Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome 2013

Last year when I made my new years resolutions, I decided to do something different. Since generally I and a lot of other people are bad about starting out well but not ending so well, I set my resolutions to the opposite of what I really wanted to do. Instead of losing 10 pounds, I set it to gain 10 pounds. I would either do what I really wanted or at least keep the resolution, so I thought about doing the same this year. In fact, last year, I did lose about 20 pounds. The only problem is, once I came back to the United States, I gained the 20 plus an extra 20 back. So maybe that isn't such a good idea. Instead, I am choosing to go with the traditional route this year. I have set three major goals for this year and now I am blogging about them for accountability. The first goal is the most important of the three -- so important that it is the only way I will succeed in the other two goals.

1. Actively seek a stronger relationship with God through Jesus
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Phil. 4:13). This year I want to put on the full armor of God. I want to have a strong relationship with him. Throughout my Christian life, I have been on a roller coaster ride. When I was first saved in high school, it started out well -- I was "on fire" for God. But when I went to college and left my youth group, it got even bumpier. After leaving behind some of the friends I made in college with which I could talk to about spiritual matters and study the bible together, etc., it has been mostly a down hill ride. Its time to turn around. This will be my hardest resolution -- going up hill is always harder than coasting down -- but it will be well worth it. It will be the only way I will be able to succeed in any of my other goals.

I don't think I have prayed consistently since college -- before bed, before meals, etc. I haven't really prayed before meals much at all since freshman year of college. And I don't really know when prayers at night ceased. I downloaded a bible app for my phone this summer and began listening to several chapters per day on my drive to work. But it isn't enough. And then there is the trust factor. So some of my plans are:

  • Reorganizing my bedroom to provide space for a desk.
    • A location to study my bible, and use a desktop computer with no internet connection for a study log and/or prayer journal.
  • Make it a habit to pray throughout the day, whether long or short prayers. Prayer without ceasing.
  • Attend church regularly; stop making excuses such as "I didn't get much sleep last night."
2. Be more outgoing
This will be another very difficult goal. I am shy by nature. I don't really make small talk very well, especially with people I don't already share some kind of connection with. I want to be able to talk to people I don't know, more often. Sometimes this little bit of interaction can make their day (see my previous blog post). I'm not really sure how to plan for this one other than pray, pray, pray and trust in God. I think this will also apply to sharing my faith.

3. Live healthier
Rather than simply state that I want to lose weight, I want to take it a step further. I want to exercise more. I want to eat healthier. I want to build my endurance. I love the outdoors but my physical state doesn't allow me to do a lot of things that I think would be a ton of fun. My fear of heights aside, I can't climb because I don't have the upper body strength required. I am out of breath after climbing 3 flights of stairs. I would like to go on a 100+ mile backpacking trip within the next year or two but don't think I have the endurance to make it. I would love to have a multi-night canoe trip down a river/survival trip camping off of the bare minimums (emergency food for backup, catching most food, etc.). So here some some of the plans to help meet this goal:
  • Eat small portions of each meal so that when I go back for seconds (as I am sure it will), I will not be overeating
  • Develop a schedule of certain physical activities for each week along with a backup plan if there is some kind of unexpected event such as rain
  • Develop more self-control -- don't feed the sweet tooth. 
  • Force myself to jog and to keep running even when it hurts to build endurance
So there you have it, my three goals for 2013. They won't be easy goals to meet. And the last two will be impossible without succeeding in number one. If you are reading this blog feel free to hold me accountable and ask me about these goals and any progress. I am going to attempt to blog about my progress on some of these throughout the new year as well. Have a wonderful and safe 2013.

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