Everyone loves a new beginning and a fresh start. Even though we are tired on a Monday, part of us is excited to begin again, push the past week behind us and start over. I love celebrating the beginning of every new month. There is something special and exciting to look forward to every month of the year. And of course, we have the new year. The whole world celebrates a new year, a new start, a do-over. But this year, the new year feels, well, the same to me. We are still in a pandemic and this year is filled with even more uncertainty than the last. It almost seems like there is no point in planning or making any resolutions when we have no idea what the next week, month, or year will bring. This week I have struggled to find the excitement in this new beginning, but then it finally clicked… there are always things we can count on and find new again.

There are few things in life that are in our control or are remotely in our control. So for this year, I have decided to focus on the things that I can work on even if I’m locked in my house again all year. This year, my challenge is to heal and grow stronger. I plan on healing from 2020, continuing to work on my mental health, and pushing closer to Jesus. I plan on eating and living cleaner (we gotta love our baby planet), continuing education and fighting for the things I believe in, and literally getting stronger (full bind in yoga, lifting heavier weights, rowing/running further and faster).

I’m sharing my goals with you to show you that new can be as simple as drinking one more glass of water, giving yourself a positive affirmation every day, and getting one step closer to God. We don’t need to travel to Europe (RIP the honeymoon that Jon and I never got to go on), get a promotion, or buy a house to be a better or more successful version of who we are. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can grow and bloom in any environment and success is not something that can truly be measured.

If you don’t have any goals because you are unsure of what lies ahead, that’s okay too. I just have one suggestion for you… lean on God. The deep darkness I felt this year was in large part to me leaning on my own self and not God. I know that I would have still felt the suffering and struggled, but it may not have been so intense or hopeless if I had reached for Him every single day.

This new year is a new start with your relationship with God. I was listening to a podcast earlier this week that said we need to train ourselves in our relationship with God just like we need to train ourselves for a marathon. Reading your Bible every day may not always make you feel closer to God, but it’s training you to think like and walk like Jesus. It’s much harder to fall when you are reading, praying, worshipping and surrounding yourself with Him. I am definitely not telling you to pray, read, and worship for hours every day. It’s honestly as simple as 10 minutes in the morning or night. You can’t hit the new yoga pose you’ve been trying without practice and faith and your relationship with God works the same way.

2021 is up in the air. Will things change or will they be the same? The only way we can put one foot in front of the other is to start creating small steps to ensuring that this year will not and cannot be the same as the last. We can kick a bad habit to the curve, we can take more walks, drink less soda, and spend some extra intentional time with Jesus. However, if there is anything about 2021 that is still certain, it’s the He’s still here, He’s still wonderful, and He’s still working for our good.

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