My successes this year often took a different form than I originally planned.
My failures this year were constantly humiliating, but oddly fruitful, too, since humility isn't a bad thing for a Christian.
And I may have learned some lessons from my errors that will help me in future.
So here's my goals for 2022 and each assessment of how I did, however painful.
1. Track my calories-
Failure. This happened some, but not consistently enough to create a habit. I found it somewhere between impractical and impossible to stop often enough to enter everything I ate in the record. Granted, when I made this a habit in the past, it produced greater accountability for what was going into my mouth, and I lost weight, naturally. I also built better and better eating habits with less unhealthy food and more nutritious food. But since this is so tedious, I'm prayerfully reconsidering this as a goal for the future. Perhaps there's another way to cultivate awareness and accountability and nurture healthier food choices.
2. Take my vitamins-
Success! I am in the habit of taking all my vitamins everyday at this point. It took most of the year to figure out that I needed to do this earlier in my day, usually after breakfast or lunch. That time of day works best, because if I wait any longer, I just forget. But taking vitamins is well established habit again.
3. Do my exercises/ stretches-
Success! I think I can safely say my plantar fasciitis is a thing of the past. I was consistent enough with my exercises and stretches early in the year that this condition finally healed. I can walk up and down the stairs alternating feet now. Believe it or not, I had to take the stairs one at time for a few years. I also learned by trial and error throughout this year to totally avoid the shoes that aggravate my feet. Those shoes just went in the trash bin or donations pile.
4. 100 Bodypumps-
Failure. I only did approximately one dozen Bodypump workouts in all of 2022. But I believe I have learned a lot from this particular failure. I know now that #1. I need to make my workout an appointment that I just don't miss. I kept waiting to either be in the mood to exercise or I kept waiting to finish my important work for the day beforehand. I realize now I will not be in the mood to exercise again until it's a well established habit and I'm fit enough to enjoy it again. Also, I will never be done with all my important work, because by the time the homeschool day is over now, it's time to prepare to tutor my classes or cook dinner or clean up from dinner, etc. So I just can't treat exercise like an option. It has to be a priority like anything else on my calendar. I need to do it when the time comes to do it whether or not I am in the mood. I keep telling God how absurd it is that our physical bodies take this much maintenance, but alas, I remain a creature in a fallen world with an ever-aging body, so I have to reckon with the time it takes to help myself. #2. I also realized by trial and error, mostly error, that I needed have a workout schedule that pre-determines which workout I will be doing that day. Knowing which workout is next eliminates the decision fatigue. #3. I also learned by trial and error, mostly error, that my body is, in fact, totally wrecked because of years of Lyme Disease and associated lethargy, so I need to totally start over. I'm ready to accept that now. So I've downloaded the Beachbody Bodypump schedule that takes a person from the couch to a full hour of Bodypump in weeks, plural. It gives a person weeks to adapt to the demand of an hour of weight lifting and cardio. That's what I probably needed all along. Earlier this year and the year before, when I was feeling well enough to start exercise again, I tried to do the full hour workout or as much of it as I could like I had done for years before, and that just wrecked an already wrecked body and continually set me back physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Here's hoping 2023 will be the year of more success in exercise, since I've failed so much, but enough to learn all these lessons.
5. 100 Walks-
Success! I did not take exactly 100 walks, because I took something like 70. That's far more than I would have taken without the goal in mind, so I'm calling that a win.
6. 100 books-
Success! I read 70+ books this year. I know that's also not 100, but it's still an outstanding amount of reading, so I'm calling this a win, too.
7. Keep a prayer journal-
Success! But my prayer journal took a different form than I originally planned. Instead of keeping a record of the specific things I pray for and how those things were answered, the journal I have been using for several months is very small and each page just has a list of people's names. This simply guides my prayers for that day. My prayers have been really consistent since August. The timing coincided with when our oldest daughter went to college. Having a daughter far away really changes your prayer life! Her name is the first one in my journal. But interestingly, as I pray for other people much more consistently than ever before, I find that I am the one changing. My thoughts and feelings are much more Christ-like throughout the day, and sinful heart attitudes I have struggled with for years are becoming a thing of the past.
8. Care for my people-
Success! I call my mom and siblings more. And I am growing in friendship with the people around me like never before. I think the daily prayer helps with this more than anything else. After praying for people daily, I tend to think of them more throughout the day and make time for them and take action towards them, sending texts, notes, giving gifts, etc. God orchestrated a beautiful, new friendship for me this year with a kindred homeschool mom in another state. She and I are writing letters. I have started cooking and baking more than ever and with greater and greater joy. That is another unexpected way "caring for my people" is manifesting itself.
9. Read my Bible first-
Success and failure. I got into the terrible habit of scrolling Facebook videos when I awoke early and couldn't sleep or picking up my phone first thing in the morning as I drank my first cup of coffee just to check before starting my devotional time. Once I realized this was an incessant habit that wasted precious time I could be spending with God, I have deliberately stopped taking my phone to bed or picking up my phone first thing in the mornings. But now I just need to pick up my Bible instead whatever fiction book I'm reading. I get it right half the time. The other half, I have to make a second cup of coffee, put down a novel, and deliberately pick up the Bible to have my devotions.
10. Follow Fly Lady-
Success, mostly. My house is staying cleaner than ever, but I have only followed Fly Lady half the time. The other half, I have just done more of the housework that I see is required. It's unnerving how much time it takes to maintain a home, but like maintaining a body, it's something that I am accepting must be done, and so, there is ever-greater joy in doing it.