Whatever your resolution(s) may be, remind yourself that the things we want to change need time, effort and are part of a process. Remind yourself that progress doesn’t mean perfect. Nor is success defined by speed. We become so motivated for change but once we hit a bump, stumble or fall, we get disappointed and it destroys our attitude and motivation. Allow yourself to learn, to practice and to grow. Set goals that are realistic, in an appropriate amount of time and that are beneficial to you both in the short and long run.
The best way to make changes stick is to seek support and encouragement, accountability, and rely on God. In order to have support we need to share our resolutions and goals with others. We tend to hide the process, our weaknesses, the struggle and effort and want to show the world only the results. Allowing others to celebrate with us only in the victories. When we fail, we feel ashamed. We tend to punish ourselves, thinking that will change us, but we’re really creating more damage and pain, leaving our goals in the dust and once again falling into the self-defeating trap that “nothing will ever change” or “I will never change”.
A lot of us, keep our resolutions and goals to ourselves because (1) we feel ashamed that we have to change (2) we want to avoid shame if we fall (3) if no one knows, we don’t have to be accountable to anyone. No one has to push, motivate or remind us. And that leaves us alone in our journey. We need support. We need encouragement. We change when we are kind, compassionate and loving to ourselves and receive it from others.
We also grow in accountability. We need others to check in and tell us to keep going, even if we doubt ourselves and want to give up We need people to shake us up a bit and be tough on us. So many times, we give into our feelings and emotions. We let them control our attitudes, behaviors and days. If I were to let my feelings determine my life, I would lock myself in my room, never get out of my bed, watch Netflix all day, and binge for days on end. If you wait for your feelings to tell you to go to the gym, to eat healthier, to forgive, to change…oh man! You will be waiting forever. So let others be a part of your journey.
As an eating disorders warrior, I can tell you firsthand that I’m driven by immediate satisfaction. So, the “process of process” is hard to manage sometimes. It demands a lot of patience and perseverance. My best advice is to accept where you are now, love yourself for who you are now, acknowledge the changes you want to make, be thankful for all the good in your life and that will motivate you to change and shift your mindset. Stop fighting with yourself for all the things you are not, for all the things you don’t have and all you have yet to accomplish. Understand that for so many years you’ve been living in slavery under bad habits and negative thoughts, so you need give yourself time to transform.
If you’re looking for perfection or placing high expectations, or a journey without bad days or failures you’re already setting yourself up for disappointment.
Start by understanding that it’s your attitude and faith that determines your success. Be consistent in your decision to not give up, that’s how you develop resilience. Resilience is the ability pick up and move forward despite the bumps and falls, and that’s what counts. Need I remind you, we are only human and bound to fail. So be kind to yourself, and practice the decision to do better each day, to start over each day if needed.
And about God…. I need God. You need God. If the solution to our goals and resolutions were only willpower, then they wouldn’t be so hard to reach. Set your goals in faith, trust God and expect him to act.
“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen and to be certain of things we do not yet see.” Hebrews 11:1
“Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes”… Ephesians 3:20
God gave me a word for 2018, it’s COMMITMENT. To be committed to God, to spending time in his word, committed to being healthier, committed to my daughter, to my relationship and friendships. Committed to grow.
My 2018 resolutions
- Be more patient and understanding with Giuliana.
- Pack food for the needy to give out on my way to work.
- Stop measuring myself self-worth on my weight, external things and people’s approval.
- Don’t take things personally. People do and say things because of who they are and what they’re going through.
- Be kinder and compassionate to others, even to those who are difficult to deal with.
- Exercise daily and mix it up. Recently I was diagnosed with scoliosis so exercise is essential.
- Tighten my bod, tighten the belly pooch.
- Pray more for others and be specific.
- Eat more organic and raw foods.
- Stay away from gluten, drink less wine and consume less dairy and candy as possible.
- Write more; post a blog each month.
- Support local stores, brands, and people.
- Get involved in a NGO.
- Continue practicing self-love,acceptance, and maintain a positive self-talk.
- Spend less time on social media.
- Take it easy on the salt.
- Take a pottery class ( This was my favorite class in high school, miss it, so relaxing).
- Take a photography course; be more creative and artistic with my photos.
- Worry less.
- Add more color to my wardrobe.
- Continue cooking and experimenting; organize a recipe blog.
- Spend more quality time with Giuliana and doing crafts and DIYs (she loves this).
- Walk dogs daily.
- Send handwritten notes to others.
- Read books faster (I usually read a few books at a time over a long period).
- Travel more.
- Plan another mother-daughter trip.
- Sleep earlier.
- Be fearless in my writing.
- Write about my childhood sexual abuse.
- Stop doubting my ability to finish my Master’s Program.
- Stop procrastinating when I have assignments due.
- Stick to my budget.
- Save more money.
- Continue tithing each month.
- Plan a photo shoot with Giuliana and pups.
- Bring more people to God.
- Learn French.
- Keep my car clean.
- Drive slower (I feel in a rush most of the time, trying to get as many things done as possible).
- Live slower, enjoy the present more, rest more.
- Eliminate guilt and shame when I can’t people please or say No.
- Develop the habit of being mindful and meditate. Remind myself it’s not about relaxing, it’s about awakening the mind.
- Start a Bible study group.
- Continue my daily devotionals and reading the Bible in a year (on day #162)
- Keep home more organized, especially Giuliana’s toys and clothes.
- Throw out or give away clothes, items, shoes that I don’t use every few months.
- Buy more plants and don’t let them die.
- Explore Guatemala more, visit Tikal.
- Spend more time outdoors.
- Filter my music.
- Be more vocal about Eating Disorders Advocacy.
- Continue memorizing Bible verses.
- Listen more, talk less.
That’s a long list, and I’m proud that many of them I’ve already implemented in my life. If one of these resonates with you, let me know. Or if you need a support buddy, don’t hesitate to reach out. Time can help us heal, but we need to put in the work. So don’t let another year go by saying, “one day I will..” Let this year be the year.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”…. Romans 12:2
With love and courage,