At the beginning of March, I posted some personal goals for the month regarding diet and exercise (see blog post). I tried the grain-free diet for about a week and just couldn’t do it. Part of the reason was that I just love whole grain bread, and part of the reason was based on a theological study I started doing on the biblical view of food and drink.
I began in Genesis and started writing down every time food or drink was mentioned. One thing that stuck out was that God gave grain to His people for food, and if God gave it, it’s a good gift. Now, we still have to watch that we’re not overdoing it or eating it in excess, but in moderation, I believe grains are a good thing, so I added them back in. (See Genesis 3:19; 14:18; 18:5-8; 19:3; 27:28, 37; etc.)
As for the exercise, I’ve done maybe half of the days as far as the Abs workout goes, but I’ve also added lots of walking (thank goodness for this beautiful weather!) and some yoga/stretching back in. Hoping to increase that, especially as it continues to get warm. The winter is always so hard for me to get motivated to exercise, but hopefully spring will be a refreshing season with lots of walks and maybe some bike rides.
So, that’s where I am. The thing with goals is that they’re just that–goals, targets, not death or life–and in life, target’s are always moving. So rather than beating yourself up about missing a goal, focus on the progress you’ve made. And even if you’ve taken five steps forward and four steps back, you’re still one step closer to the end goal, so be encouraged by that.
Every year, I try to take some time at the beginning of the year and reflect on what God’s done, what He’s taught me through the year, how I failed and succeeded, and how I can improve for the next year.
Let’s start with last year’s resolutions. Overall, I did fairly well, especially the first half of the year. Unfortunately, the last quarter of the year seemed to jump out and surprise me (like it seems to every year), so I have some similar resolutions this year.
- live a simpler, calmer life – Overall, we did pretty well on this; still learning to say no to pet projects and social activities.
- read my Bible more – I always start well on this goal and then have spurts throughout the year depending on the “busy seasons” (see #1), so this one is back on the list.
- share the gospel with more people – I actually did see growth in this area; the more I got excited about the Bible, the more it poured out of my heart and into my daily conversations, but I never want to stop growing in this area.
- walk 3 miles as many days as possible – Once again, I started the year well, and had healthful spurts throughout the year, but exercise definitely needs to become more of a priority this year (I still want to do strength training, Pilates and Yoga as well).
- get to sleep earlier – FAIL: definitely trying for this one again this year.
- less coffee and more water – WIN, though I still want to continue to drink more water. Oh, did I mention I’m actually drinking my coffee black most days now!? Who would’ve thought!?
- eat well – WIN, and am determined to continue this throughout the rest of my life!
- get certified as an A.C.E. Personal Trainer – FAIL: this is definitely a goal for 2012.
- read more watch less – a continual goal, and though I can say I read more this year than last year, I’m not sure I did so well at the less TV watching part of this goal, so we’ll keep trying.budget and save – this one was challenging because the first few months of 2011, Bryan was unemployed, but he did find a job in the spring and we actually have been able to build up some savings again.
- Be Still.
- Seek God More Passionately. This means reading my Bible more, praying more, and sharing God with others more. I want to saturate myself in the Word, reading it with the energy I would pick up a great novel I wanted to finish and not just crossing off a checklist item. I also want to make praying for my husband Bryan more of a priority.
- Learn to Say No. I want to learn to be still, to be less busy, to rest more, and fully enjoy the life God has provided me. That means not saying, “Sure,” every time someone asks me to do something I enjoy or feel obligated to do; it means saying, “Let me check with Bryan and get back with you. When do you need an answer?” and actually checking with Bryan before committing to anything, especially when it involves both of us. And it means saying no to watching “just one more episode” before bedtime, or reading “one more chapter,” or checking Facebook “one more time” (as if anything’s changed in 15 minutes that can’t wait for the morning). It means taking tips from my laid back husband and attempt to be less of an “over-achiever,” as he calls me.
- Read More and Watch Less. I want to always be reading 1 educational book and 1 book for enjoyment at all times. And I want to make sure that the time I spend watching TV is less than the time I spend reading each day.
- Be Healthy.
- Eat More Plants. I’ve read lots of books and blogs and articles and watched numerous documentaries this year, including the most recent “Forks Over Knives,” and have decided that for the first 12 weeks of 2012, I am going to try to follow The China Study diet. That means eating a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet: lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, no refined sugars or highly processed products, and only 5% of my calories can come from animal products or byproducts (meat, fish, dairy, etc.) – which is about 100 calories per day or 700 calories per week and still allows for appropriate levels of B12, etc.
- Move More. For the next 12 weeks, my goal is to exercise (walk, yoga, or strength train) for no less than 30 minutes 4 days per week. The end goal is to be exercising for no less than 60 minutes 6 days per week by the end of 2012.
- Sleep Properly. I want to be in bed by 9 or 10 PM as often as possible, so I can get at least 7 or 8 hours of solid sleep and be up by 6 AM at the latest each day.
In other news, 2011 wasn’t exactly what we thought it would be, but it was exactly what God had planned. The house did not sell, so we took it off the market. We would still like to sell, but we’re waiting for a clearer direction from God. Bryan started working as a security guard in late February or early March, which means adjusting to opposite sleep/work schedules. And he’s considering going back to school, so we’re likely going to have to adjust to a whole new life schedule soon. I did not complete my ACE certification, but I did start blogging for Milk and Honey Organics in exchange for “free” produce each week, which has really helped the budget. In more exciting news, we’re up to 10 nieces and nephews now (soon to be 11)! And my brother got engaged to the lovely Lissa, so we’re looking forward to a trip to NYC and a wedding in 2012.
Well, that’s the year in review with a glimpse ahead. Happy New Year and don’t forget to share your resolutions on the GiveAway post for a chance to win a free cookbook!
photo courtesy of B.Nute Productions (click picture to check out free printable banners, cards, and gift tags)
New Years is a good time to look back over the last year and set goals for the new one. I look back and see some things I’d like to do better this coming year. I’m hesitant to write them out because it seems like if I tell other people my goals, I’m less likely to do them. So I’m posing them with a “Let’s see…” phrase instead of as an “I will…” statement.
Things I’d like to do this year:
- Let’s see if I can live a simpler, calmer life and resist the temptation to busy myself and fret over things I can’t change this year.
- Let’s see how many days I can read my Bible this year.
- Let’s see if I can share the gospel with more people this year (to do this, I have to make the gospel more of a priority in my own life: see #2).
- Let’s see how many days I can walk 3 miles this year (I still want to do strength training, Pilates and Yoga as well).
- Let’s see if I can get to sleep earlier and get up earlier this year.
- Let’s see if I can do with less coffee and more water this year (I won’t eliminate coffee because I believe there are some health benefits to the beverage in moderation, but I do need to drink more water).
- Let’s see if I can eat well this year (sub-goals of this would be to see if I can limit dessert to only once a week at most, not drink soda, stick primarily to the outside aisle of the grocery store, concentrating on produce and fresh, all-natural meats and eggs, limit dairy products other than yogurt, and reduce my intake of items that contain gluten).
- Let’s see if I can get certified as an A.C.E. Personal Trainer this year (my study materials arrived this week!).
- Let’s see if I can read more books and watch less TV this year.
- Let’s see if I can live on a tight budget and still save this year.
Finally, I wanted to share a prayer that has been hanging in our house since I was a little girl, The Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
“Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Posted in Bio, Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Random, Spiritual, Time Management/Organization
Tagged 2011, courage, goals, happy new year, New Years, new years resolution, reinhold niebuhr, resolutions, serenity, serenity prayer, wisdom