worry, to make things up to worry about…see where I’m going with this?

How to do it? Well that leads me to my next goal…

#2 – Get a life!

I’ve spent the last couple of years being all about responsibility and obligation – committing myself to too many things, to the point I could barely enjoy them anymore. I’ve already taken steps to address this issue, by stepping away from some things and better managing others. For this goal, I’m focusing more on what I’m going to do with this new time on my hands. Here are some of my ideas!

I’m going to learn archery! We just recently joined a club that has a nice simple target shooting area and a place for archery. So I had my husband pull out his bow and we are going to invest in some targets and arrows and I’m going to get outside and practice! That should keep me a little busy!

I’m also going to plan more “dates” with my husband. Enjoying time together in a setting outside of this house! Things we have loved to do for so many years and just never do them anymore – hiking, fishing, getting outdoors. Heck, maybe we’ll even take up Tai Chi!

Get back to spending some quality time with good friends. Over the years I have spent a good amount of time trying to hang out with a lot of people. As I get older, I’m finding that it isn’t about how many friends I have – but that they are truly the right people to be in my life. I want to make sure to both nurture and grow those relationships!

What’s next?

#3 – Turn off the TV and Facebook and get into more important things!

I watch WAY too much television. It used to be a way for me to escape the stresses of my workday. It has turned into a way to escape life. I’m not saying a little TV isn’t ok and heck, with all these channels I’ve been learning a lot about history and science! But it’s time to put the TV in its place. Maybe limit the hours we have it on, or just to specific shows we really like to watch. Everything in moderation!!

And I’ve really got to do something about Facebook. My love/hate relationship with this site has just become one big time, energy and mood sucker! What I love about the site is quickly getting sucked under the quagmire of what I loathe about it. I love being able to share moments of life with my friends and family, both near and far. I love that I can get news so quickly and keep up with current events, points of interest and see some daily uplifting messages. The loathsome part comes with people who post comments that they would never say to someone’s face. The comments that are made without regard for people’s feelings, opinions or beliefs. The posts that are annoying in ways I don’t even want to say.

So what to do? I can hide and remove a lot of what I don’t care to read – its true. I can limit the amount of time I spend on the site – also true. I can choose to just ignore those posts that get my ire up. All valid options. I just have to DO them! I can also keep reminding myself that I can’t stop what people post – but I can certainly change the way I react to those posts! That’s the plan!

And finally…

#4 – Dive into some daily quiet time!

One of my big goals this year is to set aside some time each day to grow in my faith, and in my relationship with Christ. Some days it may be 15 minutes, others may be an hour. I’ve been taking a class on the importance of quiet time in our spiritual lives, how to get started, what it means and how it can benefit you in so many ways. It’s time to put it to practice!

Right now I am working to find a place in my home where I can have some privacy, that is comfortable and I can see as a retreat. I plan to use my quiet time for reading, studying the Word and prayer. But most importantly, I plan to set aside time for some quiet listening. A time to quiet my thoughts and all the things that fly around in this funky brain of mine. Of my four goals – this is one of the most important to me in this coming year!

I have high hopes for all my goals. If I can truly keep to them, I think I will see a number of benefits and blessing as a result. And while I don’t have specific goals about health and weight loss, if I play my cards right – those will be a nice side effect!

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