Lifestyle / Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Happy New Year!!

However, the title of this blog is not referring to the New Year’s countdown… It’s referring to a new way of thinking. But I’ll get to that juicy tidbit in a minute.

We just survived another year and are looking forward to another fresh beginning…If you’re anything like me, you are being bombarded by businesses and even well-meaning friends and family to sign up for a new class, join a challenge group, or save big on certain products that will change your life. But if you’re also like me, you hesitate before making any commitments. Research and self-evaluation must be done in order to avoid repeating what happens every year:

Resolutions vs. Disillusions

Out of the 40% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions (that’s more than the 1/3 who watch the Super Bowl), only 8% achieve them (Forbes). Why? Because we’re disillusioned by how to make and maintain resolutions. We actually believe saying “I’m going to lose weight” will help us lose weight. Or “I’m going to read more” will make us read. Vague claims are not resolutions, they are disillusioned hopes.

A resolution is something you RESOLVE to do! You have to come to a definite or earnest decision about it; you are determined (Dictionary). There is no determination if the “resolution” is vague or wishy-washy. So rephrase your claims to be earnest decisions you are ready to ACT on:

  • Lose weight? How? A RESOLUTION looks like this: I will exercise 15 min every morning before the kids wake up and go for a walk after dinner every evening. I will limit my carbs and sugar intake by swapping them for healthier choices in cooked meals, finding healthier (more protein packed) snacks and swap typical desserts for healthier alternatives (ex: strawberries and whipped cream).
  • Focus on personal and/or spiritual development? How? Here’s another example: I am going to pick two books and read a chapter a day in each. I will read a short devotional from an app on my phone before I even get out of bed.

Resolutions are simple, attainable, goal-orientated DECISIONS that we DETERMINE to do consistently, daily, all year long. I did something like this in the middle of last year. My baby was finally at the stage where she was no longer a colicky newborn. She didn’t desperately need me 24/7 and my toddler was starting to figure out her roll as an older sister. I was tired of my own excuses. My cup was empty and I was feeling run down. My family (and even me!) desperately needed me to be a better version of myself than I was currently giving. I decided to FIND the time to focus on personal and spiritual development. I followed the example I gave above and realized how much time I had been wasting perusing Facebook on my phone or vegging out to the TV (during nap and evenings). I changed my habits. I would read my devotionals while nursing the baby (or even going to the bathroom!). I would read a chapter in my books either at nap or before bed. Slowly, I began feeling human again. I began to feel alive and full of purpose. I was ready to be a better mommy, wife, and entrepreneur. I was being challenged past dirty diapers and ABCs…and I loved it.

So why did I title this blog 5…4…3…2…1… if I wasn’t referring to the actual countdown? Because, during my own personal development time, I learned a new way to GET THINGS DONE. It’s the “no more excuses” way. It’s the “take charge of your day before it takes charge of you” way. And I TRIPLE-DOG DARE you to try it:

When my alarm goes off in the morning, there’s usually a split second when I think “not yet” or “too tired” and then I hit the snooze. I just gave away control of my day. Now instead of me waking and taking charge, my kids wake me up and I am at the mercy of my day happening to me. Try this instead: Your alarm goes off. Count backwards “5,4,3,2,1” and on one, GET UP! No thinking, no excuses, just get up and start moving. Or, when you need to hit the gym but you’re watching TV, don’t let the thoughts “just one more minute” or “I’ll go tomorrow” keep you anchored to the couch. Count “5,4,3,2,1” and GET UP! Turn off the TV and get moving!

This method is so simple it almost seems stupid, BUT IT WORKS! I dare you to try it this week, this month, however long you need to commit to it in order to create the habit of getting up, taking charge of your day, and being productive. Do your countdown before those thoughts creep in that make you second-guess. THIS is my New Year’s Resolution, and I will be using it for everything: getting up in the morning, getting my chapters read in my books, reading and journaling my devotionals, creating tasks and checking them off for my business, writing my blogs (and planning them ahead of time!), getting some exercise in, playing with my children, being active in my challenge groups…you name it, I will be counting down!

Yes, I am tired…my baby doesn’t sleep well at night, I’m always tired. But I am MORE tired of letting things slide off of my priority plate. I am tired of my short fuse. I am tired of my irritability. I am tired of creating a to do list and getting nothing done. I am tired of feeling like God is a stranger. I AM TIRED!

So, here I go on my next task for the day: 5…4…3…2…1…!

Lord, bless this busyness ~ Jenn

PS In the scroll bar below are some of my favorite personal/developmental books I’ve read in the past year! Be sure to scroll to see the wide variety of topics I’ve been exploring. I always read books in print so I can highlight and write all over them…what can I say, I’m a kinesthetic learner!

Tell me what you think!