I love new beginnings. They feel... exciting and fresh and like anything is possible. I like setting new goals and gaining new perspective on the past and future. One thing I've learned over the past year is that I can do anything for at least 6 weeks. Whether it's a crazy ridiculously strict diet, exercising/training for a triathlon, reading my Bible daily/leading a discipleship group.... 6 weeks is totally doable. For me, setting my sights on something within an attainable time frame actually helps me stick with those things for much longer. 6 week increments are the perfect amount of time and what propel me forward and keep me on track. So even though it's a new year and people often make resolutions to keep for the next year, I'm making some to keep for the next 6 weeks. All of these are things I want to do for the whole year, but I gotta take baby steps here. :)
I've organized my goals into four categories to ensure I am working on all areas of my life. So here goes to 2013....
For my Mind
1. Be thankful
Each day I want to write down one thing I am thankful for in my journal. One weekly challenge from DGroup back in November was about writing 10 things you were thankful for each day of that week. I really loved this and know I can come up with 365 things I am thankful for this year. Today, I am grateful for my job and a week off after Christmas to spend with my family. Such a gift, especially when it allows me to wallow in Allie's presence and really make the most of our time together.
2. Read/learn something new
Reading books other than the Bible ebbs and flows for me. Sometimes I read a lot, sometimes I don't read at all. I really want to pursue knowledge and expand my arsenal of personal skills. So in the next 6 weeks, I want to read at least one book that challenges me.
3. Throw out bad thoughts
Recently, I heard a story about someone who, when something came along in life that stressed them out or was something outside their control, they would figuratively throw that thing in a wastebasket labeled "God's issues" and not worry about it or think about it any longer. This image has stuck with me since I heard it and... I really need more of that in my life. The walking away part. The true surrender part. So for the next 6 weeks, any time anxiety, fear, or anger start to take root in my mind, I'm gonna throw it out and replace it with a praise of who God is.
For my Body
1. Healthy eating
I desperately need to get back on track with my health regime prior to this summer. My long term goal is to be gluten and dairy free with minimal sugar 6 days a week.
2. Frequent exercise
For me, exercise is the first thing to go when I get busy. Fixing dinner, cleaning my house, working, sleeping, blogging, and being with Zach/Allie all seem to easily trump exercise. But my body needs it -for the physical strength and the discipline. My goal for the next 6 weeks is to exercise at least 3 days a week.
3. Color Run in November
This is a bucket list item for me and I hope Zach and I can do this together when CR is back in Charlotte.
For my Spirit
1. Continue leading DGroup and memorize all new assigned memory verses
Back in October I started leading a DGroup here in Charlotte that is part of a larger network of discipleship groups. It has been a fabulous experience for me and I am so blessed by the 9 women God has brought into my life through this. That being said, I will continue to lead this group as we embark on the Old Testament this January and read the entire thing in 2013. (We read all the New Testament in 12 weeks at the end of 2012). Also, each week we have a memory verse. Last time, I memorized about 10 verses of John 15, but this time I want to memorize all the verses assigned. It's really not that hard to memorize a verse a week. All it takes is keeping your head above water and not losing track of time. :)
2. Take a sabbath
Since I work in ministry on the weekends, making time for an actual Sabbath has really...fallen off my radar. DGroup accountability questions brought this back to my attention and I really wanna make an effort to do this weekly even if it's not Sunday. I need to make a point of showing God he's more important than my laundry or errands, or anything else I fill my time with on my off day.
3. Serve consistently in my community
Living a lifestyle of serving those in need is really something I want to establish for our family and something I want to instill in Allie. That being said, I want to partner with a local organization and serve for a season. I recently lead a cooking class for middle schoolers at an after school family program at our local middle school. It was really fun so maybe this will be it. I don't know. We will see. :)
4. Go to NYC for my birthday
I know this doesn't seem "spiritual" per-say, but it is for me. Traveling to new places rejuvenates my soul. I have never been to NYC, but always wanted to go. My friends Whitney and Stephen who now live in the city have given me enough reason to go. I really hope Zach and I can make this trip to see them and NYC in April.
For my key Relationships
1. Spread the love of marriage
Zach and I are incredibly blessed to have such a strong and happy marriage. Marriage has always been something I've been passionate about. I have a heart for the marriage relationship and I want every married couple to have a healthy, thriving one. That being said, I hope Zach and I can spread the love and somehow start helping others along in their marriage journey. Not sure what this looks like, but praying God uses us and our story to bring hope, grace, and life to those who are looking for it.
2. Help Allie find her voice
My big parenting goal right now is to help Allie find her own voice. She is entering this big transition age right now where she is exploring and looking to establish her own identity. Our goal is to help her figure out who she is/who she wants to be and express it in a healthy and consistent way with confidence and grace.
3. Be mentored/ mentor
This is another thing that came up during DGroup and is something I want to pursue. Zach has a lot of incredible people in his life who pour into him and spiritually challenge him to grow more and more into the person God wants him to be. I really would love someone in my life who does the same, while also mentoring someone else. I've always heard you are in your healthiest place when you are being mentored and also mentoring someone else. I pray that God brings the right people into my life this year so that I can continue to cast off my old self and become more of who he wants me to be.
Well I think that's it... for now. :) I feel like I have my work cut out for me, but... it's only 6 weeks right? I can do anything for 6 weeks. :) Cheers to 2013 and all that it will be!