i have never been in the habit of making new years resolutions.
i'm rebellious that way.
no, really, i have tried them a few times but fail within the first two days. it's always a false motivation, for me. if i want to make a change, it has to start in my heart and mind. i know this. i know me. and chances are this is probably true for you, too.
i do think it's healthy to use this time of year to reassess your situation. i'm going to do a series of blog posts on how i do this and some ways i stay organised. it's a great time of year to think about how your life is organised! feel free to copy, tailor and make these your own. they have helped me a lot over the years!
sorry i don't have any cool graphics, but we will get through it, i promise.
part 1: your tanks
checking your tanks is something i do several times a year, but especially come january 1. i think it's just in my nature to look at ev!er!y!thing! when the new year begins.
tanks? what on earth are you talking about?
they are as follows: spiritual tank, emotional tank, physical tank, intellectual tank and social tank
i believe all five of these facets are tanks that we run on. when one is low, just like the fluids in a car...we don't work properly. things get out of whack. all of these areas spill over into each other in both positive and negative ways. they make up the whole body and work together. everything affects everything. for example...what you're eating (physical tank) affects your mood (emotional tank). too much sugar can make you crash and be tired. a personal example...for me, being around people too much (social tank) makes me tired (physical tank). and so on, and so forth.
okay, five tanks. what do you do with them?
the answer to this question is two-fold: ask questions and do an assessment. it's simple and doesn't have to take up a ton of time. once you get the hang of it, you can get pretty thorough, pretty fast.
here's an example of some of the question-asking i do.
recently, i've been around a TON of people. who hasn't? we just passed the three major holidays. like i mentioned before, being around people makes me tired and want to be unsocial, however this should never be a crutch in way that keeps me from spending time with people, serving in our community, etc. i have a terrible tendency of getting too busy too fast. and i crash quick. and when i crash, i have difficulty recovering, or bouncing back. i'm not a multi-tasker and it's difficult for me to have multiple projects or multiple things i'm pursuing, all going on at once---i know this about myself, and know that i have to find a balance, or i'll get sick. tired. worn out. flakey. canceling plans all the time. being a jerkface. so i have to watch this one closely, and have others help me in this area.
because i know these things to be true about myself, when i do my social tank check-in, i ask myself questions like:
'is my plate too full or too empty?"
"do i need to make changes?"
"am i being generous with my time or being a loner?" (i'm really good at being a loner and it's not good for me!)
"am i avoiding community?"
i also ask myself questions around my emotional life, intellectual life, physical life and spiritual life. these look different for everyone, depending on your tendencies, your personality type, etc. it's always good to learn about yourself. i recommend searching for a meyers-briggs test as a place to start. also, "the four temperaments" by o. halsby is a great read.
here's how i'm doing right now. i can and have, voiced these things out loud to someone, but for me, it helps to write them down so i can see all the connections on how each tank is affecting the other.
i feel drained from the holidays, but i recognize that we have been under a lot of stress with the traveling we have been doing, not to mention working through the first major holiday without dan's dad.
adjustments: i have put four events on the calendar for january, which is significantly less than the past few months to allow for rest.
december was hard. the winter is hard. sometimes it feels like every day is a battle to choose to get dressed and get all of my work done (house and job). this past month alone, i had two close friends miscarry--and we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of my friend brie going to be with Jesus. and again, just helping and supporting my husband with the loss of his dad. that's a lot of emotions.
adjustment: no adjustments. i am, however, depending on changes in my spiritual tanks (prayer, being in community) and physical tanks (eating more veggies, less delicious holiday and restaraunt food) to pour into this one.
health wise, i've had some issues stemming from a lack of sleep. also, a few rough patches with asthma, and some allergies, but nothing too bad. i started seeing a chiropractor and doing acupuncture again and i feel like my energy levels are getting better, and i'm definitely sleeping a lot deeper (my husband is immensely happy about this! no more waking up with me on the computer ha ha). i'm also still dealing (emotional tank too) with the fact that i gained 20 pounds in the past year-actually the last six months (oops), but it is a journey, people. we have been eating out a LOT and experiencing stress.
adjustment: we've already made dietary changes back to 'normal' from the holidays. really, the past two months of creamy soups, buttery chocolaty sugar-filled desserts, and hearty breads. i'll keep bringing more yellow and green things into the picture, and keep up the jogging/walking regime. i've also been doing yoga every morning since thanksgivng, and now i'm adding another layer--hitting the gym twice a week for weights.
one step at a time, my babies.
i've been busy. when i get busy, this almost always suffers first. that and what i'm eating. however, my dgroup just finished an awesome book called, "note to self" by joe thorn, about speaking the gospel to one another. speaking of, i have a paper due to my group next week (that is my goal, not theirs, ha!). we are taking a break until february and i'm missing them! my husband and i are reading hebrews together. between him, my small group from church, and dgroup, i've consistently had spiritual conversations, which is awesome and necessary. lastly, my prayer life is super lamesauce
adjustment: i intentionally didn't start this on the first day of the year, because i'm rebellious, and really it just happened to fall around this time because of my dgroup study ending...but amanda k and i are picking up a 'read the bible in a year ' plan from revive our hearts. also just focusing some of my morning time on praying. i've also been setting alarms for diff people, events, and things to pray for...this works pretty darn good!
i've actually been doing a ton of reading lately, and having deep conversation with my husband and community around parenting, alternative medicine and personal goals and dreams. no adjustments, i feel pretty full here.
are there any big over-lying adjustments i need to make?
a huge adjustment i'm making, is going to bed earlier. i've set a goal for myself to get to a 5:30am rise-and-shine (okay maybe not so much on the 'shine') by the end of february (which in total was 3 months that this will be set). so far i'm about halfway to making this a reality.this slow change has allowed me to think about our dinner parties and babysitting evenings, even date-nites, in a new way that will allow me to be on my way to dream land by 10:30. see? this one is starting in the mind, by changing my way of thinking.
early wake-up time will give me time to yoga, enjoy tea, read, have breakfast and pray before dan gets up and before i begin my morning tasks and log-in to work. i believe starting off my day with silence and solitude, in a calming fashion, will set the pace for my entire day. too often we are flying by the seat of our pants when the late, late alarm clock sounds!
three months might seem a long time...but i know myself, and realistically just saying 'tonight this changes' has never worked for me. i know myself. so little by little i'm making the change and letting it happen a little more organically than throwing off my systems with one giant move two hours forwards and backwards.
so there you have it. the tanks.
i hope this helps you and encourages you to check your tanks. i love using this language with my husband because it allows us to communicate really effectively around where we need extra encouragement. before i was married, i had other close friends or a mentor asking me about these on a regular basis. processing these things in community is ALWAYS better than doing it alone.
thanks for reading!