It's a new year. A chance to begin again.
And new beginnings are what the Christian life is all about, isn't it? Glorious new beginnings. New hope (there is always hope!), new forgiveness and new mercies.
I have to confess- I have never been good at making resolutions. I suppose it's in part because I am afraid of public failure. But I think a larger part is that- at times- I simply lack resolve. I don't always feel like changing.
But something happened about a year and a half ago that is making me feel like I can tackle a new mountain. A while back I became a Weight Watcher. As a mom who loves to sit and read aloud and make fun treats for her kids, I had gained weight over time. I didn't really see it going on, but all of a sudden I wasn't a size 8 or 10 anymore- I was a Large, then XLarge and a little confused as to how I had gotten there. I didn't feel like I should have been overweight but the charts- and the clothing sizes- said I was. And, more importantly, it had begun to rob me of peace. It was time to make a change.
So, I decided to sign up at my local Weight Watchers. I chose them because 1) I wasn't sure where to start and 2) because I knew they would teach me new habits and ways to eat real food. I wanted a new lifestyle, not a get thin fast and gain it back cycle.
And you know what I learned right off the bat? It wasn't really about how much I was eating, it was about what I eating. I began keeping a record of what I was eating and found there were 100 little choices I was making each week that were adding to my weight.
I was enjoying Frappachinos instead of coffee with cream; white pasta instead of whole wheat; a piece of candy instead of a BBQ'd peach. Yes, I could still be a fun read aloud mom and make treats for the kids, but now we all exercise first and sometimes decide that yummy yogurt and sliced fruit are treats. Not every time, but often.
And as I made little changes week by week, the weight came off. Over the year I had lost 28 lbs.
And- it really wasn't that bad.
Maybe that's why this year I feel a little braver. And why I am actually making a resolution! This year, I am going to be a Money Watcher.
Just like a Weight Watcher, it doesn't mean perfection, but a plan (or budget) and a daily logging of what is being spent. Honestly, I do not like to focus on money. Usually, I log onto our bank account twice a month, pay the bills with one eye closed and log off as fast as I can. I'm busy I reason. And it doesn't seem spiritual somehow to be focused on money. But ignoring what I am doing with money doesn't mean I am doing my best for my family. It means that I am likely making 100 little choices each week that are adding up.
Yes, it is time for some new habits. I've spent some time with my old friend, a book by Larry Burkett, that helped us to go from two incomes to one once upon a time, a long time ago. I have made a budget, and a spending log. I have set goals.
And you know, I really don't think it will be that bad.
Question: What are you inspired to resolve this year?
GREAT PLACES TO GO:
Scripture Memory Cards (FREE) from our friend Margaret at The Frazzled Mama.
Read this fantastic post about New Year Contenment from Nancy Ann over at Femina.