If you’re like me…New Year's resolutions end up being nothing but discouraging. You set a “realistic” resolution for yourself, make it to February (maybe), and decide it’s not as realistic as you thought it would be.
If that’s you, let’s pause for a moment and stand in solidarity. I see you, girl. (P.S. - If resolutions do work for you, keep it up and just know that I deeply envy you.) For the rest of us, here’s what I’ve found that works WONDERS for me: Instead of a resolution, I pick a word.
A single truth I can write everywhere and declare over myself.
A word I can chase after
This last year, my word was Brave.
My husband and I were moving homes right around my due date, we were about to become first-time parents, I was about to become a work-at-home mom, and our lives were spinning off into new, unknown territory. Unknown territory is my worst nightmare. I can’t control the unknown. I was horrified of the upcoming year as it was. Then, on March 29th (at around 37 weeks pregnant), I went in to get blood test results from my OB which told me I had Intraheptic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). ICP is a pregnancy complication that has to do with the liver and levels of toxicity that can cause a stillbirth, despite an otherwise perfectly healthy baby. (Do yourself a favor and don’t Google it.) My doctor looked at me and said “How do you feel about being induced tonight?” Dead silence. Jaw on the floor. Thank God my husband made it to that appointment because I couldn’t have driven myself home. I knew I was on the brink of having my sweet baby boy, but in one single sentence, three weeks worth of sand dropped through the hour glass. When we got in the car, I started sobbing. I was so scared. The horror stories (ohhhh the horror stories) people share about getting induced... The terror of knowing what could happen during childbirth with my diagnosis. After letting me process on our drive home, my husband looked at me and said, “You’re brave, remember?” Who, me? Oh, right. After hesitating in fear for a moment, I chose to buckle down and cling to my word like our lives depended on it, because they kinda did. Over and over, I told myself how brave I was until my beautiful, healthy baby boy made it safely into my arms at 3:04pm that next day. Here’s the point…
At times, my word was a gentle reminder that I can move right through my fears with grace and poise, and other times, it was a crutch for my wounded soul. And guess what? Now that I’ve spoken bravery over myself for a whole year, I can honestly add it to my list of adjectives that describe Jamisyn Rae Smith (that’s me). So here’s what I would love for you to do with me this New Years… Think about the year ahead...
What do you know will happen?
What do you wish would happen?
What are you afraid will happen?
Here’s the real banger…Who do you want to be this time next year?
Let go of "I will ______." This year isn't about action, it's about identity. In the end, your actions will be an overflow of your heart. Pick a word that will carry you through each of the answers you gave to the questions above, and write it down. Personify it. Bring it to life.
"I am confident."
"I am a celebrator of others."
"I am a gracious wife." Whatever word you choose, make it something you'd be proud to hear someone describe you as. This year, go ahead and raise your glass to a year of changed hearts.