A New Year.
We wake up, look at the calendar, see one digit change, and hope returns. Funny how that works, isn't it? We batch together 365 days, and how they turn out (for better or worse) determines our mood and outlook on life. The past year was either a success, or one we'd rather forget about.
That's a lot of pressure.
Then we double down on the next set.
365 more days.
Another chance to "get it right".
Enter..."New Year Resolutions".
I resolve to (fill in the blank with any and every thought on how to improve our life).
Then in a matter of days, weeks, or months, we break them.
What in the world can we do about it then?
Glad you asked.
I have an approach that I am going to use in 2019 to enjoy the process that is this journey we call life. If it helps you, or is an encouragement to you, I'd invite you to join me. It's what I am calling #TheRealYou2019.
Here is how it works.
Take a look at this image I created to help us make sense of it:
I don't want to be anyone but me in 2019.
I want to be the R.E.A.L me, not someone else's version of me. I am not going to focus on the expectations others have of me, opinions they have about me, or what they would do if they were me. They aren't me. I am. So that's my jumping off point in 2019.
To help me be me, I created the R.E.A.L. acronym as an encouragement.
Here is what each word means:
Reduce: There are some things in my life that I could reduce. They might be things I consume, places I go, or even people I'm around. I'd do better to realize I'm a better me when I reduce the amount of something, or presence of some people in my life. It's not to say I'm completely cutting this stuff out or people off, just that I need to limit the amount or time I give to them. That might sound selfish. It is. That isn't a bad thing. It's actually THE thing that will allow me to be healthier so I can be who I need to be for those closest to me.
Eliminate: There are other things that need to be shown the door in my life. Take the same beginning thought found in the "reduce" part of this acronym, but go one step further. I won't consume, go to it, or spend time with them anymore. Why? Because I know what is good for me, so I can be the R.E.A.L. me. So do you. I won't make this list so long that it will be impossible to stick with. I'll be honest with myself by choosing a few select things to show the door that I know I won't let back in. It's an emotional eviction notice to some stuff that stems from a conviction process of the heart. That's healthy. That's me being R.E.A.L. That's me bettering me, so I can be there for...yup...those closest to me. Sensing a theme?
Accentuate: This is gold. When we think of New Year Resolutions we don't typically think of things that we want to celebrate and make a big deal about. We associate the whole resolution thing with what we won't do. In 2019, I'm celebrating who I am, why I exist, what I believe, and how I do what I do by intentionally placing a celebratory focus on a few things I'm really good at. I'm going all-in with them. I get excited when I think about those things. You have areas in your life where you can do the same. Thinking about them gets you all sorts of ramped up to make a difference with them. How cool is that!
Live: The last word is an action verb about the first three. Take a deep breathe. Reduce, eliminate, and accentuate...so you can truly live. So you can be the R.E.A.L. you in 2019.
Look closely at the hashtag.
There is reminder and encouragement in it.
Before you convince yourself that you can't...TRY.
Before you tell yourself you won't stick with it...TRY.
Before you don't see the point...TRY.
We aren't going to be perfect.
If you stumble, get up.
If you fail miserably, fight back.
If you don't think you can do it, ask for help.
Have fun tossing your thoughts into the categories of being The R.E.A.L. You in 2019.
Move them from one to the other as life changes around you.
You might find by reducing something, it eventually moves to the eliminate category because you don't depend on it, need it, or want it as a staple in your life anymore. You might find that by eliminating something, it leaves more time to focus on one of the things you want to accentuate this year. When the movement between the different categories starts, that's called momentum.
In all of it comes that theme from before...
Being the R.E.A.L. you is a source of strength. It honors who you are, and where you are going as you follow your calling. And...it gives you a reserve to call on as you serve those you are doing life with. You'll have energy to walk out your journey, and be a friend to others in theirs.
1. Give yourself permission to fail. We aren't perfect. Get back up, and keep going.
2. Find a friend who will hold you accountable on your R.E.A.L. journey.
3. Invite a friend to start their own R.E.A.L. journey.
4. Print off the image I created. Stick in on your fridge, desk, or keep it with you.
5. Enjoy the journey. Progress is a process.
Thanks for stopping by today.
I hope this is an encouragement to you...
To be #TheRealYou2019.