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Fifty Two Weeks: Week Five

It's probably week number four that I always de-rail in this process. I even forgot to publish the post I wrote about it last week, oops. The two goals were to set goals and to keep a food journal, which is the one I always struggle with. Well, this time was no different. I made it through one blasted day of food journaling and then I stopped. I stopped everything. I mean, everything. I gave up on my 64 ounces of water, I averaged about 4,000 steps a day, and I didn't journal once.

This time, though, I'm not ready to throw in the towel. I may have failed last week, but tomorrow starts a new week. A week with no mistakes in it (yet).

And that's kind of what week five is all about: Looking at the glass half full, or developing a more optimistic view.

So, in the book, the author suggests using affirmations. I've always felt super weird looking in the mirror and saying "You got this!" to my visibly skeptical reflection. But I've decided to delve a little deeper into the power of them by researching them more and attempting to incorporate them somehow into my life throughout this week.

The second item to work on this week is making daily to do lists. I don't do this now and I honestly waste a pretty large chunk of my time. Hopefully this will help me develop a sense of structure to my days and help me to achieve more throughout this upcoming week.

May 2017 Goals

Lose 5 pounds.
Walk 3 times a week.
Try a new form of exercise. (Yoga, this month.)
Drink 64oz of water a day.
Eat at home and take my lunch to work at least 4 days this week.
Self Development
Journal at least twice a week.
Read 20 pages a day.
Watch a sermon or listen to a Christian podcast twice a week.
Create playlists for different moods.
Make "dates" with a friend twice a week.
Cook something for my parents once a week and take it to them. (Obviously...but still.)
Give one genuine compliment a day.
Go to the farmers' market and shop locally every Saturday.
Visit a church.
Find a local event coming up that I can participate in.
Empty dishwasher at the beginning of each day.
Empty sink at the end of each day.
Declutter for 15 minutes each week.
Work on my lawn every weekend.

Essential Verses | March

Essential Verses | February

What verses are you seeing differently this month?

Essential Verses | January

 I've decided to pick a verse to focus on each week this year and at the end of each month, to share those verses with you. Sometimes you have read a verse a thousand times, but one day, something just clicks and you see it all differently. That's why I want to make it a point to really meditate on a verse each week.

These are some verses that stood out to me during my Bible study in January.
What verses were your eyes opened to this month?

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting // Week One

One of my biggest goals for 2017 is to step up my prayer life. Prayer is a vital part of a Christian's life, and I gotta admit, I've been slacking. I've been going to Highlands off and on for over a year now and have heard some amazing things about 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, but I haven't participated, until this year. I really felt the urge to give up something for 21 days and to use this new found free time advancing in my walk with Christ. 

So, from January 8th-28th, I will be doing what is called a "soul fast". I'm not going to be fasting from any food item, but if that's what you feel called to do, do it! Personally, I'm giving up Facebook and Netflix.

Over the last few weeks, I've been feeling convicted about the amount of time I waste on Facebook and watching TV. I meaninglessly scroll through my FB feed multiple times daily. Don't get me wrong; social media has it's place. It brings people together and can be a great way to keep in touch, especially for our family and friends who are far away. But when does it become a hindrance? I think we can each search our own hearts on this issue, but to me, it becomes a problem when I start using it to: compare, "stalk", brag, argue with strangers on different subjects (yep), and distract. 

As far as Netflix, it's pretty much a huge time waster in general. I enjoy watching TV and movies just as much, if not more, than everyone I know. TV and movies are generally very appealing to us because they distract us from our everyday normalcy and our problems. But keep in mind, television feeds our minds with all kinds of useless information, two of which are untrue expectations of love and relationships and a total absence of morals. 

 Both of these things have been weighing heavy on me, so I'm going to do without them for a total of 21 days and then slowly bring them back, if I feel the need to do so. 

What is one thing in your own life you could do without?

Beaming with Positivity

Do you know what can be a real wet blanket on a good day? When someone radiates negativity. Nothing brings my mood down faster than a complainer or a pessimist, someone who sees only the empty half of the glass.
Sure, it's hard and sometimes downright impossible to see the good in everything. I'm not suggesting you be blind to the world or it's problems. But here's the thing; the way the world sees us is based a lot on our attitude, so as a follower of Christ, it's very important we exude life and joy. Here's a few ways we can be a little more positive!

1. Stop complaining. This is a hard one and I struggle with this sooo much. As a teenager, a guy told me "I've never met someone who complains as much as you." Ouch! That was a wake-up call. Who wants to hang out with that girl? What an easy question to answer: nobody. Be more mindful of your words. You don't like this song? Ok, understood, but you don't have to tell someone who does enjoy it. Hate your job? Maybe instead of telling everybody about how much it sucks, look for something else.
“What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.” -Maya Angelou