With the start of the new year it is common for one to reflect on the past and ponder the future; make resolutions and lifestyle changes that are often not followed through. I too, am no different. I take this time of year as an opportunity to think about the life I have lived, what I have accomplished and most importantly if I made a positive impact in at least one life.
2016 proved to be a year I would rather not reflect on. It brought with it more downs than ups and more disappointments than successes; but as I struggled to find balance, I found strength, resilience and a deeper relationship with God. So instead of making a “New YEAR Resolution” I made a ” New YEARS Resolution.” I resolved that this year and all new years to come I will continue to work at resolving what really matters- God, myself, family and good friends. By doing this I will continually strive to draw closer to God; improve who I am as a person, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually; and foster and maintain good relationship with the people I love. This will forever be my resolution because no matter how good we become; there is always room for improvement.
It’s been a while since I have written here, but I felt it was important to share how I found balance and what it took for me to get to this current place- what I call my calm after the storm. Hope this helps someone else!
- Approach your situations with positivity and confidence– This may seem difficult to do but the following steps will certainly make it easier, I promise.
- Speak life over yourself– Repeat positive affirmations in the mornings to motivate yourself, for example: “Life is good!”, “I will have a good day today”, “I am unique and special”, “I am loved”, ” I am destined for great things”, “I am blessed and God has been good”, “I will continue to try for my efforts will not be in vain” (trust me it works).
- Have personal time with God everyday– Make time each morning to read your Bible, pray and really connect with God. Talk with him, as you would a friend. Share your hopes, dreams, joys, fears, insecurities and rest assured He is working in your favour. This can leave you feeling renewed and ready to take on anything life throws at you.
- Treat yourself– It is easy to get caught up in the ebbs and flows of this life. As we struggle to make a living, we often forget to make a life. It is important to treat yourself to something nice every now and then- whether it is a new handbag, new shoes, some gadget you’ve been wanting for the longest time or even simply a slice of cake. Whenever I treat myself I try not justifying it by saying “Oh it was on sale” or “I’m buying it because I may need if for some future use”. The only justification I need for buying myself something nice is “I’m buying this because I want it.” I work hard and I deserve to treat myself occasionally to nice things- period.
- Make time for family and friends– Make time for the people that are important to you. Take a break from the fast pace rat race and spend quality time with the people in your life, doing things you love. We spend too much time on what is urgent and not on what is truly important.
- Be Patient– We have a habit of setting timelines to our lives and are often discouraged and disappointed when we don’t achieve them. Stop it! Nothing is wrong with making goals, but instead of setting a specific time, try a time range instead. As your circumstances change, try to adjust your goals to make them as realistic and achievable as possible. We can set a goal today, but who know what will happen in five year? We all accomplish different things at different stages in life; so not because it seems you are moving slower than others, doesn’t mean you won’t get there. Be patient with yourself and trust God’s timing for your life.
- Enjoy being alone– Spend time in your own company and learn to appreciate being alone. The Bible emphasizes the value of solitude, as Christ often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
- Be Joyful– I left this one for last because I felt it is the most important, as it affects your approach to the others above. Be joyful each day, enjoy the simple pleasures of life and most importantly do not let the behaviour of others affect your inner peace. I did not say “Be Happy” for a reason, as we usually associate our happiness to something. Do not be happy about something, find joy in everything!
Live good and love God!
-Sherice A. Hill
**Photo credit goes to http://www.magic4walls.com/