The ball has dropped. The sparkling cider and champagne has poured out. The sequins dresses have been pushed to the back of the closet. The New Year has begun and it is in full steam ahead. I declared change, but where is it? Isn’t something big supposed to happen?
I set a million goals at the end of 2016, and I even narrowed the goals down to a few very important things so as not to get overwhelmed. But somehow, I found the “old me” creeping back in once the excitement settled down.
Case and point, I told myself that I will not eat anymore fast food. I will cook every meal at home or pick a healthy choice while out. Well, that “proclamation” worked for about 5 days until I ran out of groceries and the hustle of being back to work told my body to have several seats! As I sat on the couch, gnawing on my “nuggets and fries” a still small voice whispered, “We’re doing this again?”
My behaviors were oh so 2016! How dare I stop my year of change so early into the New Year? (I know I’m not the only one). Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. If I want change, I will have do things differently. It is obvious that change doesn’t just happen. You make it happen. But, how? Clearly, good intentions did not work for me. I quickly learned that good intentions end in bad, old habits.
I have to tear down to build up. On my way to work I drive by a mall that is being demolished. In an odd way this a beautiful sight to behold. I’ve seen the mall as a living breathing staple in the neighborhood to now a few piles of rubble. As I drove by the other day I thought to myself, “You have to tear down to build up.”
To me this meant that I cannot build a new healthy lifestyle on top of bad, old habits. I can’t think that willing myself to change will work like magic. I actually have to exercise my will into action. This means, sucking up my pride and buying pre-seasoned, quick meals from that refrigerated section of Wegman’s (who says I have to make everything from scratch anyway??). This means, buying a few new gym outfits so I don’t have the excuse of “my sports bra is dirty so I can’t go to the gym today.” And, this means that I can’t send my accountability partner to voicemail when she calls (as I roll up into the Wendy’s drive-thru). Different actions bring about change.
I’ll leave you with this. I listened to a message from Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church. He said, “Habits change the condition of the heart.” Doing healthy things habitually will ultimately incline my heart towards change. (See Psalm 119:36)
My prayer is that by the end of the year I’ll be able to say New Year, New Habits!
Doing healthy things habitually will ultimately incline my heart towards change. (See Psalm 119:36)
Everything about that is encouraging. It just reminds me that just because I write down my new lifestyle changes or say them out loud to friends doesn’t make make them come true. What will help me achieve my goals are an infinite number of small decisions and choices compounded together over time. Now my goal is just to do healthy things, over and over again
So true! I usually focus on the “big” goals…which is great. However, I’m working on focusing on the small decisions moment-by-moment. I’ll let you know when I’ve figured that out;-)
I love how you mentioned not being able to build anything new on top of old habits. Oftentimes when we think of building we think of adding but fail to get rid of some things. Great post!
Thanks for your comment, Niki! Yes, out with the old…in with the new