I have never been a fan of mirrors, mainly because when I look on the other side, I see something that needs to change. But, on the other hand, there are things that can be changed that leads to better growth. So, I guess I am thankful for mirrors and reflections, after all. This is my intro to say to you: Hi, there! Here is my New Year’s post, in hopes that we can all start off the year with healthy hearts and minds, cheering one another on for the best year yet.
In the past year, I have come to realize some pretty significant truths that are changing the way I approach my every-day. So, here are a few things I’d like to share with you all as we say Hello to the year 2019. Oh my word. 2019?! How did we get here already?
Alright, here we go.
Let go of perfection. Before anything else, perfection is flawed. There is no such thing as perfection. And, as long as you keep trying to find it, you will end up in attitudes that lead to frustration+loss of joy. You will keep fighting for something that will never be found and furthermore, as you come up against your walls that seem to never shake down, you will be left empty handed.
As an Enneagram Type 3, this is unfortunately a constant battle for me. If it wasn’t for God’s grace, man, oh man, I would be so far from where I’m meant to be. It is so important to recognize that perfection will never be achieved in this life, and the sooner you come to realize this, the more freeing your mind will become.
Let go of unrealistic expectations. The problem in the 21st century is we compare our reality to an idealization in our head, and that leads to let down every single time. Whether that idealization is in our relationships, our travel adventures, our work success, having dinner cooked every night, reaching our fitness goals, attending every family get together with it all together, etc. So, I say to you, let go of the expectations that you have for where you are at right now. This doesn’t mean to have no expectations for yourself, but to just realize that you are only human and will not meet every expectation you have for your life. Learn to go with the flow and understand that where you are right now is a good place to be.
Let go of other people’s expectations. Find out what makes you happy, not what society or your social media feed is telling you will make you happy. Don’t lose that childlike joy for life and whatever has tried to steal that from you, identify it and rid of it. If there is a career that you are wanting to pursue but others are telling you that it might be too late for such a risk, consider the risks involved, pray about it, and consider what is best for YOU. If staying in your pj’s until noon makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, don’t let the day’s to do list make you feel guilty for getting nothing done on Saturday morning. If, on the other hand, you like waking up early to go watch the sunrise, do it. If you show up to an event and all of the kids don’t have their hair brushed and one of them left the house with two different shoes, that’s okay too. If you were only able to cook a homemade meal one night this week because of crazy work deadlines, that is also okay! These might be some weird examples, but I’m hoping you get the point. Don’t compare your story to someone else’s. Hey momma, business leader, entrepreneur, teacher, whoever you are, you are doing a good job. Remind yourself of yes, where you want to be, but look at how far you have come and celebrate those victories.
We live in a society and generation that floods our screens with information. I honestly think that we allow ourselves to listen to way too many opinions and that this causes us to lose sight of our own goals+hopes for this life.
I’ve already started working on my new year goals, because I don’t think that resolutions+health goals are something to be considered just one time of the year. With that said, I have decided that NOW and in this coming year, I am letting go of perfection and saying hello to wholeness. Wholeness recognizes that there are flaws in my life, but it does not magnify them. Instead, it becomes aware of the things that I need to work on and identifies what I need to do in order to encourage healthy change. I am choosing not to fixate my eyes on unrealistic expectations or get caught up in the game of comparison that begins to increase when I spend way too much time on Pinterest and Instagram. Let’s be real.
So, what are your goals for this year? A lady I follow on Instagram (@kibondki) recently said, “Been thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I’ve actually found them quite helpful. I’ve managed to keep my (very reasonable) resolutions in motion throughout 2018. There’s something really empowering about sticking with something you’re wanting to grow in even when you aren’t achieving it perfectly. There’s value in perseverance, amidst failure after failure. No matter what it is.”
I’ve already started on my goals and I’m going to list a few of them here.
1. Workout for at least 30 minutes four days a week (yes, that 30 minute afternoon walk to go get coffee counts, too). I don’t do really intense workouts every single day and try to vary it up, so that this is more reasonable+fun. For me, I love running. I get that not everyone loves to do this, so find something that is fun for you+others. Get together with friends once a month and go on a hike, take the kids out on their bikes when you get home from work, spend a Saturday morning at the park playing catch. The point is this: Let’s get outside more.
2. Wake up 30 minutes earlier to journal/get some me time in before the day begins. For me, I know that the most important way to start my day is by putting God first. I definitely notice a difference when I don’t sleep in those extra 30 minutes. So, in the New Year, I’m going to be more conscious towards starting my day on the right foot, instead of ending it on the left foot. (Sorry, terrible attempt at a joke.)
3. Drink half my weight in water every day. Really, 100 oz is recommended for active individuals, but we aren’t there yet. Remember when setting goals, don’t set extreme goals. Evaluate where you are at right now and see what is doable for YOU, not what every lifestyle magazine at the checkout is saying.
4. Read 35 books (This was my 2018 goal and I made it to 37 books, so I definitely know this is doable again!) Once again, I mix it up. Fiction, non-fiction, short essays, biographies, lifestyle books. I’ll put a list together of my favourite books from 2018 soon.
5. Post less and engage less on social media. I am still going to share, because I love sharing my travel photos with you guys, but I’m really wanting to get hours of my week back. Yes, there are so many inspirational and amazing speakers/influencers/lovely people out there, but I find that I easily get overwhelmed by receiving so many images and information throughout my day, that I barely have time for other things. I always tell people that I love camping and flying because I get to breathe and be disconnected from the online world. Why does one have to go camping or hop on a plane to do this? Still navigating what this will look like, since I run five social media accounts, but my personal will definitely take the sidelines more. Pro tip: Delete your personal IG from your phone. During the week, IG is only available on my desktop, so once I’m home, I am completely unplugged from social media. It is lovely. Game changer, for sure.
Those are just a few goals that I have already started and hope to carry into this New Year as I learn to let go of perfection (read more about my letter to Type 3’s here), and embrace the grace+goodness of God every single day, knowing that it isn’t by my works that I receive love, but that every morning when I decide to go on my run or wake up to journal and sip a cup of tea, God showers me in His love. I am human, but I am a human being who has been redeemed+discovered that there is nothing on this earth that will take away God’s love, even if I do fall back into old habits and mindsets.
Today, I am looking at the mirror’s reflection and smiling back at it because I am not the same person that I was a year ago. I have grown, been stretched so much by being placed outside my comfort zone, and am finding joy in the everyday ordinary. God has given me such a beautiful life and His opinion, above all else, is what matters most. When I look in the mirror, I now see God’s handiwork, instead of pointing out the things that frustrate me. Now, I am learning to embrace this body, this mind, this heart, and the various circumstances that life has thrown my way with an authentic love that comes from above. When we begin to see ourselves as God sees us and begin to take healthy care of ourselves, we will better be able to pursue the God given gifts and talents that have been given to us and be able to serve/love the people that have been placed in our lives…for this chapter, this year, this life.
Cheers to 2019 and all that is ahead!