"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders.." Hebrews 12:1. "Today is a new day. Even if you were wrong yesterday, you can get it right today." Dwight Howard.
It is often said that some things are easier "said than done." Perhaps, but not always; I would venture to say that it depends on what you are trying to get done. The New Year is considered a great time to reset; start over. Maybe not your whole life, but the trajectory. Okay, perhaps not the complete direction, but at the very least enhancement or improvement might be in order. For myself, I cannot think of one thing that I did perfectly in 2022; there is always room for growth and improvement. With a self-imposed clean slate, I reviewed the the major things on my plate in 2022. I have decided that some of those things will be better left in 2022. They did not add, in fact some things detracted from my goals; and therefore I have decided to leave them behind. One example is procrastination. I have no reason to continue with it; it has not served me well. Therefore, I am letting it go and not bringing it in to 2023. I will keep you apprised of my progress.
It is time to let go of the things that unnecessarily weigh you down. You know what they are. Release them (I said things, not people). We have to deal with them in a more compassionate and kind way. We have to pray for them and love them from afar. Continuing, it is time to let go of those things that have been impeding your progress. For example, negative thoughts are weightless. But, my goodness they are heavy; so heavy that they can block your movement all together. "The past is gone. Today is full of possibilities." Karen Casey. Make the most of it by deciding that you will.
In 2022, I was pretty clear of my path forward, but as obstacles presented themselves, some goals were not met (not completely anyway). On the face of it, this sounds like another feeble excuse to explain away my lack of progress. Well, it might be, but it also is reasonable if you look closer. I have to bring you closer. Here goes: In defense of myself, I bit off "more than I could chew." So determined was I to accomplish all the goals that I had set, I did not take the time to figure out if I could actually handle all of them in the time frame that I had planned for or if I had the resources needed. It is also stated that, "when you know better, you do better." Hence, I am leaving behind in 2022 unreasonable expectations. I will relieve myself of the heavy load that I designed for myself. Let me make it plain, I am not giving myself permission to get out of anything. I am simply giving myself the latitude to plan and follow through on goals that are doable in a reasonable timeframe. By lightening my load; I will be doing what is manageable, which should facilitate timely and effective implementation and evaluation of my goals.
In biblical times, runners ran without clothing so that they would not have any restrictions weighing them down while running. In the scripture Hebrews 12:1 (please read it), reference is made to those who are running the Christian race. They must throw off sin that so easily entangles. We all have something we are dealing with. That is between you and God. At the very least, admit that it might be holding you back. Pray about it, do something about it, and then get back in the race. (That's life).
It is always an individual's choice to change; no one can effect change in someone who does not want it. As the year 2022, came to a close I did a quick assessment of my life, my goals and action plans. Admittedly, I fell just a little short of reaching all the plans that I had made. As I stated previously, I had quite a few things on my plate, overwhelming and/or impacting the outcome. Rather than restructure my plans, I allowed procrastination to rule the day. (I am being transparent here). "Making a mountain out of a molehill," seemingly is how I responded. Yes, there were probably too many things on my plate, and I am certain that I could have done them all. But, I also came to a startling realization: It makes no sense to ridicule myself for my inaction or for not meeting every goal. A change of attitude came over me. I decided to show myself kindness. After all, I would show kindness to someone else if they shared with me that they were struggling with staying focused or who was putting undue pressure on themselves.
So, my new attitude for 2023, is to be kind to myself; show myself understanding and forgiveness. As a writer, I have the opportunity to change the narrative because I control it. Why not apply this to my life. Hence a change in attitude. Too much time has been wasted lamenting my slow actions. (Others have shared that I am progessing just fine. I do set the bar really high for myself. Perfectionism on my part will be dealt with in this New Year also). Now, the epiphany: Could it have been this simple all along? Well, I think so. Either way, it is the attitude that I am adopting in 2023; "Be kind to myself and others." I have discovered that even if I do not achieve every goal I set, I am still blessed. I noticed that I have de-powered procrastination with a simple change in attitude. This led to heightened gratitude. When I look around, I can see how far I have come in my life, and "it ain't over yet." I can only look to heaven and give thanks. To God be the glory. I cannot take credit for getting up in the morning. Without God's grace and mercy, I would not be able to do so. To list a few more blessings: I have all my five senses, the movement of my limbs, in my right mind, a reasonable portion of health, the love of family and friends, etc., etc. We sing a song in church with which I completely concur: "Every time I Turn Around, He's Blessing Me." I can almost shout right now.
Thank you God for starting me on this journey and continuing to walk with me and for sometimes carrying me. So, I have decided to have take on a new attitude, allow myself latitude, and embrace a heart of gratitude. No longer will I take anything or anyone for granted. All my blessings come from the Lord and gifted especially for me. I will endeavor to show my gratitude daily for every blessing.
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING FOR IN 2023? ARE YOU DRAGGING DEAD WEIGHT WITH YOU INTO THE NEW YEAR? HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT? IS IT TIME FOR REAL CHANGE?
Leave behind all that hinders. We/you do not need a road map to know what is keeping us/you from moving. You know what they are. Start working on those things right now. For example, "Are you looking for a better job?" Well, what steps have you taken to secure one? "Have you been dreaming about writing a book?" Well, have you started writing? "You want to lose weight." Well, have you started a food regimen that will make this possible?" You may be able to fool other people, but I don't believe that you can really fool yourself. You can lie to yourself. If you are, stop it. Examine closely what keeps you stuck and then make a new plan to get unstuck. "Every positive change in your life begins with a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to either do something or stop doing something." The author of this quote may be unknown, but these are wise words and we do well to heed them. Be about it!
Cultivate a New Attitude/Latitude; Love Yourself, Forgive Yourself and Move on! You do know that you are not perfect. The truth is you are not even close to it. So, cut yourself some slack. When you do not rise to every occasion, it is okay to say: "I'll do better next time." This is giving yourself latitude. The goal is to really mean that and try just a little harder the next time. None of us would (unless you are not playing with a "full deck") would beat up, put down, or rile our children or grandchildren for not getting an "A" in every subject. So, it is highly possible that you will not always bring your "A"game all the time. It will be alright. Continue to plan, critique the plan/s, endeavor to work the plan, and move on. Tomorrow is another day. You can try again. Be kind to yourself. And if you really have been slacking off, forgive yourself, decide to do better and do it.
Allow Your Heart to Overflow with Gratitude. Make a list of ten things (you can write more if you wish) that you are thankful for. Post them in a visible place. Each day when you open your eyes, give God thanks for these things on your list and for all blessings bestowed over the years. DO NOT TAKE FOR GRANTED THE PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS IN YOUR LIFE. Cherish every moment. Give lots of hugs and kisses. I know some people are not "touchy-feely," but try to get in an "I love you" now and then. At least, show it to the point that they feel it. Choose life, choose love and spread it, starting with you. Acknowledge these gifts and respond with gratitude. This change in attitude will affect how you are going to live your life abundantly going forward.
We do a lot of pretending. The truth is we know the truth; we must start practicing it in our lives on a daily basis. There is nothing new under the sun; we have either done it or seen it done. There is no magic formula to life, we have to live a life that is pleasing to God which will enable us to love ourselves and others. We know that we must plan if we want to achieve success. Our plans have to be well thought out, doable, and scheduled for implementation. We also know that we must stick to the plan or update it as needed. We also know that if we vary from the script of scheduling and sticking to the plan, we will not meet with the favorable outcome (success) that we seek.
Be honest with yourself, if your goals have changed over the years and they no longer fit or apply to where you want to go or be, scrap them or revise them. Write a new action plan. Over the years we have discovered the futility of beating ourselves up ("no sense crying over spilt milk"); it just generates stagnation; the big brother to procrastination. Instead, be kind, regroup and formalize the new plan/s by writing it down, sharing it with a valued friend, etc. Keep the plan/s in front of you. I suggest you visit your plan/s at least weekly; evaluate their implementation frequently. Smile and reward yourself in some small way for following through in whatever small or big way that you choose. You might even give yourself a little gold star!
In 2023, make every effort to live, love and laugh to the fullest. Especially, show your love to your loved ones and those you care about. Cherish one another, hold each other close. Make every effort to share God's love with others. Decide that this is the year, 2023, you will live your best/blessed life. This is the year that you will SOAR!!! GODSPEED!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wishing you God's best in all your endeavors!
Thank you so much for your love and support throughout this year. I pray that you have been blessed with these writings. Your comments have been uplifting and serve to propel me forward. I remain grateful.
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Thank you, and God bless you always!