2016 Goals

January 2016.

A new year. A new beginning.

A time to reflect on the past year’s successes, failures, highs, and lows.

A time to set goals for the year ahead.

This New Year’s Eve came and went without much of a celebration (besides Clemson winning the Orange Bowl – Go Tigers!). Living in a different country, away from our friends and family meant no New Year’s Eve festivities – no parties, no countdown, we even missed our midnight toast due to a stubborn cork and a broken wine opener. But, we did have FaceTime calls, a great football game, and the promise of this being the year we move home – not the worst New Year’s Eve ever!

The new year tends to stress me out a bit. After all of the alcohol is consumed, food eaten, fireworks finished, the topic of resolutions or goals is breached.

Although I know goals are important – they push us to better ourselves – the thought of setting a goal and not reaching it gives me anxiety.

I decided to ignore that anxiety this year, set multiple goals, and post them here to hold myself accountable for meeting them.

(In all honesty, I’ve already given up on one of the goals and decided I should probably post the rest before they went the same way!)

2016 Goals:

  • Read 50 books
  • Yoga 30 min/day
    • This is a lofty one for me. I HATE yoga. Or, I should say – I hated yoga. On Monday, I started Yoga Camp on Youtube by Yoga with Adriene and it’s been an incredible experience. I know my body is definitely going to benefit from the stretching and I hope I can learn how to quiet my mind and be present in the moment!
  • Read my Bible 5 days a week
    • I started this one late last year – just trying to keep it going!
  • Read 1 chapter of a business book 5 days a week
    • I just realized that a lot of my goals center around reading!
    • I would like to start some type of fitness related business within the next year or two, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can!
  • Increase bench max to 125 lbs
  • Increase deadlift max to 225 lbs
  • Increase squat max to 225 lbs
  • Run at least 1 5k
    • I need some motivation to continue including cardio in my routine of workouts
  • Reduce OCD symptoms
    • More to come on this in a later blog
  • Blog at least twice a month

There you have it – my 2016 goals!

2016 is going to be a big year for D and I! Between moving home, new jobs, and very soon, a new puppy sister for our soon to be 3 year old fur-child, we have a lot to look forward to! Here’s to a happy, healthy, much awaited 2016!

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie

Love

I am frustrated.

I am frustrated because my younger sister, K, texted me this morning explaining that this week at church, her youth pastor is talking about “homosexuals and transgenders.”

I am frustrated because K felt the need to construct a list of “comebacks” to speak up with when she (inevitably and justifiably) gets offended.

I am frustrated that my 14 year old sister is having to stand up for other people’s rights and freedoms in her church (of all places).

But, I am also incredibly proud. I am proud that I have an open-minded, headstrong, loving sister who chooses to put the needs of others first, and stands up for those who are persecuted, judged, and put down.

I am proud that she realized, at such a young age, that she can be both a Christian AND an advocate for the LGBTQ community.

I am proud that she understands one of God’s greatest commandments to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

It pains me to see that church, a place that is supposed to be a safe haven, a place to feel loved, and accepted, a place of peace, has become a battleground against certain groups of people – in this case anyone with a different sexual orientation.

When did we, as followers of Jesus, step away from his greatest commandment? When did it become acceptable to start adding caveats to scripture? Love your neighbor as yourself – as long as your neighbor is exactly like you? Love your neighbor as yourself – as long as your neighbor isn’t gay…isn’t transgendered…isn’t Muslim…isn’t pro-choice…isn’t a Democrat. NO. The period comes after yourself – no caveats.

How are we to love our neighbors as ourselves if our neighbors don’t share the same rights and freedoms as us? How are we to love our neighbors as ourselves if we are busy judging our neighbors for their differences? The short answer – we can’t!

In order to love our neighbors as ourselves, we have to step back, stop judging, stop persecuting, and stop shaming. What we have to do is simple – LOVE. That’s it. Not love and tell how someone is wrong. Not love and tell someone to stop living a particular way. Just love – no strings attached.

For my sister (as well as the rest of my family), this is a personal issue. One that still sparks many arguments at holiday dinners with certain sides of our family. One that made us all feel pushed away by our church growing up. But also one that taught us to learn and grow into the individuals we are today. One that taught us that we can be Christians AND love our dads. One that taught us we can be Christians AND believe that homosexuality isn’t a sin. One that taught us we can be Christians AND believe that everyone – heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, transgendered, and everyone else in and out of the LGBTQ community – deserves the same rights, happiness, acceptance, love, and peace.