Friday, January 3, 2014

One-Word Resolutions

Do you have a New Year's Goal or Resolution? A friend of mine on a message board encouraged others to have "one-word" goals. Choose a word or a very short phrase that represents your goal so that it's memorable. I decided to use "Healthy Choices," and hope to focus on one new one each month and really make some long-term changes. (My husband always says that a good goal should be definable and measurable--otherwise you won't know if you've met it!)

But "Healthy Choices" is short-hand for something that's really been on my mind, and that make the changes with my eyes on the Lord and not wrapped up in self. An overfocus on self-improvement could become self-absorbed and miss God's glory and grace.

With that in mind, one example of a healthy choice that I thought of many women, when they look in the mirror, look at all of their flaws. Too fat, too skinny, don't like this or that feature, acne & skin issues, or whatever. What if, when we looked in the mirror, we were thankful? Thankful for a body that works (to whatever degree one's body functions), for eyes to see and ears to hear, and hands to help others? What if we saw kindness and grace in our eyes when we looked in the mirror? What if we saw joy and thankfulness to God instead of complaining about our imperfections and despairing of weight struggles?

Instead of looking in the mirror & thinking, "I've got to lose that ugly fat," I want to take that thought process captive and turn it around. Instead I want to look into the mirror and say, "Thank you God for my health and my physical abilities. Give me wisdom and discipline to take care of what you've given me."

Then my body isn't an idol for beauty as the world defines it (or something that falls short of that ideal)--it's a gift from God that I can cherish, that I can use for his glory, and something to protect and care for.

I want that to color my decisions and choices...and not the self-absorbed goal that the world holds out to us.

Another example--just yesterday I was starting to berate myself. Here our Christmas break was ending and I hadn't accomplished any household projects as I usually like to do over the break. I had just...rested. As I started to complain and belittle myself in my mind, I stopped and realized...I don't have to do this. I can be thankful that I had a wonderful, long break, that it was okay to enjoy that rest. A gift from God.

A weight was lifted, and I started to think about breaking some projects down into small, doable segments--15 minutes here and there can accomplish so much, I've learned over the years. Today it was cleaning off my desk. And who doesn't like a clean desk?! For this, too, I can be thankful.

I wonder how often negative thoughts keep us from making more healthy choices--and how often we miss God's blessings because of our own discontent. So, this year I want to accept and be thankful as I focus on learning to make more healthy choices.  What resolutions are you making?

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