Starting off 2024 with a timely New Year’s Resolutions post. First up, how’d I do with last year’s resolutions? I only made two so how hard could it have been right?? RIGHT???!?!?
1. Be focused on spiritual improvement this year.
I think for the first half of the year, I did pretty good on this resolution. I attended daily Mass more often, managed to say my daily prayers, and I did get to confession almost monthly, only missing one month the entire year. But once the boys were out of school, and with all our summer plans, I definitely slipped out of a lot of the habits I’d developed. When Fulton and Teddy are home, I have a really hard time sticking to a routine; I’m constantly getting distracted and the quiet time I have set aside to say prayers, etc. evaporates.
2. In the health realm, I want to keep up with my exercise routine and instead of a food based resolution that focuses on physical health, I’m going to move towards a way of eating that reinforces my spiritual health as well.
At the beginning of the year, exercising was feeling really hard and I didn’t enjoy lifting weights the way I had been. I thought it was a motivation problem, but I can say now that thanks to my iron supplement (and probably some other supplements I’m taking) I’m feeling great at the gym most days. When I first started having symptoms related to perimenopause and fibroids in March, I continued to struggle with exercising and then over the summer, it was hard to get to the gym period. But this fall, I’m consistently lifting and taking 35-40 min. walks and I feel great. Even on the days when I experience uncomfortable symptoms, I’m still usually able to exercise. It’s made all the difference in caring for the boys as they get heavier. I’ve probably got more muscle on me now than any other time in my life.
As for directing my eating more towards spiritual goals vs physical, I sort of succeeded? Tony and I did an Orthodox inspired fast for Lent which I think was spiritually beneficial, however, the rest of the year any tweaking I did to my diet was in relation to trying to reduce or alleviate the symptoms I was/ am experiencing. And often, when I feel lousy, I don’t want to give up things or fast; if anything I want to treat myself more as a form of comfort. However, I did try to offer up any pain and discomfort I was feeling with mixed results. As I re-read my 2023 resolution post, I was struck with this prophetic quote:
I truly believe when you say stuff like, ‘Hey God, I want to get closer to you’, He finds really uncomfortable ways to make that happen.
So, I don’t know why I was surprised by any of my symptoms. I was basically asking for it. Why can’t growing in holiness be easy, or even fun???
Now onto my resolutions for 2024. Honestly, I’ve been struggling a bit. I have so many things I want to do and accomplish; I’m never at a loss for ideas and projects. My biggest struggle is prioritizing and focusing on what’s most important, as well as staying on task when there’s no external motivation or deadline (something I realized about myself back in 2015). I can plan, create spreadsheets and outline all sorts of systems, however if I don’t stick to them, things will not go as planned. Since I don’t answer to anyone, and can do what I want, when I want the majority of the time, it’s very hard for me to say, scrub the bathroom tile, or grade a paper, or write up a newsletter, if there’s something else I’d rather be doing. I don’t have a boss or a deadline, so I do what I want in the moment. Even setting reminders and alarms doesn’t always help, as after about a week I know longer “see” them. I just swipe them away while continuing the task at hand.
Tony says I need an “accountabili-buddy” which is a terrible sounding name (that I’m sure he picked up through some work function), other than him, because we are incapable of making the other stick to deadlines. We’re both great at encouraging and supporting the other on various creative projects, but I will get mad at him if he tries to make me stick to a self-imposed deadline or goal, and then I do what I want anyway. Understandably, Tony would like to not make me angry this year.
If I could also more properly discern where to focus my efforts that would help. The problem is, I try to do too many “worthy” or “useful” things. None seem like bad ideas on their own, but all together, it’s too much to balance or do well. I struggle with where to cut back when everything seems worthy of my time.
If you have any books, podcasts, or resources to recommend, I’m all ears however, I’ve learned that so much productivity information simply does not apply to me. And I don’t mean that in a prideful way, but that so many women, and men, who seem to be “doing it all” and selling that dream are a.) much richer and can bring in all sorts of outside help b.) not raising a child or children with disabilities c.) are promoting a shift in “mindset” which is not my problem, or lastly d.) giving advice to those who are trying to manage a career and family life, which isn’t really what I’m doing. Even when I’m trying to “work” during the day (on my ministry or writing), my “work” always comes second to an illness, medical appointment, or other home obligations and that’s not the case for most productivity gurus. We all need flexibility in our plans, however, my days are all over the place more than say, my husband, or my friends who work outside the home. I’ve learned through much trial and error, and by gleaning information from these self-help gurus, but I’ve come to see that their target audience and I do not overlap.
But I digress! Onto my resolutions!!
1. Continue with current spiritual practices, working on consistency.
I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, and get better with some of the habits I slipped out of. I also want to create a plan for how to keep on top of prayers when the boys are home from school, whether it be for a day, a week, or the summer.
2. Continue with current exercise practices, with a home-based backup plan.
Pretty much the same idea as number one. I just need options for weight training and cardio that I enjoy doing at home (that’s the key) and a plan for when to do them during the day when the boys are home.
3. Focus on one thing at a time, and doing it well.
I’m not sure if this means, one focus per day, per week, per month or what, but setting goals in regards to the ministry, homeschooling, and other creative pursuits and then only working on one at a time.
4. Do more hands-on crafts and projects.
I did more of this over the last year, and it helped me remember how much I enjoy projects be it big, like the piano bar, or smaller, like making jewelry. I also want activities to help me unwind while keeping me off social media.
Beast of the Year: Minotaur
Last year’s mermaid did not help me make it to the beach more, so hopefully this year’s beast can help me overcome the labyrinth of tasks I am trying to make my way through!! (Choose your own beast using my Random Beast Spinner!)
Saint of the Year (of my own choosing): St. Padre Pio
St. Rita was a great intercessor last year; so she’s not going anywhere, but I’m going to add in some prayers to powerhouse St. Padre Pio. His name jumped in my head when I was considering what do do about a saint for the year, so I’ll take that as a nudge from my guardian angel.
What are your resolutions for the coming year? And more importantly, what is your BEAST? Be sure to share in the comments below, and a happy new year to all my friends, family, and followers! (All previous resolution posts are available HERE.)