Baby Steps: Healthy Habits for the New Year!

Bad habits are difficult to break. And new, healthy habits are hard to make! But I want to begin this New Year with a few goals–baby steps–that will help me live more healthfully in 2015.

I’ve tried dieting, and it didn’t work for me. I’ve thought about those weight-loss pills, but something always holds me back. So instead of moving in either of those directions, I’d like to try something new. One goal for each month of the year. One idea to focus on, to work at, to hopefully incorporate into my life, and that will hopefully continue well beyond the month that I begin to practice it.

I would like to share my goals with you, and to see what you think! Also, to get any advice and feedback that you may have, along with your own goals for the upcoming year. 🙂

  1. Drink more water – It’s so easy to fall into the trap of chugging down soda or sipping on a Starbucks latte; but they are so full of sugar, and the calories certainly don’t help in the area of weight loss.
  2. Exercise daily (if only for 20 minutest!) – I have been blessed in this area, because my dog has been working me up to two 20 minute walks a day. She gets the exercise and the enjoyment of sniffing around the neighborhood, and I get fresh air and exercise as well! It’s a win-win situation!
  3. Cook more and eat out less – Cooking is not easy, and I have SO much to learn. The shopping, the preparing, the cleaning up afterwards. But I am finding that it can be fun; and it is certainly more healthy (and easier on the wallet) than eating out.
  4. Focus on the positives! – I am naturally a cup-half-empty type of person. But I want to work on this! I believe that if I can become more positive, it will help a lot with my perspective and outlook on life, and lead to hope instead of despair.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuffLet it go. That needs to be my motto. Just reminding myself that life is not perfect and that things will not happen exactly as I would like them to. But it’s okay! I CAN move forward and be okay with how events unfold. And I certainly can let the little things–the nagging yet unimportant things–slide through my fingers and out of my life.
  6. Follow a schedule to keep our house clean – This is something that I really struggle with. One example is that I often let the laundry pile up instead of doing a load each day. I want to adopt a schedule that will help me keep on top of this issue, as well as the other areas of keeping a house clean.
  7. Be more forgiving and gracious – I appreciate it when people treat me in this manner, so why should I not treat people this same way in return? Instead of getting upset every time someone does something that bothers or harms or hurts me, I want to immerse myself in God’s grace, and hopefully let it overflow to other people.
  8. Spend some time with the Lord in the morning and in the evening – This really helps to begin and end my day on a good note. It’s easy to brush this task off and rush into the day, but I need to make it an important part of my routine.
  9. Pray instead of worry! – I am a self-proclaimed worry-wort; and it gets me nowhere! But prayer does amazing things, so I want to replace my worry with persistent prayer.
  10. Take time to do at least one thing that makes me happy daily – It doesn’t have to be big or take up a lot of time, but making it a point to do something that I enjoy each day should help keep my motivation up.
  11. Set aside time weekly for a date night with the hubby ❤ – Whether it’s in our home or out doesn’t really matter. But we need to make time to relax for at least a little while and to enjoy each other’s company.
  12. Learn to be content with purchasing the things that we need, instead of all the things that we want – It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I wants.” Would it be nice to have certain items? Sure! But do we need them to be happy? No. I want to seek God’s provision for our needs and learn to be content with–and grateful for–the things that we have.

Photo Credit: / Edited By: Me 🙂

Unashamed Because of Mercy

Yesterday I did something that I was ashamed of. I felt discouraged, frustrated, angry, and embarrassed. But as I look back on the incident and on how things worked out, I see that God wanted to teach me a lesson.

I had been hearing a song by Big Daddy Weave on K-Love (my favorite radio station) for several weeks, called “Overwhelmed.” The music is beautiful, but it was the lyrics that really had me thinking:

God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God

All that You’ve done is so overwhelming
I delight myself in You
In the Glory of Your Presence
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

The phrase “unashamed because of mercy” stuck in my head, and I meditated on it for the next few days. Little did I know that God would give me an opportunity to experience the shame that comes from messing up and then the grace and mercy that flow from His heart when we confess and turn back to Him.

I just wanted to encourage you today–if you’ve messed up; if you’ve done something that you are ashamed of; if you’ve sinned in such a way that it feels like you can’t be forgiven–REMEMBER. God loves you. He forgives you when you admit your sin to Him (1 John 1:9). He longs to show you His overwhelming mercy and grace.

Come into His presence with boldness and thanksgiving (Hebrews 4:16), and don’t be ashamed. God’s mercy is great enough to cover all of our sins.

Praise Him!