Top 5: January 2018

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.'”

– Alfred Lord Tennyson


Here are the top five things I’m working on this month. Warning – they are very new beginnings/new resolutions focused – how fitting for January 🙂

1. Lessons Learned in 2017

I just filled all the pages in my latest journal and couldn’t help but flip back and reflect on the things that happened the past 12 months. There was a lot of waiting this year – waiting for the right house, waiting for the next step in my career – and with that waiting came the hard realization that I’m not in control. I can’t snap my fingers and move to the next stage. I had to wait. I had to trust. I had to let go.

I learned that I used to think how I viewed the world was right and everyone else was wrong…but in fact, it might be the opposite. And that really hurt my pride. I learned that makes me judgy and resentful of others to make myself feel better. I learned it’s so much better to live life out of my belovedness from God rather than trying to earn and be better. I learned I have nothing to prove…and that I’ll keep on relearning these lessons over and over. But it was a good year and I think I’m a little further along on these lessons.

2. Gratitude

In 2016, I did a really good job of writing down something I’m grateful for each day- one small glimpse of joy in each ordinary day. I want to start doing that again. I don’t want it to be legalistic, I just want to get better at remembering. That when I wake up in a bad mood, I have some ammunition to turn my day around. More to come on this.

3. New Words for the New Year

I have some friends who choose a word for each new year. I love that. As I reflected on my past year, here were the themes that seem to be next for me.

  • Glimpses of Joy – this is that gratitude piece I was just talking about. With social media, it seems like everyone is focused on their brand, their story, ALL ABOUT THEM. And I get so sucked into that. But what if our life is supposed to be about seeing God’s story – to watch for it and celebrate it and share the unique things about HIM that he shares with only you? I want that to be my focus this year.
  • Beloved –  I always felt this word was overused in Christian circles. But I truly believe why I’m here is to be loved. That’s it. That’s all I have to do, that’s what I’m to live out of. And when I really do that, it’s so easy to be love to other. That’s what I want to do with my 2018.
  • Adventure Awaits – I think this is what the first two words will lead me to. Since I like being in control, I realized I’ve been playing it safe by not getting involved in other people’s messes or taking risks. I want to listen to the risks God wants me to take this year and be brave enough to take them. I want to be courageous enough to invest in people’s lives by asking real questions not standing at an arm’s length away.

4. A Simplified Wardrobe

I realized there are certain clothes in my wardrobe that I love more, but I feel this need to wear things equally and spread the wealth. Are any of you like me in this way? I’m also a terrible packrat and feel the need to keep clothes until there’s something wrong with them which lead me to a full closet (or two :)) and a lot of outfits that I didn’t feel great in.

So I decided to try a capsule wardrobe. And then I realized it’s really intense and decided to simplify instead :).  I went through my clothes and packed away everything that I don’t love to wear. I got rid of clothes that don’t fit right anymore or that I just don’t wear for no good reason. And despite my scarcity-fearing tendencies, I still have enough to wear…and I feel more confident in the things I choose to wear.

Plus it helps me know what to buy – I love black, so I bought some new colored pants to change up my wardrobe. In the capsule wardrobe theme, I now search for items that can be mixed and matched with other items of my wardrobe, creating more outfits but fewer items.

Although I just simplified, if you’re interested in learning more about a true capsule wardrobe, here’s a great guide I found.

5. Whole 30

I’m embarking on Whole30 this month. Heaven help me. But I have some great girlfriends who are journeying with me. I’ve discovered I can’t eat the foods I used to. I want to narrow it down to one food – ideally something I don’t really care for anyway – but Aaron thinks it’s probably just when I eat too much junk in a row. He’s probably right. What stinks is that I used to be able to eat as much junk as I wanted to all the time. Now if I have too greasy meals in a row my stomach and head pound and let me know.

So I think Whole30 will be a great way to restart my digestive system and learn some less greasy and processed recipes in the process. I’m never more goal motivated than January so it’s a perfect opportunity. But I’m REALLY going to miss cheese.


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