By the time June rolls around, spring has given way to summer’s heat and January is just a distant memory. Cold weather? I can barely remember what it is to wear shoes and sweaters. By now, resolutions often ring a faint bell but they are pretty hazy this far away.
This year, I do remember my resolutions and I can still recite them at the drop of a hat, thanks to this monthly check-in. I am now at the point of accepting some of them as part of my routine, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are ingrained or permanent habits. (That old saw about it taking 21 days to make or break habits is bogus – it takes far longer to truly make something stick.)
1. Read my Bible daily. First half of the month, right on track. Second half, not so much. I won’t whine or make excuses, it is what it is. But there is now this frequent niggle and nudge inside me to pick it up and read it more days than not. I’m encouraging that niggly nudge to grow and get stronger. It’s the same feeling that can get me up and going to the gym before daybreak.
2. Exercise. At the risk of repeating myself, see #1 above. First half of the month, definitely on track. Second half, other things took priority. And I don’t kid myself that gardening burns as many calories as the gym. I may sweat buckets while dragging the hose and digging weeds, but the exertion level is not the same. However, I’m okay with my results for the past four weeks; the things that overshadowed my regular routine were important and urgent and are now completed, so no more excuses. And my weight dropped beneath 120 earlier this month. It still hovers and flutters around that mark, but we’re headed in the right direction. Anyone trying to lose a few pounds, take heart. Changing the way you eat and exercise are key – they don’t always yield dramatic results, but be patient and let them work their slow magic.
3. Prayer life. It’s not without ceasing but it is regular and more frequent than daily. I pray for health of friends and family and for many who are near-and-dear to my nearest-and-dearest. I try to stop and appreciate and give thanks for the abundance of good things that happen every day. From small mercies to big blessings, all good things come from God and I hope I never forget that or fail to give Him thanks.
4. Cultivating the fruits of the spirit. This one is still an enigma. I know I set it as a resolution but how can I measure this? It isn’t like cultivating plants in my garden. I can see how my plants grow; I can see them mature and bloom and bear fruit. I know there must be a way to similarly see and measure this growth but in the meantime, I keep praying and studying know the more I do that, the more the fruit will grow.
I hope this month finds everyone thinking back on whatever you resolved to stop or start roughly 150 days ago. Whether you’re struggling to keep those promises, or struggling to even remember what you promised yourself, there’s no time like today to get started. And think how great it will feel in December to know you made good on your resolutions in 2012 and see the results of your efforts.