It’s January: the month of NEW! I know we all just finished a round of Christmas gift lists, party lists, greeting card lists and thank-you note lists … but now we are moving into the realm of the “New Year Spreadsheet,” if you will. Unless you are a complete nonconformist, I’ll wager you have set some goals for yourself in the areas of fitness, business, home projects and possibly even spirituality. New Year, new you, right?
Well, getting in shape and shedding a few pounds is great, but I actually want to lose some other stuff this year, too. Join me as I figure out the Top 10 Things I want to lose in 2014 … and maybe you’ll decide to lose some along with me.
Here are my Top 10 Things to Lose in 2014:
10. Natural deodorant. Who needs it? I mean, if you wear it, it’s pretty much like you’re not wearing deodorant at all, right? I gave it a shot and now I’m over it. You did me wrong, natural no-workin’ deodorant! Bring back my chemicals and metals that actually DE-ODOR.
9. Lonely socks. I’m just trying to be a good steward of my socks. I have faith that the match will show up eventually in the laundry. I believe. But it’s time to let them go now. There are more socks out there, I know. At this magical place called Target, there’s a whole aisle full of socks that match, and in lots of different patterns and styles! It’s time to get out there and explore new options. Out with the old, in with the new. No more old-and-busted, because it’s time for the new hotness.
8. Clutter. As soon as I turn my back on it, it breeds. Just try it! Leave your house, then come back in a couple of hours and see what happens. There’s MORE STUFF! So don’t turn your back on it! Look at it! Box it up and move it out — like, to a charity. Broken things you’re “going to fix” (don’t take that to a charity, duh), the third set of dishes you never use, duplicates of all kinds … Let. Them. Go. BEGONE, vile clutter!
7. GMOs. Let’s ditch the Frankenfood, people of America! GMO stands for “genetically modified organism” and refers to foods that have been altered by genetic engineering. So much of our food in the U.S. is GMO (corn and soy are at the top of the list), and the health concerns are legitimate. Scientists have developed crops that are resistant to pesticides so they can spray an entire field to kill bugs and weeds, and the plant will STILL survive the onslaught of chemical toxins. (For example: Consider Roundup, the weedkiller that was developed by the same people who created Agent Orange, and that uses a similar ingredient to Agent Orange.) Do your research and decide for yourself, but I think we would all do well to lose as many GMO foods from our diet as possible this year. Don’t eat pesticides and Frankenfood! Eat real food!
6. Fake friends. If you have people in your life who say they are friends but who act nothing like a friend to you, you can lose ‘em. There doesn’t have to be a formal ceremony or anything; you just stop giving them access to your life. There is no reason to let people into your world who only want to hurt or ridicule you! Clear out the riff-raff so you can make room for the real deal.
5. Self-hatred. You are too amazing to sabotage your life with hatred. Make this the year you decide to like yourself. To love yourself, even. God does! He loves you fiercely with an everlasting love. He believes in you! He knows the person you are and can be, and He is cheering you on! Believe Him when He tells you how wonderful you are! Lose the crippling self-hatred that has hung around far too long. You might even need to have a boy-band moment and sing “Bye Bye Bye” just to be sure you really mean it.
4. Stress. Beyond causing blemishes and prematurely gray hair, stress is also harmful to your heart and other internal organs. It wreaks havoc on your hormone balance, and it has been known to cause insomnia. It is no bueno. Pinpoint some areas in your life where you are experiencing stress and see if you can eliminate some of them. Is social media making your blood boil? Hide aggressive and argumentative people from your feed or unfollow them. Are you working in an environment that is too noisy for you and makes you feel agitated? Explore the options for restoring a peaceful area for concentration. Assess where your stress is coming from and make adjustments! Let’s lose a whole lot of that mess this year!
3. Destructive behavior. We all have our little coping strategies — emotional eating, excessive workouts, manipulation and control, shopping, alcohol, drugs, pornography and the list goes on. Can this be the year we break free from “coping” and actually get our hearts healed? I believe it can. Make a choice to let go of the old false comforts and reach out for your Savior, who can actually save you out of whatever mess you find yourself in. Even if you can’t see the way out, He will lead you. Or carry you, if need be. Just call out to Him … He will show you what to do, and He will be right by your side the whole way!
2. Unrealistic expectations. Without realizing it, we can create a whole world of expectation for the people in our lives. We think that certain jobs are their responsibilities and not ours. We assume they won’t mind if we borrow their things. We expect our friends and family to meet our emotional needs. We want other people to treat us fairly and with respect. None of that sounds harsh or incorrect, does it? But what happens when the people close to us fail to meet those ideals we set in place? Let’s take a step back this fine 2014 and reevaluate our levels of expectation for the people around us. Let’s extend grace to some folks and let them off our “hook.” You can’t put the burden of your happiness and well-being on the shoulders of others without being sorely disappointed.
1. Fear. I’m so sick of Fear showing its ugly face around here. Fear tries to convince you that God is not good and not true to His word. Fear makes you think you are alone and helpless. Fear says it’s all over. Well, I’m kicking him to the curb this year. I have no more space for fear, because I’m filling up all the rooms in my life with faith instead. I choose to believe God IS who He says He is. I am asking Him to fill me with His Spirit and give me a new measure of faith to trust Him in every situation.
Your life’s journey is going somewhere exciting, so get rid of the dead weight! Lighten the load so you can climb up to the amazing places God has for you! He will lead you if you will just follow Him. He loves you and will help you lose everything you need to lose this year. (And He will fill you full of good things, so watch out!)
I’m sure you have thought of a few things you’d like to get rid of this year … what are they? Maybe your willingness to share will inspire someone else.