Resolutions can be daunting. They can be intimidating. They can force us to face and accept our shortcomings. The shortcomings and faults that we ALL possess can also feel like a never-ending list. And sometimes, that leaves us feeling defeated, hopeless, and discouraged to even make resolutions in the first place.
Resolutions can also be extremely encouraging. They can be exciting and full of hope. They can lift us up and make us feel good about what the future can hold. They can help us along our path in life toward better circumstances.
During church on New Year’s Eve, we discussed the topic of what the 2018 will look like for each of us. We were asked to write down on a piece of paper the answers to the questions, “If 2018 were to be your best year yet, what would that look like? What things will you have accomplished? Who will you be? What will you have done?” I started writing as fast as I could to get down all the things I want to be better at. Here are some of my resolutions for this year (in no particular order):
- wake up early every day. Since having Blake, I wake up at least three or four times each night. She used to sleep about 5 hours at a time, but then hit a growth spurt and went back to waking up more often for food. At this point, I wake up so many times throughout the night, that getting up in the morning has become very difficult. But, I’m not productive when I sleep in, I’m not motivated, and I tend to be sleepy all day anyways. So for 2018, I want to make it a habit to wake up and be up in the AM with Blake so I can get my full day and hopefully feel more motivated in the end.
- read one book every two months. I’ve always wanted to get into reading more. I love it when I do find a good book and find myself getting lost in its pages and stories. I have some trouble with finding books I will enjoy, so I tend to put reading off altogether. I want to change that this year. I’m going to compile a list of good books to read and make it a goal to read one every two months (let me know what your favorites are in the comments!).
- work out four times per week. I am very grateful to be in the shape that I am after having my baby girl six months ago, but who says there isn’t room for improvement? I want to feel my best this year, not just look my best. I want to be strong and healthy. My goal is to get a workout in at least four times a week. I plan to focus on weight lifting to target my strength and muscle tone. As a bundled goal for this, I am going to work on eating more nutrient rich foods and getting lots of water.
- read the entire Book of Mormon, twice. I am proud to say that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe in Christ and that He is my savior. I believe that the Holy Bible testifies of Him and tells of His ministry and atonement. I also believe that the Book of Mormon is an additional testament of Christ. This year, I want to read it cover to cover, twice. It’s not a long book by any means (it’s only about one-quarter the size of the Old and New Testaments combined). However, I want to read it with a particular focus in mind each time. The first time, I want to focus on everything that teaches and testifies of Christ. The second time, I want to focus on teachings that will help me be a better wife and mother. I am confident that I will be uplifted, edified, and made better my accomplishing this goal. (Get your free copy of this book here!)
- serving others each week. Matthew 16:25 says, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” I want to make 2018 a year of service. I want to serve the Lord and I know that serving Him, means serving my brothers and sisters. This year, I am going to make an active effort to look for a neighbor, stranger, friend, or family member to serve. Service can be done in a multitude of ways. It doesn’t always have to be some grand gesture or a time-consuming commitment. Serving can be as simple as offering a smile and a friendly hello to a someone at the grocery store. I just want to strive to be more service oriented to those around me. I take a lot of comfort in the promise given in Matthew 16:25. I have personally experienced the sense of peace that comes from serving others while in the middle of life’s greatest storms. When I have found the courage to let go of my own problems and help others with theirs, I find that my problem becomes much easier to bear and overcome. We really will “find ourselves” when we stop looking inward and start looking outward.
There are lots of other little goals I had written on my list, but I didn’t want to bore you with them on here. Also, please know that I set *high* goals for myself this year. I AM SO FAR FROM PERFECT! I set these goals because I suck at doing each of these things right now and I want to be better. I am most likely not going to achieve all of these to their full extent. But I know that setting the bar at a high, but attainable place, will push me to be better every day. I’m can be lazy. I can be selfish. I can be my own worst critic. But I can try! I can try to be better at one or two small things each day. If I can do that, I will be well on my way to tackling each of these goals by the end of 2018.
I encourage each of you to take just a few minutes to set a couple of goals for yourself this year. Don’t worry about making them too big or too small. Just take the time to reflect on where you are now, and where you would be at the end of 2018 if it were to be “your best year yet.” Write those goals down, print them out, post them on your fridge or set them as the background on your phone. Take heart in knowing that every small and simple step brings great things to pass. Don’t get down on yourself if you go one day, two days, or even two weeks without working on those goals. Just start where ever you are, whenever you can. We can make this our best year yet!