Reason to SMILE #364: LOOKING FORWARD
One more day, my friends, and we will be greeting the new year! Are you excited? Are you anxious for a new beginning? Or is it simply another day for you?
For me, New Year’s Day has always been “just another day” or a day off work. WooHoo! A day off work! That’s a SMILE in and of itself. And this year, New Year’s Day falls on a Monday so many of us get a three day weekend. That’s a DOUBLE SMILE! 😉 For many, though, New Year’s Day is the day to start diets and exercise regiments, to give up bad habits, to rid their houses of clutter and to begin their fulfillment of whatever resolutions they have made for the year to come.
Rarely have I made resolutions. I know myself well and I know that even if I have every intention to follow through on my personal commitments, I’ll never make it through the year. (What a sad reflection on my life! 😉 ) But my self-given challenge to find a SMILE for every day of 2017 has changed my attitude a bit. After tomorrow’s SMILE, I will have posted 365 SMILES in 2017 which means I did it. I followed through. And I have truly enjoyed seeking out SMILES this year.
After reflecting on all the SMILES of 2017 and even on the things in my life that didn’t bring a SMILE, as I endorsed in yesterday’s post (Day 363), what resolutions should I make for the year ahead? What can I do differently to better my life in 2018? I’ve come up with a few:
- Spend more time with God – I read my daily devotional and study God’s Word when writing on specific topics but I feel like I’m still drinking the milk as Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 3:2. It’s time for the meat of God’s Word!
- Journal regularly – There are times I find myself with all kinds of emotions, thoughts and feelings built up inside of me. I don’t have an outlet or choose not to call on others to talk so I store it all up and end up having an emotional breakdown. That’s not healthy. If I’m not going to seek out a listening ear, I at least need to get it out on paper.
- Exercise regularly – You may remember that I have a muscle disorder. Running, jumping, climbing, sitting up, etc. are all difficult. I should be exercising daily. I don’t. Now I am struggling with just walking. Something has to be done!
- Follow a healthier diet – Earlier this year, I was told my cholesterol was a bit high. I was told to cut out fats. I did not listen. I LIKE FATS! This has to change. I want to live to see grandkids one day. Losing some weight will alleviate some of my walking difficulties, as well.
- Write less; write better – The daily posts have been a lot of fun but not every post has been my best work. As I look back, I cringe at some of my entries. Keeping up the habit of writing is important to me but taking the time to write something worthwhile and finishing projects are my writing goals for this year.
Wow! I may have gone a little overboard! How am I going to follow through on all of these resolutions? The same way you are going to follow through with yours – one small step at a time. The key is to begin small. There’s no way I can stop my bad eating habits all at once. I’d die! 😉 Or at least throw in the towel after the first week. No, I have to choose one bad habit, replace it with a healthier habit, then move on to the next.
Another help in keeping resolutions is accountability. Find someone to partner with you on your weight loss journey. Find someone with whom you can study God’s Word. Find someone who will pray with you through the year. I’m lucky. I have all of you to encourage me, cheer me on and keep me moving toward my goals. And by the way, you have me, too!
Remember, resolutions are important in looking toward the future. So, be sure your goals begin with the One who already knows what the future holds in store. He has a plan for you – not just for 2018 but for your entire life. You can trust Him with your goals and expectations. But you must be willing to let go of those things that weigh you down (sometimes that means reevaluating your goals!). And you must be willing to keep going even when the world, your friends, your family, your cravings! your weaknesses! tell you that you can’t.
I’ll keep you posted on my sticktoitiveness this year. I’m not promising anything but if I can find the will power (but mostly God power) to follow through, I know I’ll have many more SMILES to share with you in 2018. And I hope you’ll have plenty to share with me, too!