A new year brings promises to ourselves that we don’t often keep. We begin to embrace the fact that we aren’t going to keep these promises, so we stop making them.
Resolutions. Yuck. A resolution is more like a binding prison sentence than an exciting goal to accomplish. I considered setting resolutions for myself at the beginning of 2017, but I wanted to do something different, something more inspiring than the same old thing.
A newish fad that’s popped up in the past 5 years or so is choosing a word for your year. (I believe it started with a book written by a pastor, but don’t hold me to that.) I pondered a particular word during the first week of the year, but wasn’t ready to commit.
Suddenly, on the first snowy morning of the year, I felt ready to commit to my word for 2017.
B R E A T H E
I had been writing in my journal for the first time this year & decided to lay it all out. I decided on how this word was going to guide & shape my year. I knew that I would need to see it everyday, so I ripped the clear plastic packaging off the biggest blank canvas I had & picked the paint colors that match my bed set. I just began. I didn’t know what it was going to look like.. I just knew I had to do this. The final product isn’t elaborate or flashy. It just says what it needs to say (and has one simple design that matches my bed spread).
- My breath is borrow & God-ordained. Not a single thing in this life is mine. My college-age Sunday school class is learning about this now in Judah Smith’s latest Bible study. Even the breath that I don’t have to think about inhaling was given to me & has a purpose.
- Breathe deeply. Relax. Cope. Release. Calm. When I feel overwhelmed, deep breathing brings me back to my center, helps me relax & diffuses my anxiety & anger long enough for me to think rationally.
- My physical ability to breathe will improve. In December, I went to visit a family-friend who lives out of state. She lives in a 3-story town home & I slept in the basement bedroom. Sleeping on the bottom floor meant that I had to go up 2 flights of stairs to get to the 3rd-floor shower each morning. I thought I was going to die & it wasn’t even 8AM… I’m definitely over that feeling, so I’m going to get a better handle on my body’s ability to move & breathe.
- MOUTHPIECE. I got a word from God on this one. He used a sweet volunteer at the Billy Graham Library to deliver it to me on a frigid December night. I thought I was just going to see the sparkling Christmas lights, but there was a grander, brighter, more beautiful purpose at work. That’s all I’ve got to say about that…
To begin implementing my word, I’ve set a daily reminder on my phone to breathe deeply (one in the morning, one in the afternoon & one at night). I’ve started going back to the gym & while losing weight is an obvious goal of going to the gym, I want my focus to be on my breathing… to challenge it in order to increase my ability to do it. Challenging my eating habits are a work in progress, too… a much slower work in progress…
I would love to hear about your resolutions or word for the year or goals. What have you already done to implement them?