Every year, I look forward to a time of new opportunities and fresh starts. Halfway through my 20s, it became common practice to set a theme for my year - a way to align my goals and work toward something specific (or sometimes something not so specific). I choose a theme instead of one word - as is common for many people - because I don't like to be tied down (no one puts Baby in a corner!) to one idea and, for me, choosing just one word is difficult. (Hi, my name is Katie and I like to talk.)
You may remember my theme from a few years ago: What Would A Thrifty Beyonce Do? (My favorite to date...a turning point of sorts). And last year's of Embrace It - an effort to embrace the new city I had been placed in by checking off "must do" Houston things (I'm still working on that list and realized I never wrote a follow up post about the progress of it...typical...I'll work on it).
This year, in true procrastinator's fashion, I took my sweet time deciding on a 2017 theme. After some reflection, it came to me (that's right - you can set an annual theme in March. You're an adult...you can do whatever you want):
W O R K T H E P L A N
Over the last two or so years, I've become very aware of how well I work within a set of boundaries, rules, and/or guidelines. My first taste of this was when I began my Financial Peace Project, holding hard and fast to Dave Ramsey's principles for money. For a year and a half I was diligent with using cash for purchases, working my debt snowball, and telling my money where to go. In 2016, I got S U P E R lazy with my snowball. I was still paying more than the required minimum payments for each of my debts, but I was not working the snowball in the way it is meant to be worked. Because I wasn't putting in the effort the way I needed to be, my financial plan didn't really work for me in the way that it could have. Basically - you can't half-ass the plan.
My second taste of this has been with food. I've essentially been living a pseudo-Paleo lifestyle for the past couple of years. Eating some healthy stuff, with a lot of crappy stuff thrown in. My weight has ALWAYS fluctuated and I have always had a sensitive stomach. It wasn't until I tried Whole30 that I began to see results - both in how I looked, and more importantly, in how I felt. But you can't half-ass a Whole30 either. It's a very strategic and specific plan that works wonders if you will just let it. But you have to actually work the plan.
Oh, but there is another plan that will work if you'll actually let it. Do you know where I'm going with this yet? Can you feel it? Yep, that's right.
G O D ' S P L A N
When I was home for Christmas, I experienced several moments of contentment. A feeling of knowing that I was, indeed, exactly where I needed to be, and a reminder that God had a plan for my life. This totally had nothing to do with a mini verbal-tizzy that I had with a friend where I was explaining to her why I-was-online-dating-even-though-I-didn't-really-want-to-be-online-dating-but-was-doing-it-because-I-felt-like-I-had-to-because-EVERYONE-was-online-dating. (But that's another story for another day). She patiently listened, nodded, and then said, "And in the meantime, God's up there like 'Girl, I got you - stop freaking out!'" (Yes, this is how we think God talks to us. I think we're right).
This is when I decided that this year I am going to focus on just working the plan. This looks like taking things one step at a time. Praying through the uncomfortable parts of the plan and celebrating the victorious parts. It looks a lot like trusting that the plan that I'm on is exactly the plan I need to be on. That God has me in my lane for a reason, and I need to stay in it and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing in their lanes. This is how accidents happen, people!
So in 2017, you can find me over here just working plans, trusting boundaries, occasionally seeing how far I can push those boundaries (a girl needs an exciting life, right?), and staying in the lane God has placed me in.
What's your theme or word? Have you set one? It's not too late. ;)