Usually New Years Resolutions should be stated by January 1st (says our Left Brain) but those that choose to pick up a New Years Resolution 1/2 way through the month actually may mean it, versus being emotionally motivated by their turkey and champagne belly.
Many resolutions begin with the champurky rolls and declarations to be better at this and that. I am with you on that one but none of that will help us if we live under a rain cloud 24/7. True happiness and contentment is an internal issue not based on external factors though we love to think that. Which lead me right into Resolution #1.
#1 – Stop blaming external factors on your lack of joy: Do you ever notice that people who have gone through much trial seem to be more joy filled and those that have not had much thrown at them are always so gloomy? It’s funny how a real tragedy will put life into perspective. Our life can be chaotic but our inner being can still live in joy and peace. For someone living with depression and anxiety this should be the #1 truth we seek. Your job, your finances, your relationships can all be straining, that is how life goes, and of course we are affected by them positively and negatively (that’s humanity) for most of us but blaming those situations for our depression is only making it worse. Try this year to catch yourself blaming others and situations for your lack of joy and start searching inwards and upwards for the answers. There will always be something that will try to drag us down all our life but we can stand firm knowing that our external situations can only drag us down if we allow it.
#2 – Stop complaining: Wow, usually resolutions are about doing but I’m all about STOP DOING IT! This was a big turn around for me when I finally clicked into what a complainer I was. I am a natural complainer, sometimes I don’t even know what to talk about if I can’t complain about something. I have inherited this greatly from my blood line and that has made it a hard habit to kick and the older I get the worse it gets “Is it that hard to get good service around here?!” But when I realized how detrimental chronic complaining is to our mental, physical health, and our relationships I started to nip it. I am still tempted to complain, especially when I am dealing with something overwhelming, but there is a big difference between venting to solve a problem and work through something, and complaining for the sake of complaining.
Psychology today had a lot to say on this issue we call “venting”…
The problem is that today we associate the act of complaining with venting far more than we do with problem solving. As a result, we complain simply to get things off our chest, not to resolve problems or to create change, rendering the vast majority of our complaints completely ineffective. Even when we do address our complaints to the people who can do something about them, we tend to be unsuccessful far more often than not….
I had a friend once who turned my complaining into action. I had been complaining about a situation for many weeks, it came up almost every time we talked. I really appreciated it when she said to me “You’ve talked about this issue a lot, I think it means you need to deal with it, what can you do to rectify it?” She called me out on my complaining and steered me toward problem solving the situation. This is something we need to recognize in ourselves and steer our complaints into action.
#3 – Find Your People This Year: I have always had a lot of friends from many different stations in my life. Church friends, work friends, family friends and school friends. Friendship is such an important part of life. Finding people who really ‘get us’ is really hard, but worth searching for. I always wondered why I was so intense, passion filled, and opinionated. I felt insecure about it often and found myself hiding who I really was from my circles. People would glaze over when I started expressing my passion to see people free from internal suffering. Even at the age of 8 I was handing out “stop child abuse” posters out when others were picking their noses and getting callused hands from the monkey bars. Then, years, years later, after thinking I was a freak who needed to calm down and feeling depressed about who I was, I found my people. WRITERS!!!!! I went from feeling like a fish gasping out of water to an orchestrating crab “Under the Sea!” Finding your people is totally possible, but first you have to find yourself. Which is my lead in line to #4…
#4 Love yourself more: “I’m a loser, no one will ever love me, I’m waisted goods, I always screw up, figures!” These are what the Cognitive Behavioral Therapists called “Warped thoughts.” Or what Joyce Meyers calls “stinking thinking” We are actually way more susceptible to mental conditioning than you think. I am living proof of it. Through consciously taking my negative thoughts captive and replacing them has changed my mental health and my life! I actually think I am kind of awesome! (Wait, does that mean I am crazy? lol)
Learn to speak life to yourself, the Lord does, he speaks love over you every second of your life. Every time we curse ourselves, we are rejecting God’s thoughts over us. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song of Solomon 2:4 Instead of hearing “that was dumb” or other self rebukes I started allowing thoughts like “wow, good job, you should feel proud” or “You’re a great mom” No one else is going to say the things to us we need to hear but ourselves and the Holy Spirit. It’s not Pride it’s agreeing with God’s thoughts over us, accepting our redemption from sinners to sons and daughters of Christ.
If you can begin to take hold of these 4 things this year, your cloud will lift, I promise. So don’t worry about your fat pants until you’ve dealt with your fat brain full of garbage and bad thoughts. Take control back!!