From December 26th to February 1st, we see this statement everywhere. Commercials, bus signs, memes. It’s everywhere you go. Then February happens and it’s almost like everyone forgot it was a new year and return to who they were the previous year. I gave up resolutions, for this reason, a long time ago.

Yet every year I still grow into the woman God called me to be. I get closer and closer to my end goal. This is all because I stopped trying to be a “new me” and decided to just be a “better me.” The new year is a great restart but if you just return to what you were trying to stop before, it doesn’t help anything. 2017 was the biggest year of change for me- in my heart, mind, body, and soul. I didn’t start fixing things until August or September. January isn’t when new things begin, every NEW day is when a new thing can begin!

2017 was the “year” (really only started halfway through it) I decided I had enough with a dry and routine-like relationship with God, I wanted more. I have been raised a Christian. We were always in church 2+ times a week, it was routine. I never questioned it and I always looked forward to going. In 2015 I began a two-year internship at my church. As I progressed through the internship I began to let the routine of being in service become a chore. It was too much work figuring out what service to go in, I always felt like I was missing out on something I needed to be doing and frankly, it just was not my priority. That also led to my prayer time with God becoming obsolete, and I was lucky if I touched my Bible once a month. A little bit before the internship ended I decided that I could no longer live this casual life with Jesus. I challenged myself to read my Bible once a week with my small group and to really listen and reflect on the sermons on the weekends. My faith soared… Just putting myself into God’s work even ONCE a week refreshed my soul and my confidence. I am a WARRIOR for God’s Kingdom.

I also spent the entire year trying to lose 15 lbs (sophomore 20 is real y’all) and did not lose anything. No diet I tried worked. So I decided to stop focusing so much on what I was eating (it was driving me crazy, causing me to cry so many times out of frustration) and focus on going to the gym more. This was a lot easier for me to control. I began going 3-4 times a week and finally built it into a regular routine once again. I may not look as good as I thought I was going to when the year began, but I feel so much more mentally secure and physically strong! I still have a long way to go but it’s finally less about losing pounds and more about gaining confidence.

2017 was not easy. In fact, it was the toughest yet. My heart broke a hundred times. I was worn. I lost myself completely. But standing on the other side, I can only help but see the good things. My stories are simple and kind of silly. I read my Bible more and started working out regularly… cool. But the reason I am telling you this is so that you know you can always start over. Today is the best day to start loving yourself more. Today is the best day for some good self-love and self-care. Light a candle. Crack open a good book. Tell yourself you look beautiful today (yes, out loud). Don’t try and be a new you. Try and be a better you. You are in perfect shape. You are loved. No one else on this planet is like you. Don’t change who God created you to be- learn who God created you to be!

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