It’s a new year my friends and we all know what that means, right? New year, new you. A fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning, well, kind of. A new year does kind of give us some hope for a better year, right? Maybe some of you have some pretty big things you want to work on and others of you don’t have anything in mind at this point. I’ve got a few plans myself.
But, I do have to confess something. This post does not contain a guide to anything. I’m not going to give you a step-by-step, quick and easy guide on how to get done what you want to get done.
I usually hate click bait, but I swear I have a point to make.
Over the last few months I have been incorporating a few changes into my lifestyle in the form of self-care and fitness. I was recently scrolling through Pinterest looking for a little inspiration and I continued to see post after post with titles like, “Fifteen days to fab”, “Look hot in 2 weeks by eating this.”, “Bikini Body in 7 days.”. Quite honestly, I just have to laugh every time I see a post like that. I have only been putting effort into these new lifestyle changes for a little over two months and I can tell you, straight up, there is no short cut or ‘easy’ way to get the results you want to get. Sure, it’s easy to look at something like fitness and understand that, but I’m here to say that in every area your life, if you really want to see change, effort is involved. Much effort.
This might sound like a downer. Or even a no brainer to some of you. But I have to ask the question then. Why did you click on this article? (Besides my husband and family members who are obligated.) Isn’t it true that we’re all looking to get the best life possible while putting in the least amount of effort? Why have we settled for this attitude? This mentality?
A few months ago, I was exactly the target those marketers were going after posting things like that.
“Wait, you mean I can look fab in just 15 days? I’m so there.”
Look, I wasn’t just like this when it came to my health and fitness. I’ll be honest and say that it was the mentality I carried into other areas of my life as well. My relationship with Jesus, my relationships with my co-workers, my zeal for life in general.
Guys, I started to realize that because I was only putting in a little bit of effort in these areas of my life, I was becoming increasingly unsatisfied with them.
It only makes sense I suppose. But, I came to a conclusion.
No one can do anything about this but me.
Once I fully understood what that meant, I realized something else. I am the only thing in the way of my health goals, my relationship with Jesus and ultimately, my contentment in this life.
If you want to see a change in your life. YOU have to do something about it. 2017 can be a year of great change in your life if you want to take on the responsibility and put in the work that needs to be done in order to see results. Until then, however, you have to be willing to live with your reality.
So, I feel like I’m coming off kind of strong. To be honest, I have learned so much about myself in these last few months and I’m kind of excited about it. My mindset about my health and fitness has taken a turn and it has inspired all other areas of my life as well.
Maybe the changes you want to make in your life aren’t fitness related. Maybe you have a desire to work on your relationship with God, a friendship or even your marriage. Maybe you want to learn to cook or pick up a new hobby. I want to encourage you to sit down and think about what it would look like for you to take responsibly and start actively working to make yourself better in that area. Really, what would that look like for you?
And then I want you to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Is it worth the pain you might face while trying? Is it worth the time you’ll have to put in? Is it worth the finances you might have to invest?
If you are serious about this thing then I want you to know that you can do it. You really can. You just have to stop making excuses. It’s probably going to take a lot of effort and it’s probably not going to be easy. But, it will be so, so worth it.
I’ve always believed the lie that I lack self-control. In the past I’ve made decisions about things big and small and kind of had my mind made up that I was just not a very disciplined person. I always thought I’d never be able to say no to ice cream in the freezer calling my name. I most definitely would never think I could consistently wake up at 5 a.m. to go workout. Then I adopted 2 Timothy 1:7 as a motto for my life. I continually speak it over myself.
“For God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self discipline”
I decided I wasn’t going to decide who I thought I was or what passed decision said I was, I was going to believe that God knows who he created me to be. This is who he says I am. Believe it or not, I have found so much confidence in the fact that I am, in fact, very disciplined.
You see, when we look for the easy way out, when we come up with the excuses and we are content with staying stagnant in this life; when we decide to just ignore the things that we feel like we need to change, we miss out on so many opportunities for growth. How was I supposed to know that putting in the effort to take care of my body was going to help me to draw closer to Jesus? I had no idea that this journey would help me to gain the confidence I need to tackle the things in my life that I’m not satisfied with. This journey, though it’s been short and I’ve got a long ways to go, has already radically changed my outlook on life and attitude about myself and my abilities.
Friends, I just want to challenge you today. Don’t be content with just ‘dealing’ with something in your life that you’re not happy about. Do things to actually make a change. Put in the effort, believe in yourself. You really are the only one who can make the decision to do something about it. Don’t take the easy way out. God has created you for great things. Give Him a chance to surprise you with his creation. You really are capable of amazing things.
Be encouraged, friends.
Okay, lay it on me. What are you hoping to change this year and how are you going to do it?