Last year, my resolutions were a bust. On January 1, 2019, I sat at my table and came up with all of these lofty ideas about how I was gonna be a better me, lose 50 pounds, write several articles for publication, be a positive contributor to society as a whole.
Listen to me. I missed the mark on several of my goals and it made me feel horrible, like … dare I say… a failure.
By the time I’d gotten through about 1/4th of the year, I had a revelation. I’d do good just to get through the day without:
a) making a fool of myself
b) cussing somebody out
c) setting something on fire or
d) making God look like He made a bad decision when he called me into His kingdom.
Trying to set goals for a year was a joke…
I can’t say that I have a high-pressured life—it’s high-pressured only if I make it so, and last year in some ways I made it so. I took on way too many responsibilities at work; I let some folks pass with way too many acts of foolishness; I overlooked and therefore did not request what I needed in my marriage, and I did not release the reigns on my children to allow them to do more than I’d given them credit for.
And that’s only the beginning. It felt as if I was trying to gobble up past, present and future endeavors in one bite and choking on all of it, getting nothing done well and sending my mind and body through torment in the process.
Finally, I made a decision. I would no longer operate under the stress of a resolution I made on the first day of the year. I decided I’d make new day resolutions. One day, I stood in the middle of my office and said to myself “One thing at a time, Di. One thing at a time.”
This has been helpful for me in many areas. I managed to get two publications within four months’ time, by writing one piece at a time. I brought some order and organization to my split roles at work. I took a ten-day trip out of the country without dropping the ball on things in the states. I increased my credit score by double digits. I started reading books for enjoyment again.
I’m still struggling with some things: I gained back about 15 pounds of the 15 pounds I lost. I didn’t take care of my hair like I wanted to, so the breakage is real. I didn’t publish the four articles I wanted to—just the two. And alas, I didn’t post as much on the blog as I wanted to.
But my sanity y’all, has been saved by taking things one day at a time. And when I realized this mantra was biblical, something I’ve been reciting from memory since I was three years old, I felt really stupid… Yes, stupid, but I knew I was on the right track.
God didn’t speak to me and tell me, “Lady! This is what I’ve been trying to tell you all along!” I didn’t even hear that song, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus.” Nope. I was in way too deep to really hear any of that. There was no still small voice like y’all be hearing. No scream came forth from the dark, dark night. It was like the disciple’s prayer just floated its way up to my mind the more I began to operate in the New Day way. “Give me this day…” And that was enough.
I don’t want anyone to think I’m discounting New Year’s Resolutions. I’m not. Some people need that, and they need to announce it so others can keep them accountable, I get it.
For those of us who beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. For those of us who struggle with feelings of failure. For those of you reading who truly think about what people will say if we don’t accomplish that New Year’s promise, we made to ourselves. For those of us who expect perfection from our imperfect selves, this New Day Resolution is the business.
Here’s what you do. You get up in the morning and say, “Hey New Day, whatcha got for me?” And when your New Day answers, you say, “well, here’s what I got for you.” And you do that one thing until it’s time to do something else. You get up and walk your three miles at 5 a.m. Go home and say, what’s next New Day? You shower and get ready for work, or breakfast, or meetings, or kids, or prayer calls, or whatever you have to do, one thing at a time. And do that one thing as well as your being will allow. That’s it! No pressure.
Go to bed and get ready for the next New Day without the pressure of the Old Day hanging over your head. Try it. I promise. You’ll thank the Lord for it.