It was midnight. It was New Year’s Day. You were hopefully surrounded by the people you love- friends and family members. You shouted Happy New Year. You made the rounds hugging and kissing everyone. If you are Hispanic, you may have ate all twelve grapes, swept the living room, or walked in circle with your suitcase. You were excitedly thinking-out with the old, and in with the new.
It was all good and dandy. Then, you wake up the next day.
And then, pressure to start anew becomes real. The “to do list” or better yet, our goal list for 2016 is running through our heads.
To commit to leaving the past where it belongs.
To lose weight.
To get your finances in order.
To have better relationships with boundaries.
Pretty much, it all comes down to becoming a better you.
And there you are laying in bed thinking, “Oh my, this is too much for me to process right now. Oh well! Here’s to tomorrow, or even better there is always next year.”
Then, all the guilt and negativity about yourself builds up, because you really did want a fresh start.
But is that fair?
Did we really think we could have a complete fresh start when we haven’t taken any steps towards making changes within ourselves.
I mean, aren’t we the same person we were yesterday? What makes us so different today?
Just because we make a new year’s resolution, or sets some goals; things are different?
You are probably reading this blog, thinking, wait this isn’t so encouraging.
But good friends are straight with each other. They know how to call each other out. We need to be good friends, by not telling people what they want to hear. There is plenty of this going on in the world.
What I am learning more and more is that I don’t want to start anew.
Instead, I want to start were I am at. What does this mean?
I want to look in the mirror, and love what I see. I need to accept me. Not the future me that I am working to become, but the now me. I want to accept the good and the bad, and to know that my God is not done with me. To get to the place where I am content, but not stagnant.
The pressure to be better is real- a better person, a better spouse, a better mother, a better daughter, a better friend, a better leader, you fill in the blank.
But is that what life is about? Constantly pressuring ourselves to be better.
I don’t doubt our good intentions to want to be better. Self improvement is a good thing.
But are we setting unreasonable goals, and then a month later, we find that not much has changed.
And there goes all the negativity and disappointment resurfacing, because we failed once again.
I am not saying don’t shoot for the stars, or that the skies aren’t the limit.
What I am saying is that we need to have reasonable expectations and understand that there is a process for everything.
So, go ahead and set the goal.
But start where you are at, examine yourself, seek God’s guidance and wisdom, and then take the necessary steps.
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6