No New Year’s Resolutions

 

 

 

picture of a New Year's celebration

 

It’s that time of year again! It’s officially 2018! Out comes the pencils and notepads to jot down your New Year’s Resolutions. Every new year I hear the same old thing.

 

“What are your New Year’s resolutions?”

 

Or

 

“It’s now a new year. What are some things you’re going to do differently in the year . . . ?”

 

Hmm . . . Let me think on that for a moment. I DON’T SET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS! I DON’T SET NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS! That’s my answer to those questions every time someone dares to ask me. It is utterly ridiculous that you have to wait until a new year comes around to get your life in order. I’m always hearing things like:

 

“In the new year I’m going to lose weight.”

 

Or

 

“In the new year I’m going to get out of debt.”

 

Or even

 

“In the new year I’m going to go back to school.”

 

Why wait for a new year to do these things? Why does a new year mean that you have to finally get your life in check? I can’t, and never will understand people’s logic about setting New Year’s resolutions. If there are goals you want to accomplish in your life, then do it! Don’t wait for a new year to begin to go for your dreams. Do it now! Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so why wait? Why put off what you can accomplish today?

 

If you’re not happy with your size 65 pants, then do something about it. If you’re struggling to get out of $5,000,000 worth of debt, then do something about it. If you’re tired of not getting a job with your second-grade education, then do something about it. Of course, you guys know I’m joking about these items, but you get my point. Do these things now, not when a new year begins. If you really are determined to accomplish your goals, then you will do what you have to do in order to make it happen. The only person stopping you from getting ahead is yourself. The same way you can make these New Year’s resolutions when a new year rolls around, is the same way you can set these same goals any other time of the year and put forth effort to accomplish them.

 

When I set goals for myself, I set goals that I can accomplish short-term and long-term. I set goals throughout the year. If I say I want to lose twenty pounds, then I just start the process right then. I don’t wait until January 1 to begin my diet/fitness regimen. As soon as the idea of something I want to do comes to mind, I begin strategizing ways to tackle that task. If that means I have to lay off the cookies and cakes, then that’s what I have to do. If I want to get out of debt, then I know I will have to put myself on a budget, so I can get my debt under control. There’s nothing to it, but to do it. No excuses. No hesitation. Get started on accomplishing your goals throughout the year. Yes, a new year means new beginnings, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to begin something new.

 

Every day you wake up with strength in your body and a sound mind is another opportunity for you to achieve your goals. Take the opportunities that are laid out before you. No one wants to live with regrets, so take advantage of the time you do have. I know there are probably tons of things you have listed on your New Year’s resolution list, but how much of it will you really accomplish? What crazy and outlandish things have you promised yourself you’re going to do in the New Year? I’m sure it’s plenty, but sadly you probably won’t stick to not one of the things you’ve listed. Why put that type of pressure on yourself when you can set goals anytime and take your time completing them? Most of the time people set these New Year’s resolutions that they won’t even stick to. What’s the point in making that list when by February, you will have fallen back into your same routine?

 

Then another new year will roll around and you will be back at it again.

 

“In the new year I’m going to lose weight.”

 

And

 

“In the new year I’m going to get out of debt.”

 

Why put yourself through all of that? Just pick goals that you can stick to and make them any time of year, not just at the beginning of a new year. Put effort, real effort into achieving the goals you set for yourself. Make sure they are reasonably within your ability to complete. Even if you don’t succeed at accomplishing a goal you have set for yourself to achieve at a certain time, you still have plenty of time to get it done. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just readjust your goals to make them easier for you to complete.  I know some of you are going to totally disregard this post and still make your resolutions anyway, and you are free to do so, but save yourself the time and stress. Don’t make any New Year’s resolutions.

What is Love?

 

Picture background of pink, white, and red hearts

 

“Love is a verb that requires action to have true meaning. Without action, it is just another noun.” – Blaque Diamond 

 

This article is dedicated to the two people I love most in the world. The two people who helped me discover what love feels like.

 

Samantha Cunningham Jones

Quinton Terrell Jones

 

I decided to make this topic my writing prompt for today. Love. Such a small word, but it has such a big meaning. Love represents different things for different people, so what you think is love, and what I think is love, may be totally different. Neither one of us is wrong, we just see love differently. What is love? What does love mean to you? How do you know how to love? These are questions that I have been asked by several people in my life. Just recently, while walking with my walking partner during our break at work, he asked me,

 

“What is love to you? How do you know how to love?”

 

We have very deep conversations while we strive to get in our daily exercise. I love stimulating conversations, and I especially like conversations that make me think. Although, I didn’t have to think too hard about this subject. Love is something that has always interested me. There is being in love, and there is having love. Most people throw around the word love just like any other word because they don’t know that there is a difference in the way you use the word. You can have love for someone without being in love with them. When I use this way of speaking of love, I’m referring to relationships, friendships, family etc. Yes, I can love your new coat, or love to read, but that kind of love isn’t in the same context I am relating this article in. That type is more of a strong like for something.

 

I was also asked the same question while doing a podcast interview back in August of this year. Ms. Blue asked me,

 

“How can you love if you’ve never experienced love before?”

 

My response to her and my co-worker was the same.

 

“Love to me is natural. It isn’t something that I had to learn to do. I love because my heart allows me to. If you have to learn how to love someone, then you don’t know what love truly is. Love comes from the heart. It is a natural reaction. No amount of teaching can teach a person to love if it’s not in them to do so.”

 

To most people that may be confusing, but to me it’s clear as day. Growing up, I never heard the words “I love you” from my parents. I don’t think the word love was ever even mentioned in our household. There were no signs of love at home either. There weren’t any hugs or kisses, displays of affection, or words of endearment. So, as you can see, I never experienced love from my parents while I was growing up. At home is where love should first begin, but that wasn’t the case for me. I grew up in a loveless household. If love lived there, then it was well-hidden from my reach, or maybe it wasn’t meant for me to receive love there. So, I was thrust out into the world without ever once knowing what it felt like to be loved by someone.

 

As I journeyed into adulthood, I got into relationships looking for the love that I never received at home. All I ever wanted was someone to love me. One bad relationship after another left me still wondering what love was. What was so wrong with me that I wasn’t good enough for someone to love? Yes, guys told me that they loved me, but based on their actions, the love wasn’t genuine. To them, love meant me being pushed into a wall, or their hands wrapped around my neck if I didn’t do what they wanted me to do when they said do it. That was their version of love. Being a young girl out in the world by herself, I started to believe that maybe that was what love really was. My parents were supposed to love me, and all they did was abuse and neglect me. So, a man saying that he loved me right before he smacked me across the face seemed natural. It was all I had ever known. Love for me meant pain.

 

When I finally took a hiatus from dating and took time to delve into myself, I found my answer to what love was. Despite the hurt and pain that others had put me through, I still loved them. Even though I tried to tell myself that I didn’t, deep inside I knew I loved them. I couldn’t explain how I could love people who did nothing but hurt me. I tried for a while to define my feelings and pick a part my reasoning’s. But I was always brought back to the same statement.

 

“Love to me is natural. It isn’t something that I had to learn to do. I love because my heart allows me to.”

 

The lesson that I had to learn while searching for love was to learn to love myself. Even though I had never experienced love and didn’t know what being loved felt like, I knew that before I could truly love someone else, I had to love myself first. How can you expect someone to love you when you can’t love yourself? That was a question that I repeated to myself over and over again over the years. One day I sat down at my computer and opened a brand-new word document. At first, I had no idea what I should write, so I just sat there for a while. Finally, the thought came to me. I wrote this exact question.

 

What do I love about me?

 

Once I wrote that question, I began writing all the things down that I loved about myself. The more I actually thought about it, the more things flowed from my mind to the computer screen. Once I had listed all the things that I loved about myself, I sat back and went through the list. I was surprised at how much I loved about myself. Things that I hadn’t even thought of reflected how I felt about myself in my words. I couldn’t believe that there was so much about me that I could love. It didn’t matter to me anymore that I had never been loved by someone else. I had enough love for myself to suffice. Of course, I knew God loved me, but to know that I had so much good about myself that I could love actually brought tears to my eyes.

 

I worked on me over the years building up my self-esteem and my self-confidence in myself. Never being told anything good about myself had me thinking that there wasn’t anything good about me, but after making my list and frequently going back to look it over, I knew that I was worthy of love. While I was on that journey to self-love, I met some wonderful people who showed me what being loved felt like. For the first time in my life at the age of twenty-one, I knew what it felt like to be loved. Even though I was in a relationship at the time that was loveless, I had two people in my life that I knew for sure loved me without a doubt. There love had no limitations, and there were no boundaries that their love wouldn’t cross for me. I am eternally grateful to them for being the first people to show me true and unconditional love. Because of them and my own self-awareness, I now know what love is. I know how it feels to be loved, because I love myself, and they love me also.

 

What is love to you? Leave me your comments below. I would love to hear from you on the topic of love.