Here we go again. A new year, new goals, and already, only 11 days in and I am not meeting the goals I had set. HA!
I had decided for the month of January I wanted to give up processed sugar. I am usually really good about not eating a lot of processed foods or sugars. Enter, 2020. I tossed that all out the window real quick. I got on board the bandwagon of sourdough bread (gluten free of course!) and unicorn poop (for the girls, of course!) and found myself constantly craving sugar and carbs. Also, full disclaimer, once I’ve ditched the healthy food options for the day, they aren’t coming back for a few. Meaning, I better eat all the chocolate in the house and start again tomorrow… or the next day. Not a healthy mindset in the least.
What I have come to realize, something that I am sure many can relate, I have certain coping mechanisms I turn to when life feels overwhelming. Can I let you in on a little something if you are a parent, you are probably WELL aware of?! Parenting is hard work! And for me, it feels completely overwhelming a majority of the time right now in this season, especially in the world we live in currently. Which equals = the consumption of too many sweets (or social media, as long as I am being honest).
Another goal that dropped off last week as quickly as I though of it. Writing more. A family member gifted me a new 2021 calendar for Christmas. And another, the Christian Market Guide to Publishing. I was so excited to plan out content and submission contests I am eager to enter this year in the empty daily spaces on the calendar. I planned out a few things and then, BAM. Brain block. Sitting down to write felt hard. I typed a few things and promptly gave up because they didn’t feel quite right. Hitting those road blocks can be difficult to preserver through.
This morning I was listening to a podcast while I was tidying up. And it hit me. Once again. I can’t let little bumps or not reaching a goal in it’s entirety within the parameters I have established completely derail my momentum or excitement. Acknowledging there may days that don’t go as planned because that is the story of life, moving on from those hurdles, and trying again.
But I think what trips me up is how easily I can get out of the habit of writing or healthy eating. This week in particular, I have missed most days of working out due to ankle injury. But I know that as soon as my ankle is well enough to workout, I’m back at it. I have made this commitment to myself and have been continuously working out daily for years. It’s a routine that has been well established in my life and one that I absolutely love.
I have had my difficult days with exercise too. I can recall mornings I have gotten on the treadmill at 5:30 am only to promptly decide my body is too fatigued and I let it rest, even though I was already to workout and I made the effort to get up on time. I allow myself that grace and know I will either try later that day if there is an opportunity or the following day. No big deal.
Healthy eating, that’s a different story. As I start pulling back the layers on certain habits, I can see why sometimes I am more motivated to kick the sugar and stay on track vs. the times I don’t care as much. To note, I have an extremely sensitive stomach! When I eat processed food in mass, I feel like complete rubbish. So a big part of filling my diet with plant-based whole foods is partly because of that and partly because I know those are the foods that will best fuel my body and my workouts. The body doesn’t thrive on processed foods and sugars anyway. And then for me, constantly waking up in the morning with a stomach ache and headache are reasons for me to clean it up.
With writing it feels more personal. Meaning, I get in my own head. What qualifications do I have to be a writer? Why do I think what I have to say is worth writing about? It’s been YEARS since I have taken any sort of English class, so how do I actually put words together that make any sort of sense to the reader? I know, I overthink far too often.
So where do I go from here? Barely over a week into the New Year, disappointed with how I handled the stress of the week. Well, first, extend grace. Recognize the areas I would like to progress forward in and do it! Part of life is managing stress, working through it, and around it. Being flexible is helpful. Looking for space in my day to fit smaller pockets of time are also key. Perhaps in this season of life, I have to be a bit more flexible when it comes to fitting these things in. I am certainly like that with daily exercise and can apply the same perspective to these other areas.
I don’t want to believe the lies either. If I truly believe that God has given me a story to share to encourage others, than I have to trust that the words I have are sufficient. Perhaps certain posts and articles will have a better flow than others, some will feel right, and some will be more for furthering my own personal writing habits. I can’t throw in the towel when I’m having an off day or if something comes up. Sometimes simply sitting down and starting is a productive way of working through the brain block too.
Either way, carry on, my friends. Keep pursing those goals you have set for the year no matter how big or small they seem. Be flexible. Celebrate the victorious moments. Push forward through the hurdles and know you have people cheering you on! You’ve got this!