So as a follow-up of last week’s blog post, where I recapped the top five life lessons and loves of 2016 (quite honestly, my favorite blog post to date…check it out HERE), I thought I would share some of the things I hope to learn and love as I am living through 2017.
I say “hope to learn and love,” with the realization that merely hoping isn’t going to help me in my endeavors. There has to be some amount of effort and preparation on my part. This is not a matter of controlling my destiny, for those wondering if I’m relapsing into having major control issues again (again, see last week’s post for more details). I am simply making moves to invite even the possibility of “learning and loving” these things I’m hoping for this year. After all…
“Preparation doesn’t guarantee success,
but it increases the odds.”
So with that in mind, let’s jump right in, shall we?
Hope #1: Hearing from God
2016 was the year my faith grew leaps and bounds. For the first time in my life, I fully believed and lived in a spirit of the victory I had in Him. I began experiencing the same desire and devotion I saw in those whom I admired for their amazing faith. I sought His voice through His Word, in conversations with other believers who spoke truth into me, and in the quiet moments when He impressed His message upon my heart.
So in 2017, my hope is to seek out more quiet moments in His Word so as to give myself more opportunities to hear from Him. I want to make this verse the “theme song” of this year:
“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.”
~ Psalm 85:8 ESV
More time to be with Him…in the busyness and chaos of life.
Because that’s where I will hear peace spoken over me.
Hope #2: Managing Health
For Valentine’s Day 2016, my hubby and I purchased a FitBit Charge HR for ourselves. I mentioned in this Instagram post mid-2016 that by tracking my daily activity with my FitBit and bullet journal. After over 9 months of religiously wearing this FitBit and tracking my activities, I had lost 23 pounds…basically back down to my pre-baby weight.
Unfortunately, the FitBit didn’t prove to be “Lydia-proof” and took on some major damage. When I asked to purchase a replacement, the hubby actually decided I should get an Apple Watch instead!
I really like the Apple Watch “Activity App.” It took a while to get used to, but now that it’s become second nature to me, I’ve made it my goal this year to hit all three goals (Move, Exercise, and Stand Up) every day. So far, I’ve only failed to accomplish this on January 1st (anyone else fail on their New Year’s resolution on Day One? anyone? please tell me I’m not alone).
I’ve already lost a solid pound since January 2nd. While weight loss in and of itself is not the end goal…I’m more into simply managing a healthy lifestyle…I am hoping that it will continue to be an added bonus.
Hope #3: Financial Freedom
I have to admit that this “hope” is probably the most challenging one for me this year. Why? Because I simply don’t want to do what I know I have to do to achieve it.
“Financial Freedom” is basically my hope to not have to worry about money so I can focus on the other “hopes” in my life. There are only two ways I know how to achieve this:
#1 – Come into an unexpected windfall of money that will help me get out of debt and live comfortably (while continuing to work…because we both love what we do).
#2 – Carefully plan and execute a family budget.
#1 would be awesome and my preferred option…but probably unlikely (understatement of the century). So, there’s that.
It’s #2 that I simply don’t want to do. We have attempted budgeting in the past, but with very little success. We’ve never gotten to the point of not being able to pay our bills or buy the things we need…even want. But it’s still a daily struggle, as we are constantly checking our bank account to make sure we won’t be over drafting.
I’m just tired of living like that.
And it’s enough to make me do what I don’t want to do.
The one thing I really need in order to make a budget successful is to change my mentality about budgeting. The goal isn’t to save a lot of money (though that would be nice). My real goal is to be able to know exactly where all that money that was resting nicely in my bank account has gone.
“A budget is telling your money where to go
instead of wondering where it went.”
~ John Maxwell
If I want us to be able to do the things and have the things most important to me and my family, I need to get a handle on directing my money into those places…and not letting it hemorrhage into some financial black hole (a.k.a. shopping, eating out, and goodness knows what else).
I will further delve into my budget plan in a later post (once I really get a handle on what I’m doing). Hopefully it will be a story of success
Hope #4: More of the Same (from 2016)
Of course, I cannot forget all of the wonderful things I’ve learned in the past year. The whole idea isn’t to just move onto new things in lieu of the old. It’s about adding a few new learnings and loves to the continuation of those learnings and loves of yesteryear.
So I want to continue to gain new perspectives through the eyes of a toddler. I will definitely continue to learn and love this “simply wardrobing” concept and my journey into living with less and experiencing more. Bullet Journaling will continue to provide me freedom to pursue new endeavors (including the new “hopes” above) by helping me create structure and routine in my life. I want to continue to learn in this practice of living with an attitude of gratitude, reveling in joy and not swimming in the muck of dissatisfaction.
And, above all else, I want to continue to live in a spirit of victory, trusting in a faithful God and working for His pleasure alongside those He places in my life.
Looking forward to another amazing year of growth…
living to learn and love both old and new things.