Hello Blussh! I hope you all had a lovely time with family and friends over Christmas and bringing in the New Year. I must say, I was pretty happy to say goodbye to 2013, not to say I feel disappointed or regretful in hindsight. It has just been a challenging season (and is still ongoing). However, with it brought the most valuable lessons... One of which I am excited to share with you today:
I have mentioned before that New Year Resolutions can do more harm that good, because of the disappointment that might follow, the unrealistic pressure we tend to cultivate or the false sense of motivation we so easily ride on in the first few weeks of a New Year. We often set ourselves up for failure, which never works out well. Not to say resolutions are bad... The concept is just a little faulty, because the importance is placed on an end goal rather than our motives.
So this post is about cultivating something much more beneficial. Here are three things to look at:
1. We need to shake the idea that a 'New Year' is novel. January 1 is just another day... Like every other day (hear me out).
2. We need to recognise seasons. Not the weather kind, the roller coaster kind, that bring us times of rest, or times of hard work; trials or victories; peace or torment; stillness or momentum. These seasons do not adhere to the typical calendar year that we live our days by. While seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months and years are relevant to us, they don't determine or dictate the internal, emotional, and relational phases we go through.
3. Finally we need to live out of conviction rather than react to those seasons out of our emotional state at the time. This comes down to our motives... And if we can get it right, it will change the way we live out life!
So let's go back to the first point –January 1 is just another day– and dig a little deeper. What if we were to look at each day as new, fresh and purposeful? What if we were to treat everyday as though it was a fresh start? My point being that January 1 shouldn't hold more importance that any other day.
Every day should be treated as important, brimming with opportunity to be our best and live with purpose. If we are only ever waiting for something to tick over, or a new year to come by, than we miss the beauty that waits for us in every new day! Today is just as new as yesterday was in the waking moments. Today is just as wondrous! So let's shift our thinking to be along the lines of making the most of each and every day we are given. Don't wait till tomorrow to change something you know you need to change. Don't wait for Monday to get back into your healthy, positive routines.
This also means we must not waste time worrying about tomorrow! Rather we should be completely available each day, to do our best and get the most out of our day.
This mentality will help us navigate those seasons I mentioned earlier. It will give us the strength and motivation to push through the hard times and be genuinely present, inspired by and whole throughout the journey.
Here is a look at some of my personal "daily-resolutions" a.k.a. the possibilities I familiarise myself with most days (some are still a work in progress of course):
TODAY I will respect my body.
TODAY I will work on coping better with stress. I know if I do some stretches, it helps to relieve the tension in my neck and shoulders, and I always feel more relaxed afterwards. It makes me a better person, a better wife, and better mum!
TODAY I will carve out time for me to pray and think about how I can be better at bringing peace into my life and relationships.
TODAY I will love my husband by making sure he comes home to a peaceful and relaxed environment.
TODAY I will go for a run, because it allows me to think. I know I will come home feeling energised and happy.
TODAY I will spend unadulterated time with my little girl. I know this makes her feel safe and secure. She is happier at the end of the day and I always feel accomplished as a mum when I give her that time she needs.
What is different about these resolutions? It is all about my motives! Why do I want to do these things? Because my conviction is to be committed to freedom (not live in fear, not live according to an unrealistic standard, not live out of a reaction to what others think or say, not live in a place of selfishness). This alone gives me the motivation to be a healthy, respectful, peaceful and happy person. It definitely doesn't mean I always come across as healthy, respectful, peaceful, and happy... But it does mean I don't give up. I am tempted all the time to give up, but I push through because I am living out of conviction rather than how I feel on any particular day. If I lived according to how I felt, my life would still look like it did 10 years ago (an absolute mess).
Why do I say "TODAY" rather than "THIS YEAR”? Because I should be treating everyday with the same fervour and conviction as the last. Everyday I should be reminding myself of how I want to live, and everyday I should be working on the things that are important. A weekday, a weekend, a New Year... They are irrelevant when it comes to making these choices every morning.
For me the conviction is about being consistent, no matter the sort of day you are facing. If you wake up one morning and feel "frumpy", but you stay consistent with what you eat, how you treat others, and the thoughts you think about yourself (providing you have cultivated good thoughts), you could easily beat that "frumpy" feeling and overcome the urge to mope around. That is a day saved from the black hole of frumpy days!
But our convictions also have to be based on something bigger than ourselves. Otherwise we become selfish and inward focused which leaves us back where we started, with empty promises and a false sense of motivation. For example, if your motivation is to "look good", you will always be sorely disappointed whenever you have a bad hair day, a pimple shows up, or you start showing signs of age. You appearance is fleeting! But a strong and consistent character is sustaining.
If your motivation is to be a better person, healthy and whole, or to help others be happy, you'll find great reward as you set out to achieve these things, because you aren't focussing on something superficial or transient.
So what is your conviction, and how will you live by it TODAY?
Love Heids Xx