Don’t make resolutions you won’t keep. Instead, use this time to reflect on what isn’t working in your life and what you can do to move forward. Here are four questions to get you started.
# 1 ARE YOU LIVING A GENUINE LIFE?
When I am honest with myself, I have to admit that a lot of the perceptions I hold of myself are simply not true. For instance, I really want to be a more self-reliant person and often fantasize about living off grid. But the reality is much different. Rather than being completely defeated that my dream isn’t fulfilled (I am still shopping at the same big box grocery store as my neighbors), I choose to look at what I have done this year and you can, too. What can you do in the year to come to bring your dream closer to your genuine life? Babies first have to toddle before they walk. For me, it meant baking my own bread for the past few years to avoid all of the nasty ingredients and consciously choosing organic and non-GMO foods. It is also cheap and therapeutic. I made my own laundry soap for most of the year. I grew a tiny garden and I am stocking up on simple food items and water. For myself, I know I am not saving enough now to live the life I want later. You might not be able to have the whole enchilada, but what can you do now that will bring you closer to your genuine life?
#2 DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF?
I recently posted about giving up on one of my dreams. And I did. For a week. It made me feel wretched. Even though I know it is a long shot, giving up on my dream of being an editor/writer is like burying a piece of myself. I don’t want to grieve over my dream, I want to believe in it. Perhaps it’s self-delusional, but I don’t think I could make it through my long days of drudgery at a job I hate, if I didn’t keep that dream tucked down in the corner of my soul. It’s my secret weapon that keeps a smile on my face and gets me through many dark days. God created each of us for a purpose and He is the author of our dreams. Choose to keep believing in whatever desire God has given you. For myself, I may have to settle for simple writing gigs I can do in the evening for mere pennies. I’ll have no leisure time, but I will be moving forward and honing my skills. What small thing can you do now to believe in yourself?
#3 ARE YOU HONEST WITH YOURSELF?
One of the things we all do is kid ourselves that we can and do possess the willpower of Goliath, but willpower is just one of many components you need to reach a goal. And as most of us are aware, self-sabotage is our greatest enemy. If we are unwilling to examine our daily failures, we will not have the courage to start over the next day. And the next day. We must be brutally honest with ourselves if we are ever to achieve our goals. Trying to diet but after a week of self-denial you binged on everything in the house? Okay, you lost it. But rather than just throw in the towel, take a look at your strategy. When are you eating your calories? Are you eating enough calories? Have you, in all honesty, put yourself on such a regiment that you no longer enjoy the food you are consuming? Own your failure, change it up, and keep trying. For me, I had to recognize that I use food as a way to relax in the evening. It’s a horrible habit, but instead of snacking on sweets or junk, I eat a few crackers with peanut butter or a handful of grapes and some cheese. It isn’t ideal, but it is moving me away from eating all of my calories just before bedtime.
#ARE YOU A DOER?
This one may hurt a little, but it’s necessary. Do you whine a lot over how others treat you, what you don’t have, how you wish you had a beautiful home or a beautiful body? So what have you done for yourself? If you don’t like your circle of friends, what are you doing to make new friends or break the mold? I have one friend and co-worker who I care about but she drives me insane with whining, complaining, and drama. I’ve learned to avoid her. I can’t change her and her problems (it seems) will never go away, but I don’t have to participate in her me-fest. I broke the mold. I am polite but scarce. I do different things over lunch rather than being held captive to an hour of complaining. Do you get depressed over what you don’t have? What are you doing to stop being so me-focused? I don’t have a mate, disposable income, or a perfect home, but I do try to stay focused on staying in touch with friends and family and making plans for outings when I can. I love going to consignment shops and yard sales. I find projects to make over for my home and I read, cook, garden, and write. What can you do with what you have? Contentment doesn’t come when all of your wishes are fulfilled, rather it is the reward of the doer. Don’t wait for all of your stars to align, just do it!