Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a Brand New Year

It's a brand new year. Like 99% of you, I've been thinking a lot about what I am going to do with it. For a variety of reasons, I am not the type of person who makes New Years' Resolutions. Not that I don't have any resolve - quite the contrary. I dislike the term, though - it has become cliche; it is just another way to say "here's something I really need and want to do that I have no intention of following through with." And all of you who know me know how big a pet peeve that is, right? If you say you're going to do something, then do it. If you have no intention of doing it, then don't say you will. The same applies to me. I don't say I will do things that I have no intention of doing.

So I have no resolutions - just commitments, goals, and plans to achieve them. A great way to make sure I actually keep those commitments and reach those goals is to tell people what they are. This makes me accountable and introduces what I like to call the GUILT FACTOR if I don't do what I said I would do. I don't like feeling guilty any more than the rest of you, but I know me and I know that guilt is a very effective motivator.

This year, I am making the commitment to myself not to settle for less than I need in any area of my life. That's pretty broad-based, isn't it? Here are some examples to help explain what I mean by that: Shoes. Time. Tithing. Relationships. Work. Food. Activity. Church. Giving. Healing. Spiritual growth. Daughters. Still confused?

Okay - I admit, that's pretty cryptic. Let's break it down. Shoes - I'm not buying cheap ones. I'm also not spending a lot of money on shoes, for a couple of reasons - one, I just don't care about things like that. Two, I have a limited budget. So the plan is that if I need to buy shoes, I'll buy good quality ones that may cost more at the outset, but which will far outlast cheap shoes. A good example is my waterproof hiking boots - I paid $80 for those boots three years ago. They are used every week. They are in incredibly good condition even though I wear them often and I hike in them once every ten days. They were a great investment and a good example of not settling for less than I need.

As December faded into January, I tossed around a lot of commitments I could make, but not settling for less than I need seems to cover them all. I am committing to a high quality of life for myself and through myself, for others. This means fewer evenings spent stressing over things I can't change and more time spent with my daughters. It means healthful food for my body instead of fast-food or junk food. It means really living into my tithing, participating fully in my church groups and in worship, and not wasting the time I have on things that are superficial. It means admitting to myself that I really do know what I want from romantic relationships and not settling for less - and it may mean letting go if it becomes apparent that my needs cannot be met within the parameters of the relationship. It means knowing and owning the truth instead of living in denial about it; it means admitting to myself that sometimes things don't work out, even though we may desperately want them to. It means proactively working for my own healing and admitting that I may need help in some areas, then finding that help. It means being more physically active and not wasting my time doing things that don't bring me joy, harmony, or happiness.

So here's to the new year - 2012. May it be blessed - and may I be a blessing to others as I live in and through it.