It’s time for some intentional change. I think I missed the mark on New Year’s resolutions this year, but that’s okay. I’m going to use this Leap Day to reflect and set some new goals. I always seem to start on goals, but because of this or that, (like, oh I dunno, planning a move across the globe- Excuses Excuses!) I start falling behind.
I realized that I have some potential I’m not fully harnessing and I’m not okay with that. It’s funny, because as I write this, I’ve got the home improvement show “Fixer Upper” playing on the TV. If you haven’t seen the show, a very fun-loving couple come into someone’s house that has potential but definitely needs work. They fix it up beautifully and give the homeowners some newfound love for their same old space. I want to take that concept and apply it to myself. Falling out of discipline is so easy to do at first, which is why it’s such hard, intentional work making good habits. So today I’m focusing on new plans for my whole self.
Body: As a kid, all throughout high school and college, and even up to last year, I was very active and fit. I enjoyed going to the gym, going for runs, and trying new fitness classes. I realize I don’t have the body of my 18-year old athletic track runner self, and that’s fine, but I also realize that I could be a doing whole lot better in this area. In recent months I have completely abandoned all ideas of exercising, which is not healthy, and not a lifestyle I want to continue. While I don’t have a gym membership here in Australia, there are tons of free online workout programs that I fully intend to utilize going forward. Getting my heart rate up every day and striving to make my body better makes me healthier in many ways. It forces me to drink more water, I sleep better at night, and also makes me want to make healthier food choices. So, I’m going to get on it, starting today.
Mind: Before Caleb and I moved, I started toying with the idea of going back to school to get a master’s degree in business. After discussing it, we decided that while it seems daunting to have a period where we would both be in school, it will prove very beneficial for us both and our dreams for the future. With my sights set on one particular program, I now have a target score in mind for my grad school entrance exam. I have the time to prepare, so I’m going to use it. Commence the studying and practicing! Also, cute things happen, like Caleb saying so sincerely, “We can encourage each other since we’ll both be studying.” He’s good for droplets of sweetness like that.
Another thing I want to improve in this area is learning a new language. Last year I started learning French, but I slowly slid away from it. I already have a decent knowledge of the Spanish language, so French has not been too terribly difficult. For me, it’s just a matter of sticking with it. According to my tests, I’m 28% fluent at this point (I have NO idea how they really gauge that number), but I’d like to keep pursuing this because not only is it fun for me, I believe it will provide a platform for more opportunities in life. Très bien!
Spirit: Wanting to improve my body and mind is great, but I would be incomplete if I neglected my spiritual well-being. I’ve always been very involved with my local church, so that was very important to me from the moment we moved to Australia. Not only do I enjoy it, but I really believe it’s vital for anyone who desires to stay healthy and continue to grow in their spiritual journey with God. Going to church on its own, or even getting up on a stage and leading worship, however, doesn’t generally cut it if you’re truly honest with yourself. Those are wonderful aspects, but relationship with God goes deeper than that. If I’m dedicating myself to be disciplined with studying and exercising, it really opens up my eyes to see that I need to set the bar higher for my spiritual self as well.
At a glance this seems difficult because “spiritualness” is abstract, while those other forms of growth can provide testable, tangible results. HOWEVER, in my experience with times of being disciplined in growing spiritually, I can say that there ARE testable results that come forth. Things change when you desire the change. When you’re real and honest before yourself and God, He works on you, and the results are noticeable. There is always room for improvement and a deeper, stronger connection with the One who is Love.
I’m excited about the writings we’re studying in our church group. At the moment we’re in Philippians, which in summary, is a letter that was originally written to a very small group of people. I appreciate it because it unlocks truths about who Jesus is, what the Church is called to be, and where my personal identity fits into all that. Yes, I did say it was written to a small group of people a long time ago, but the reason I read it today is because I know that it still applies to me. It’s amazing just how similar cultures can be across time. Humans have always dealt with the same kinds of feelings, the same kinds of politics, the same kinds of questions. In a sense, going back to basics with the early Christian church has inspired me to do the same for myself.
And there we have it: my intentions on bettering myself, brought you courtesy of this one extra day of the year. Will you guys be making any changes to better yourselves this year? I’d love to know about them! Please keep in touch throughout the year to see how I’m going with my goals, and definitely give me some feedback if you have any tips of your own!