Join Blog Contributor Rachel as she talks about a unique perspective to “new years” resolutions.
January, a time of reflection, renewal, and for many, resolutions. But what does that mean for the believer? If you are Torah Observant, you know that this isn’t really Yah’s new year (although, it will be along before you know it!). So, what is it about this time of year, the dead of winter, that makes us feel like this is the time to make a change?
THE PRESSURES OF MAKING RESOLUTIONS
Personally, I fell off the resolution train several years ago. I recognized in myself the truth that a date doesn’t really matter if my heart isn’t truly ready to make the change. As a rather *ahem* fluffy woman, you can probably guess what some of my resolutions were. And much like the majority of people out there, they fizzled quickly as the changes I tried to make just didn’t stick (if only the yummy, carb-tastic, winter foods would do the same 😉 .
So if we know that we aren’t going to succeed in these goals made based on a date, why do we make them? It’s easy to see that some of it is because of the tradition. After all, coming out of a season chock full of them, what’s one more right?
Then there is the pressure of all of the businesses capitalizing on the timing with sales, deals, and advertisements promising to help you reach your goals for a discounted price. Not that I have anything against a business taking an opportunity to reach more consumers, it’s just an observation.
Add to this, the pressure to fit societal norms, and wham, isn’t that just a smack in the face of pretty much everyone, especially every mom out there? We’re supposed to look a certain way, have everything figured out, perfectly clean and behaved children at all times… yuck! Just thinking about all of the ways I am “supposed” to be (and seem to fail at frequently) is just gross!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that taking an opportunity to make a positive change is a bad thing, in fact, I believe we are given many reminders to do so throughout the year (if you want to see a few check out the feasts in Leviticus 23.)
If the world’s new year works for you, go for it! If you are coming into this month of January ready to go, planner organized, meal prep done, and vision board updated, then I honestly wish you great success!
HAVE SOME GRACE FOR YOURSELF
If you are like me, currently struggling with the day to day, not ready to amp up for something more right now, then THAT. IS. OKAY. TOO. Have some grace for yourself. Every single date, regardless of the calendar you use, is an opportunity to make a change for the better.
We know we aren’t promised tomorrow, and as hard as that can be to fully accept, it’s the truth. If you can make a tiny change today, maybe it isn’t something big like sorting out your kid’s closets or meal planning complete with shopping lists for the entire month. Maybe it is something little like doing one extra load of laundry. There is no change too small to make a difference.
Maybe you want to take some time to reflect on things you wish had been different last year so you can aim for better this year. Goals aren’t a bad thing, and organization is not a bad thing either.
Perhaps you are in a place to choose one area you want to improve on and set some little goals. For me, I am in the throes of a long-awaited early pregnancy and frankly, my daily goals are so tiny it is laughable. Things like even a trip to the grocery store have been incredibly hard and so I have had to rely on my incredible teammate to do those things for us.
As I start to feel better (hopefully!) I aim to do better. Not leaving the dishes waiting so long to be washed, cooking more of the real meals I was making before, more actively teaching our son as he grows more interested in learning.
I’d love to say that I am ready to jump in with my study time, research out the many questions I have in-depth and come to solid conclusions, blog frequently about my discoveries, and so much more. That just isn’t where I am right now.
If reaching for the things I want was reliant on a date, where would that leave me? The past tells me, that it would leave me feeling like a huge failure, inadequate, inept, and unworthy. This isn’t the truth!
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
It has taken me a long time to come so far in understanding personal grace, and let me tell you, it is still a struggle. What I want to do and what my body allows me to do are often unequal.
It’s the little changes, the little victories that have made the difference. It’s waking up, getting out of the bed, and folding that clean basket of laundry that’s been looking at me for two days. It’s stopping the scroll on Facebook when my son wants to talk to me about numbers as he starts to understand basic math. It’s putting on a pot of coffee for my husband because I know it will make his morning better.
It doesn’t matter if you are the super organized one who seems to have it all together or the mom like me who struggles more often than not. We all have little things we can do each day to make a difference for ourselves, and for those around us.
Maybe that’s what we are supposed to see this time of year. ♥
CHIME IN: Do you set new year’s resolutions, or even goals? Why or why not? In all honesty, do you reach them and/or how do you cope when you don’t? Share in the comments below!
Read more from Rachel on her blog, Yeshua’s Roots!