Now is the time when we each prepare for the new year. We are creating a list of resolutions. Some of us want to lose weight or exercise more. Others of us want to do something we have never done before. Still others of us are starting with small steps and making resolutions that include eating breakfast or taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. While these resolutions are well-meaning, the terrible truth is that we end up veering away from our resolutions for one reason or another. Sometimes it is due to time, or other times due to lack of motivation. Because of that, I generally do not make resolutions. Instead, I usually make sure that at the end of the year, I am in a place where I am at peace with myself and with those around me. Around Christmas is the time when I reevaluate myself, and I do some “soul-searching” to make sure that all is well in and around me. That way, when the countdown begins in the New Year, I can truly say that in the new year, I am already new. Some of us have some things we need to let go and move forward from. Others of us have some people we need to forgive. Still others of us need to spend some time forgiving ourselves. Regardless of what we need to do, our resolution should always be that we will be better than we were the year before. To be better, we have to do better. To do better, we have to truly consider ourselves and fix the things we need to. Just today I had a necessary conversation with a friend of mine. We talked about some things that happened in our past, and we made a resolve to do what we could to keep each other moving forward. That was one of the things I needed to close out so that the new year would really present a new me. What is that one thing you need to do to start the new year fresh? Is there someone you need to talk to and have a truthful conversation with? Do you need to learn how to forgive yourself? Whatever it is, take care of it so that next year you can focus on things that are important instead of worrying about the things from your past. Let this new year truly present a new you. Then, if you want to make resolutions, go for it. Instead of Happy New Year, I say Happy New You!
A few days ago, I celebrated two years since I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Yes, I know that sounds weird when you hear me say that I celebrated making one of the biggest mistakes ever, but hear me out. When everything happened two years ago, I thought that my life was over. I did not see how things could ever get better. I thought that I would always be stuck in a hole, and my life would only spiral downward from there. I put myself down. I was good at it. No one had to do it for me. I had some close friends around me telling me to get back up, and they told me that no mistake is so big that I could not come forward from it. At first, I did not believe them. I kept feeding myself the same lies that kept me boxed in a cage of my own making. Then I was challenged. I was challenged to still pursue the purpose for my life while feeling the lowest I have ever felt in my life. Of course, I did not believe for a second that I could tell anyone anything about moving forward while I continued to stay in the same place. Within me, though, rose up something that made me want to encourage others even while I felt so low. So, I stepped out. I began to speak life into other people’s situations. I began to push others to be greater than they were. I spoke words of encouragement while at the same time hurting inside. As I spoke to others, I began to believe some of the words I was speaking to everyone else. That one step began a process of transformation that created the woman I have become today. The one mistake started a downward spiral, but the step out began my comeback. Many of us make mistakes. We mess up and think that we have messed up beyond a point where things can be fixed. However, we do not think about the fact that the greatest and most famous people are sometimes those who messed up big time, but they did not allow their mistakes to define them. Instead they allowed their mistakes to be a lesson learned, and they kept it moving. I encourage you to do the same. There is nothing that is so big that you cannot bounce back from it. Do not keep yourself imprisoned in a box of your own making, and do not allow the thoughts, words, etc, of others to keep you bound. If you can see your way out, you can get out. Even if you cannot see your way out, you can still make it if you truly believe that you can. You are greater than your biggest mistake. Let your mistakes mature you, and you’ll be better because of it. I know I am.