Start your New Year's Resolutions early. Make monthly, weekly, and daily resolutions that resolve may become a habit.
Earlier this month, Dr. Stephen Pont tweeted a link to a short video on healthy
eating through the holiday season. What I learned from viewing his interview is that genius and brilliance are everywhere,
disguised as everyday speech. Part of why I wanted to share this with
you is because I have often overlooked words of wisdom that I could have
appplied to my life in order to start changing it for the better.
People are creatures of habit, I am no different, so a resolution of
mine is to trade my bad habits, for lesser evils. A friend of mine that
I have written about recommends taking
baby steps, but it wasn't until another friend of mine showed me how to
do this that I understood I needed instructions.
Information, good, bad, and mediocre is abundant. I need a filtering
system to discern what is good, what is great, and what I need to avoid.
As of the end of this month, I am deactivating my Facebook page.
Although I have many e-friends there, I find myself depressed by the
lack of ability to connect with people in a meaningful way. Possibly I
will feel this way about other communities I belong to, I've pulled back
from E2 recently, not because I am hurt, mad, upset, offended, or
anti-social, but because I have been evaluating how I spend my time,
where I spend it, and how that impacts the rest of my life. I could
write more than I do, but I've been thinking about that to. Why do I
write, what is my message? Is writing destroying other relationships,
can I write and manage healthy personal growth?
I think the answer is yes, if I can learn to be disciplined. Although
I would like to formally review The Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People, I can share a few things I've pulled from my reading: you must
be a principled person if you are going to succeed, and feel good about
yourself. Possibly the greatest compliment I have ever received came
from a member of this site that I know slightly. This person mentioned
that I was an example of quality, and today, I realize that I want
quality of life, and quantity of experience. A while ago I stopped
purchasing baby carrots on a regular basis. That probably seems minor,
but now I decide whether a carrot is good enough to feed my family.
Getting rid of those slimy bagged, overpriced baby carrots made room
for whole, more easily stored, longer lasting, fresher tasting food. In
the past, I ate food, now I want to nourish my body, and feed it with
the best quality carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that I can afford.
Sure it takes some time to scrape the large carrots, but a five pound
bag of whole carrots lasts much longer than the small bags. I'm trading
convenience for quality, I'm saving packaging by keeping those smaller
bags out of landfills, and I'm saving resources by investing in whole
carrots that don't need much processing. I'm taking a longer view,
because I want a better, greener, healthier planet for everyone.
The next step would be to grow carrots myself. Getting into gardening
is on my list of things that I want to do in 2013. I've reached out to
my friends and family that can teach me, I've been reading different
blogs, and today I am going to stop by the library for some books on
getting started. Gardening will save my family money, it will bring my
family closer to the food that they eat, and it will take me away from
the electronic distractions in my life. I don't expect it to be easy,
I'm sure I'll be frustrated along the way, but learning occurs when I
make a decision to leave the comfort of my old ways to embrace a way of
life that will lead me closer to where I want to eventually be.
Part of me wishes that I had posted specific bills so I could have
tracked my getting out of debt process. The other day I opened a new
bank account. I'm going to consolidate my assets so they are housed
under one roof. I've been setting aside money for myself, giving my
first fruits back to God via my church, and listening to CD's on
financial management. A girlfriend of mine loaned me a Dave Ramsey CD to
preview. Our church is offering his course, I would like to attend, but
I'm not sure if that will happen or not. A CD that I listened to
suggested paying children for physical and mental exertion. My husband
pays the girls to scrape his car windows, and to hand in book reports
which has been an interesting experiment.
Maybe someday I'll see if I can get my daughter to post some of her
reports online. I will share the opening sentence from a review on a
Charm Club book she read. Keep in mind that for years I've been
annoyed and irritated that she's reading Charm Club books instead of
things that will expand her mind. When my husband said he would pay for
book reports, the girls wanted to know if they could write on any book.
My idea was that they needed to persuade their parents that the book
being critiqued was worth their time. Here is the first sentence of the
first report she wrote: "The Charm Club fairy book is good to read
because it teaches you when you make mistakes in life you should never
This past summer my youngest daughter wanted to sign up for a
gymastics class. Since she had never taken one before, I was hesitant as
the class was for two hours a day, Monday through Friday. The first
couple of days were the worst, she complained that her arms hurt. Her
stomach muscles hurt when she laughed, I tried to encourage her when I
could, but when my oldest daughter was admitted to the hospital, she
took priority over everything else. My youngest stuck with gymnastics,
she finished her six week class, and it was hard to see how upset she
was on the last day when she was passed over for an award. Soccer season
started, but she kept turning cartwheels, and standing on her head.
Gymnastics runs for 12 weeks, it was almost $400 to send her, but
last Friday I went to watch her at class, and the smile on her face as
she walked across the bar was priceless. She can now do one handed
cartwheels from the right and left sides, and today she is going to her
first Pre-Team practice. Pre-Team is for the girls who hope to one day
compete. Both the husband and wife who run the small upstairs gymnastics
classes have told me that Jane is good. A statistic I read said that
pound for pound, gymnasts are some of the strongest athletes as they are
constantly moving their body weight, and after watching my daughter
complete four pull-ups, I believe it. If you want washboard abs, well
developed upper arms, and muscular thighs, invest in gymnastics. What
these children are able to do mentally and physically is astounding, I
only wish us grownups weren't content to sit there watching our children
Lately my oldest has been into archery. She excels at sports where
form and aim are important, she can be aggressive, and I am really proud
of how hard she practices when we are playing catch in the yard. The
Love and Logic program advocates focusing on the areas where your child
excels, this has been excellent advice, and can be applied to any
relationship. Foster the positive, notice the good, and everything will
start rising. Now when my children bring report cards home, I heap
praise on where they shine, and don't really worry about their math
grades. I hated math, they hate it, and their math grades are the
school's problem, not mine. Love and Logic advocates setting boundaries
which has helped me tremendously.
When the girls laid on the floor giggling instead of getting ready
for church, I told them not to worry about it. I went to church by
myself, strolled leisurely through the health food store, and I had
planned on telling the girls how much I enjoyed the service, but forgot.
Monday afternoon I picked the girls up although they normally would
have walked down to the library together. Jane goes to gymnastics on
Monday, but that afternoon, I told the girls that I was very sorry, but
that gymnastics and the library were for girls who had gone to church
the day before. I had them wait in the car while I went into the library
by myself. I had packed an uninteresting, but nutritionally complete
snack, and I took my time lingering over titles while they thought about
the consequences of their decision to skip church.
Another thing I've been doing, is thinking about the people in my
life. There is a relationship coach that I follow on Twitter. He says
that men want women for their resources, their money, or their body. I'm
not really interested in sharing any of those right now, so I'm going
to view people who approach me differently than I have in the past. If
men aren't interested in friendship, and that's what I want from people,
then maybe I have to let go of some of those guys that I've talked to
and relied on for emotional support in the past. Now, I'm not saying
that every man I know has an agenda, but I've been evaluating
relationships in terms of give and take, and what I want out of life,
and I've decided that if the relationship is not giving me what I want,
and fostering a healthier me, then I have to find a way to move forward.
A while ago someone on Twitter approached me about contributing to a
baseball blog. Something about the offer, which seemed to be genuine,
made me uneasy. I sent a message to a person I trust who informed me
that the deal was probably legit, but the offerer was rumored to have a
reputation that I didn't care for. Going forward, I'm going to search
for people of integrity. Principled people who encourage me to get back
on track if I slip off the road less traveled. The other day I
discovered that doing the right thing can give you a high that rivals
any chemical or herbal substance without damaging me financially. Now, I
can't remember what I did that was right, but self-restraint and will
power are muscles that get stronger every time you use them.
I have many ideas for future topics, but I wanted to share these
things first. If I consistently do things that are in line with my
priorities, other distractions fade into obscurity. I will miss playing
Words With Friends, and there are neat people that I will miss if I
don't go on Facebook ever again. But, by severing my ties with a site
that is unhealthy for me, I am opening up room for improved relationships with my
own flesh and blood. Before my daughter started writing book reports, I
thought that parents were supposed to teach their children well. If you
pull anything away from what I have written, please recognize that
wisdom is all around you when your ears are tuned to the proper
A baseball friend of mine featured something I wrote involving the time spent with my oldest daughter after she came home from the hospital. Check it.