New Year, Slightly Improved Me

It’s 2017! Cue the confetti!

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I, like most people, get really pumped up for the first few days in January. I slowly lose the motivation to stick to my resolutions, also like most people. Going into the new year I knew that I would most likely forget about my resolutions for 2017, and pondered how I could fix that.

First, I prayed a lot. For God to give me the motivation to stick to my goals, and for Him to remind me that I’m human and am going to have slip ups.

Second, I made my fitness and health-related resolutions measurable. So instead of saying, “get more active,” I wrote how often I was going to commit to working out.

Here are some of my resolutions, broken down. Feel free to use any of these for yourself or to join me in the monthly challenges that I’m doing (see below)!

The Workout Stuff

•Do yoga at least once a month: I know that yoga, whenever I do it, helps stretch out my body and gets my mentality back on track. Taking time for myself in this sort of way is always really beneficial for me, so I’m committing to doing it at least once a month. So far, I’ve done it four times.

•Water water water: Since I received several water bottles this Christmas, I’ll be more encouraged to drink plenty H2O. Since the new cups I got are all aesthetically pleasing, I’ll be grabbing them more often than not😇Drinking water is so, so important. It improves your skin, your organs’ health, and your stress level. So why wouldn’t I drink more of it?

•Avoid over-sleeping: As important as it is to not get too little sleep, it’s also crucial to avoid getting too much sleep. If I get over eleven or twelve hours of sleep, I am exhausted the entirety of the next day. (Of course I’ll have cheat days, though… and that goes for every resolution here.) Avoiding over-sleeping will also help my productivity, as I’ll be awake for more time so I can get more things done!

Faith/Mentality Stuff

•Read The Bible and pray every day: This was one of my resolutions last year that didn’t happen. Yes, I prayed all the time, but reading my Bible has never been a constant thing for me. I’ve found a reading plan to stick to, which should keep me on the right track. I just know that the Bible is the main source of how God talks to us, so if we don’t read His Word? We’re going to feel left in the dark, because we’re not looking (in the Bible) for what He’s saying.

•Take time to show love for others: Lots of people know that I love them, I think. I’m pretty outward with my positive feelings for people, and I always see how a simple letter or text to someone brightens their mood. I want to consistently show people love this year because it makes everyone, myself included, more joyful!

•Get out of my comfort zone: For 2017, I’ve committed to being willing to push myself more. To be bolder, and be myself more around people, and to try new things! It’s a little vague, I know, but I have a feeling that lots of opportunities will come up this year that I’ll feel compelled to take.

My Monthly Itinerary

For the next twelve months, I have written out the basics to a little challenge thing I’m doing. After going online, I’ve found tons of fitness and food challenges. I’m a very organized person, so seeing on paper some of my goals for this entire year, month by month? It’s very encouraging. Here is my plan.

January: no soda. Plain and simple… this whole month I’m not drinking any pop. Not too difficult.
February: plank challenge. I’m not stoked about this one, but I know it’ll strengthen my core which— right now— is a weak lil’ thing.
March: no candy. This one will be hard, because from Christmas and Halloween I have a butt ton of different chocolates and whatnot. Self control will definitely have to come into play.
April: no dairy. If my sister does it every day, I can surely do it for one month, right? I love dairy, but apparently it can be bad for your skin, and many people have poor reactions to dairy products. We’ll see how this one goes.
May: jump rope challenge. Since I have a jump rope but don’t often use it, I found a challenge on Pinterest so I can use it more. It’ll be challenging, but it’s not called a challenge for nothing. (How many times can I write “challenge” in this blog post?)
June: mindfulness challenge. Also found on Pinterest, this one is for my mentality. Every day you have a certain prompt or idea to get your brain back on the right track. Since June is smack dab in the middle of the year, I figured this would be helpful if I’m losing motivation.
July: writing challenge. Obviously I love to write (I mean, I have a blog), and I always have. Each day I’ll be given a different topic to write about, which I found to be an interesting technique to use to strengthen my writing abilities.
August: no caffeine. Caffeine is in more than you would think… coffee (unless it’s decaf, duh), pop, many candies… so this one should be a party. It’ll make me healthier, though, so it’s worth it.
September: no chips. One of my guilty snacking pleasures, but the chips that I enjoy are SUPER bad for you. So either I’ll just get crazy healthy chips and snack on those, or avoid the treat entirely.
October: Crossfit challenge. This one is a daily ten-minute workout that’s a butt-kicker (and found on Pinterest, hehe), so I honestly don’t know how good I’ll be at this one. Working out is not my strong suit. It’s worth a shot.
November: wall squat challenge. A month of wall sits… why am I doing this to myself? I’m not really sure, other than the fact that I want a more toned body. I’m not unhappy with how I look, but the buzz I get after working out always makes me feel energized (because of endorphins) and I love a good challenge. (# of Uses of the Word “Challenge” so far: 14)
December: no white bread. This one won’t be too difficult, I think. I don’t mind whole grain bread, we just don’t buy it too often. But, come December we’ll have to! I was going to put “no dessert” or something for this month, but then I remembered that Christmas is in the mix here, and forcing myself to not eat our Christmas cookies would be cruelty.

The “Other” Category

•Read at least 17 books: Yes, my goal is seventeen simply because it’s 2017. I’m cliché. So far, I’ve read one book, and I have multiple friends who have recommended books and different series to me. I doubt this one will be difficult, but I like having a set number to reach.

•Learn “Alphabet Aerobics”: This, my friends, is a rap by Blackalicious. The only reason I know of this rap is because Daniel Radcliffe rapped to this on The Jimmy Fallon Show, and when I saw him perform it I knew I had to learn it. I’m actually almost done with it, but nowhere near performance ready😉(I like to pretend I can rap.)

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That’s it! Eight days in and I’m still pretty motivated and carrying through on my commitments. Change is all about mentality. You have the power to change your lifestyle and how you live at literally any time, so why not now?

Blessings! Lauren Joy

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