The One with the Resolutions

It's almost 2017! So we all have to do it, right? Get out that pen and paper to jot down some resolutions that we may or may not keep. Another blogger I follow closely said it best:

I love sitting down to reflect on the past year — what worked? What did I neglect? How did God shape me through it all? ... Sure, any critic could argue that most New Year's resolutions are dropped after a month or so, but I don't think that's the point. I think we all need to stop from time to time and assess our life and make adjustments. How else do you grow and move forward? — @cinnamongirlblog


Our wedding florist also said it well (with our picture!):

Who's ready for a New Year? Though my year was pretty stinking good, I know some people who have just had the worst year ever. What are you doing to ensure that 2017 is as good as it can be? ... Love each other! — @ibloomflowers


2016 was amazing — I started a new job, visited lots of new places, got married and ran a half marathon. But the year definitely came with its fair share of hardships, too. Ty's grandma passed the week of our wedding. His grandpa passed in October. My grandpa passed in November. Friends lost their parents. Other friends' parents battled with cancer. College athletes passed in accidents that shook the whole community. Our entire country was rocked by a disrespect of our basic civil rights and a horrible election season. To say the least, I'm gripping tightly to the hope that the best is yet to come. 

So what do I want to do and who do I want to be in 2017?

1. Extend grace when grace isn't deserved.

God gives us grace when we deserve hell. Maybe I can show grace to my worst enemies and mistake-bearing friends and family, too.

2. Quit "snoozing."

I've read so many studies about why the snooze button is bad. Maybe this year I'll follow my own advice — give it up.

3. Walk a little slower.

If I quit snoozing, maybe I'll have more time to take my time. Time to walk a little slower — enjoy the birds chirping at the turn of spring, the leaves falling at the turn of autumn, and the sharp breeze at the turn of winter. Time to enjoy my coffee and a little Jesus before making my bed and driving to work.

4. Swipe less.

Enjoy my people more and my phone less. Lately my phone is a crutch. With a lull in conversation, I hit that wake button just to see whatever it is there might be to see. Maybe if I walk a little slower and swipe a little less, I can enjoy those around me a little more.

5. Say no in order to say yes.

Maybe if I say no to more small things I'll be able to say yes to more big things. No to the crappy clothes at Target for yes to the trips with my husband. No to the morning coffee alone for yes to the afternoon drinks with friends. No to the short treadmill run and yes to the long fitness class.

6. Donate.

Sometimes I put an outfit on in the morning only to take it off and opt for the same favorite forest green shirt and ripped jeans. If I don't wear it, why am I storing it? If I don't use that stuff in the tall cupboard above my fridge that I can't even reach, why is it full of stuff? Maybe someone else can use it more.

7. Budget.

Lol — Kip and I are the worst. Maybe if we spend less at the grocery store every week, we'll throw less away, and waste less money, giving us more money to save for a bigger house to buy. (And by bigger I mainly just mean any... any house to buy.)

8. Race every month.

After finishing my first half marathon I told myself I would sign up and finish at least one race every month. I ran the Good Life Halfsy (13.1) and the Fremont YMCA Turkey Trot (5) in November. In December we ran the Holiday Run (3.1) benefitting the Lincoln Humane Society. I found a race February 4 that includes two free beers AND lunch in the registration fee. What race could I run in January? Anyone have a recommendation?

9. Invest in relationships.

We lost a lot of people we loved this year. And people we love lost people they love. Some expected, some not — none any easier than the other. Maybe if we spend a little more time with each other, we'd feel a little less regret and a little less "I should've, could've, would've."

10. Give fully to my husband.

Marriage to Kip makes me feel more complete and purposeful than I've ever felt before, but I don't say it enough. I want to appreciate him for every little thing he does, the good and the bad. The clean dishes and the dirty laundry. Maybe if I spend less time nitpicking, I can spend more time loving.

11. Talk less, listen more.

In a leadership program at Hudl I've learned those that talk less and listen more have a bigger impact because their ears are open to hearing where improvements can be made. I want to listen more in my relationships and community to see where I can make a difference.

12. Answer.

I hate talking on the phone – absolutely hate it. But sometimes that hurts my friendships. Maybe if I answer every phone call, even when I'm busy, my friends and family will feel a little more loved and a little more whole.

13. Give to myself.

Go to a movie alone. Run alone. Read more books. Paint more. Craft more. Do more for myself that fills my bucket and lights up my passions.

14. Write.

I love cards — both giving and receiving them, even if they're about nothing. My friend Kristen and I love the movie You've Got Mail and ironically (or not) we both love mail. In the movie Meg Ryan's character talks about how much their emails of "nothing" has meant to her, and I think I relate to that. I want to send more "nothings" this year.

The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings. —You've Got Mail

15. Stop bullying.

Do you ever bully yourself? I do. I tell myself my eyebrows are too thin, my legs are too skinny, and my stomach is too flabby. I tell myself I'm not well-spoken or well-educated. I tell myself I'm a bad writer or a bad designer. I'm too critical in my friendships, marriage, and family relationships. I'm too mean to me — I'd like to stop that.

What do you want to do in 2017? I hope we can hold each other accountable.

Brandi Arnold