Embrace Change in 2018
As the New Year takes its rightful place, we may be reminded of things that we wanted to accomplish in 2017 that did not come to fruition. At this point, we have two choices: dwell on the “would have,” “could have” or “should have,” or let it go and move on.
2018 is here! Let this be the year that you truly let it go! This means that it is time for an emotional, physical and spiritual detox. It’s time for a cleanse that will help you take on 2018 with vigor and strength.
New Year’s resolutions are for the birds. Why? Because, although they seem helpful, in the end, they can lead to frustration, anxiety/depression and negative self-talk. We tend to set the resolution, but when a little setback happens, we give up. We have to develop a mindset of goal setting and rewarding. This year, resolve to not just “try harder,” but instead commit daily to make small changes to become a better you!
If we want to mature emotionally, become more physically fit or grow in our spiritual journey, one thing is for certain: We must change. If we don’t embrace change, we will never reach our destination. Change is happening all around us, whether we recognize it or not. Our bodies age, despite our efforts to seize the fountain of youth; our communities grow; our jobs have new responsibilities; our families multiply; and our world changes through the advancement of technology.
Change doesn’t need to be something we fear or loath. Instead, we can embrace it. Change can bring about renewal, which in turn leads to new life. And remember, change is a process. You can’t reap a harvest overnight, but you can begin by planting the seed. Small changes are better than none.
Here are some practical ways to apply these lessons in three key areas of our lives:
Redefine failure. Set small goals and reward yourself for making small strides, which will eventually get you to where you want to go.
Perform a digital detox: Unplug from social media, emails, texting, too much TV or movies. Recommendation: Start with a 24-hour digital fast and gradually work your way up. Amazingly, life does go on even if we are unplugged from the digital world. Instead, plug in to a good book, spend time with friends and family, or take a nap to catch up on much needed rest. Allow these unplugged activities to renew your mind.
Be mindful of the negativity that surrounds you. Examine yourself to see if you are contributing to the negative atmosphere. Commit to saying positive words.
Say no to “judging.” This includes judging yourself and others. Judgment breeds negativity, and negativity can quickly create an unhealthy environment.
Detox. Begin with a two-week cleanse of certain foods to allow your body to reset. Try eliminating sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, soy, peanuts and allergycausing foods. This will allow your body to clean out the “bad” bacteria and allow the “good” bacteria time to reestablish itself.
Nourish your body with healthy, organic foods that offer a good source of vitamins, minerals and protein. Commit to trying new foods every week and incorporate foods of many colors to draw on their antioxidant benefits. Finally, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Water is an important element to staying healthy, so drink up!
Set regular meal and snack patterns to minimize overeating and to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Exercise every day. These don’t have to be hard-core workouts, especially if you currently do not have an exercise regime. Instead, commit to 20-30 minutes of brisk cardiovascular activity, such as walking or jogging every day. Every part of your body benefits from a daily exercise program. Always check with your physician before you start any nutrition or fitness programs.
Slow down. We often fail to take the needed time to just “be still.” Psalm 46:10 in the Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” If we are on the go too much, we will fail to see the beauty in the creation around us and miss the small blessings in our lives.
Get rid of the “to do” lists and create a “to be” list. Who do you want to be? A better spouse? A better parent? A better friend? A better listener? Think about it and write out a “to be” list. Put this list somewhere as a daily reminder and strive each day to fulfill it.
Spend time reading the Bible, praying, doing devotions and meditating to that will help you declutter your mind from the barrage of worldly influences. Be intentional about this sacred time that you will spend renewing your mind and satisfying your soul.
Make it a habit to work on developing the Fruits of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Having a basket full of this kind of fruit in your life will promote overall health and wellness for the mind, body and spirit. It also promotes healthy relationships with others.
It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Perhaps you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to do last year. Maybe you are stuck in the rut of insanity.
Do not give up. Make this new year an opportunity to make a new you! Simple steps can lead to renewal and new life. Let those things begin today!