It’s hard to believe that it’s 2012. Remember how far away that seemed when we were children? It sounded more like a science fiction movie than reality. But here we are.
January 1 not only brings on a new year but it brings on a time of change. Or at least we plan for it to. Forty to forty-five percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. Among the top New Year’s resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and stopping to smoke. Also popular are resolutions dealing with better money management / debt reduction.
I’ve always been good at making resolutions but not so good at continuing to follow them for the entire year. I’m not alone. Seventy-five percent of us make it past the first week. We’re still going pretty strong after the second week with 71% of us keeping on. After one month we begin to forget our resolutions. Only 64% of us are still going strong. At the half year point, over half have given up on their resolutions. We’re down to 46% still making the changes we promised ourselves on January 1.
That’s where the statistics I found stop but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that at the nine month point very few are maintaining their resolutions. I admit that I’m one of those doesn’t make it past the first month. I can be very stubborn and hard headed and I don’t take well to change; even if it’s change that I decided to make.
I’m hoping that this year will be better. I have to remember that even if my pain levels are so high that I can’t follow through on my resolutions for a few days, to get back to them as soon as I can. That’s where I’ve dropped off in the past. Sometimes because I forgot to start again but mostly because I felt like I had broken them so why keep going.
Instead of resolutions, I’m calling them life changes. Isn’t that what resolutions are? One definition of resolution is the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. What I am resolving to do this year will change my life as I change my normal day to day actions and methods and procedures of doing things. Most of all I will refuse to feel guilty for being ill. I will not accept anything less than living life to the fullest!
My first life change is to faithfully read my Bible every day; even if it’s just one verse. When my pain is up, there’s no way I can read a long passage and understand it. One verse, I can do with no problem. I’m going to make it easier on myself by having a list of verses that will encourage me while I deal with the pain.
Life change two is to become more submissive to my husband and his Biblical role as head of the household. This has been very hard for me. Not because I think he’s not worthy of my submission because he is. It’s because I grew up with my mother a single parent so I learned early that I was in charge of my life. It’s because my first marriage was to a submarine sailor who was not home much so it fell on my shoulders to be in charge of our home. When he got out of the Navy, he was not willing to take on his God given role in our home. That meant it was up to me to continue to do his job. I was the one in charge of our family for 25 years. It’s hard to break a habit you’ve had for that long. With God’s help, I will break it this year.
Life change three is to put together a healthy plan of eating and stick to it. I know how helpful it is to meal plan. When the children were little, I had three monthly plans that I rotated. I always knew what we were going to eat and had the necessary ingredients on hand. I got out of that habit when the kids grew up and then I was on my own so I figured I didn’t need a plan. Now there are two of us who need to watch what we eat because of our health. Having a meal plan will prevent us from calling for pizza or grabbing a fast food sandwich.
I’ll be cooking double recipes so that I have a meal size portion to freeze so we can still have a good meal when my pain is too bad to cook. One thing I won’t be doing is using the word “diet”. We are not going to diet. We are making the change to healthy eating habits that will cause the same results.
Life change four is to develop a workable budget and stick to it. We’ve been through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We know what to do. We know that it works. Money is short around our house. Between the 62% pay cut Bill took to have a job and my income being cut 50% when my health forced me to retire, we haven’t worried about a budget since we had no money. We now know that’s not true and we will get back on the track to having financial peace.
Life change five is to work towards a successful way to supplement our income. I plan to communicate better with my former bread customers and potential customers to offer them reasons to buy my bread. I will sew at least three days a week to build an inventory items that can be sold or used for gifts. I will use my God given talents to make us self sufficient once again. Bill is already working to find ways to do this.
Life change six is to blog every day. I use to be very self disciplined. I’ve used my pain as an excuse not to push myself to do things. I’ve sat around and felt sorry for myself because I hurt. I may not write but a couple of sentences on the days my pain is high. But I will write. I will become the self disciplined person I was before chronic pain.
Life change seven is to plan a weekly “date night” for my wonderful husband and I. This will be a time where we only focus on us and our love for each other. No checking email, no talking on the phone. It will be a time for us to focus on each other and forget about all the challenges in our life.
So there’s my plan for 2012. Over the next seven days, I will share how I plan to accomplish each life change. I challenge you to make your own list of life changes for the New Year. Share them with us in the comments. If you have questions about how to accomplish them, let me know and I’ll do my best to come up with answers for you.
"The new year, like a new born child, is placed in our hands as the old year passes away.
The days and weeks to come are God's gift; they carry God's blessing.
As a blessing we welcome them.
Our hope for the year ending is that all that was good in it remain with us
and all that was harmful be left behind."
- Fr Victor Hoagland, C.P.