Something Good- Day 3

A lot of good things happened today. There were also some not so great things, but it was a good day overall. It might be silly, but what stood out to me most was being able to cook today. I don’t get to cook very often because I usually get home from work around 7pm, which is pretty late to start cooking. I did not feel well this morning though and left work early. I started feeling better mid afternoon and decided to make some omelets for dinner, which were delicious. It was nice to just be able to do something I haven’t done in a long time.


Something Good- Day 1

A few years ago I had some Asian roommates that told me about their tradition of taking out the trash before the new year because they believed what you brought into the new year was what you got out of it. I wanted to start this year that same way- with a clean slate. Today we cleaned up everything, took out the trash, put away decorations, and organized the majority of the house. I am tired tonight, but it feels amazing to know my house is clean and that much closer to where I want it to be this year.

New Year

There are a few hours left until the new year. Depending on where you are in the world, it might already be 2018.

I have never been the type of person to put much significance into dates, but I love the idea of a clean slate. I love that each year can bring something new and exciting. I have grown so much in the past few years that I’m not sure what’s left to work on. I know that I can and will continue to improve, but there’s nothing I feel I specifically need right now. I have had years of learning and improving in areas like forgiveness, love, patience, strength, faith, and hope. Now, I feel like this year can be less about improving and more about doing.

I want to get a new job. I want to make new friends. I want to find new ways to serve and help others. And I want to do more. I want to love more. I want to serve more. I want to do more in my callings at church. I want to do more with my friends. I want to do more with my family. I want to do more crafts and read more books and make more art. Now that I have improved mentally and physically and emotionally, I feel like it is time to just be everything I have become and more. This will be my year to do.

What is this new year for you?

A New Resolution

People have been asking me over the past week what my new year’s resolutions are. Up until this point, I have been in survival mode. I wasn’t thinking about the year… I was simply trying to get through the day. But today, the dust seems to have finally settled, and I discovered the one thing that I really want to do this year.

I simply want to be myself.

I spent so much of last year being sick, either physically or mentally, that I just couldn’t do the things I wanted to do. I couldn’t talk to people. I couldn’t exercise or play sports. I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t do little random acts of kindness. I couldn’t help around the house. I did some of these things anyway, but it took everything out of me.

This year, I want to enjoy being me. I want to go running just because I feel like it. And I want to talk to new people at church. I want to bake a cake and make cookies and get dinner ready, just for fun, just because I can. And I want to wash dishes and do extra laundry loads and vacuum. (Oh how I want to vacuum!) I just want to be able to do all the things my illnesses prevented me from doing.

You don’t really realize how precious those things are until you lose them. Having depression made me miss exercise so much. Breaking my thumb made me miss simply being able to tie my own shoes. Having anxiety and depression made me miss just being able to have a normal conversation with someone. And my health issues and depression made me miss being able to maintain a clean house.

So, though it may not seem like much to an outsider, I am excited to be able to do the normal stuff this year. And my resolution is simply to enjoy doing it because I have waited so long for this moment.

A New Year

It’s a relief that 2016 has ended. It hasn’t been the worst year for me. In many ways, it was one of the best years. But it was also one of the hardest years. I suffered a lot, but I gained a lot of reassurance and realized how strong I can be.

Still, this new year, my resolution is simply to do hard things. Life can be hard, and right now, dealing with insurance and appointments and changing jobs is hard. I don’t know what 2017 will bring, but I know I’m committed to pressing on.

This past year was so draining. I feel like I don’t have much left to give anymore. But… It’s a new year. It’s a chance for new beginnings. It’s an opportunity to let go of any hurt or disappointments or negative feelings. So, whatever I have left in me is what I will give. I will give my all. I will do the hard things. I will be who I want to be. And most importantly, no matter what happens, I won’t give up.

Just Keep Going

It’s pretty amazing how much can happen in a year. I went back to college in January, working on my second bachelor’s degree (this time in computer science.) I also started this year with some unknown health issues. As soon as I started to figure out what to do for my health, I plunged into the worst depression of my life. As soon as I figured out medications to get out of that darkness, I got in a car crash that totaled my first car and broke my first bone (a little bone in my thumb that will remain broken for the rest of my life).

So, needless to say, it’s been an eventful year. But in the midst of all the brokenness and difficulties, some of the best moments of my life took place. I made some of the best friends I have ever had and strengthened many of my prior friendships. I learned what I am made of and who I truly am when all the layers are stripped away.

I have grown so much. I have been broken and humbled, but I have also learned to love myself. I learned that I was worthy of love and was able to see the good in me. But… I hope next year is easier. Even though this year has been one of immense growth, I am ready for a break. I am ready for things to get a little easier for me.

For the last few years, I have given a gift to Christ for his birthday. This year, my gift is just to keep going. Things have been so hard. I haven’t wanted to go on. I’ve just wanted to give up. So my gift is simply to endure, to not give up no matter how hard it gets or how much I want to. I pray this next year is easier, but my commitment is to not lose faith no matter how hard it gets. I will hold on to hope. I will keep on keeping on.

Going into 2016

2015 was a year of growth and learning. I am a different and better person than I was 365 days ago.

Here’s 16 things I learned last year that will help me live better in 2016:

  1. I may feel lonely, but I am never alone in this world. There are more people rooting for me and praying for me than I ever imagined.
  2. I am a better person than I give myself credit for.
  3. Sometimes it’s good to hate yourself because it gives you a reason to become better.
  4. It’s scary to talk to people, but the friends are so worth it.
  5. You would be surprised at who you can forgive.
  6. It’s easier to eat healthy than you would think.
  7. Trials aren’t as hard when you know you’re loved.
  8. You don’t have to spend lots of time with friends to stay close to them.
  9. It’s okay to have horrible, no good, very bad days sometimes.
  10. When you think you’re being vulnerable and overly candid, it may not be as bad as you think.
  11. Christmas music is really okay to play before Thanksgiving.
  12. Therapy really can make a big difference.
  13. Sometimes you have to go back home to realize you already were home.
  14. I’m not the same person I used to be and things really are changing for me.
  15. Depression isn’t always a choice, but gratitude can be.
  16. It’s okay to be autistic.


I don’t tend to put much meaning into milestones. My birthday is an arbitrary date that just happens to mark when I can say I am older. Likewise, New Year’s day is an arbitrary date that marks the beginning of a new calendar. In all reality, it is a social construct to keep everyone in sync with each other. This is evidenced by leap year. We have to readjust our time keeping to coincide with the time keeping of the Earth.

I know this is all pretty much irrelevant because everything is basically a mental construct of reality and is defined by what we believe. However, my point is that I don’t feel any greater need to determine my resolutions near January 1st than any other time of year. In fact, I think you are more likely to accomplish your goals if you start long before January 1st.

For instance, goals to exercise or eat healthier are generally reserved for after the holidays because people feel it will be easier with less temptations. However, there will always be temptations. By waiting until after the holidays, you are essentially telling yourself that you cannot resist temptations and therefore should not attempt to change habits that are likely to remain the same. Resolution shares the same root word as resolute and resolve. If you really have a resolve to change, why would you wait until New Year’s day to make that change?

Resolution also has the word solution in it. If you are deciding to implement a solution, wouldn’t you want to start right away? Why wait to fix your life or your marriage or your work responsibilities? If you have a solution to a real problem, why would you not want to do it right away?

So this year, I am making one, and only one, resolution. That resolution is to not wait until next year to make changes in my life. If I see something that needs to be changed or fixed or improved, I’m going to start right away. I am going to be resolute and determined in my resolve to be better and to find and implement solutions in my life. I am going to not just make goals and resolutions, but do them.

Why Wait?

I’m usually a big Christmas person. I love giving to people. I love an excuse to give. And I love loving others and showing them I love them.

This year though, I wasn’t excited like usual. It seemed useless. The presents I bought all year long sit in their boxes, unopened, untouched, unwrapped.

Tonight though, I realized something. I don’t need an excuse to be generous. I don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful or until Giving Tuesday to give money to charities or until Christmas to give gifts or until New Year’s day to make resolutions. I can be thankful all year; I can give gifts all year; I can make goals all year. I don’t have to wait for an excuse to do good.

What I like best about Christmas is being Christ-like all the time. What I like best about Christmas is remembering Christ every day. What I like best about Christmas is it doesn’t have to be a one day or one month thing. It can be an every day thing if we just live like Christ was born every day because he was born but more importantly, he is alive. And because he was born and because he does live, every day can be Christmas.

We don’t have to be confined to one day generosity. We don’t have to be confined to one day thankfulness. We can make every day Christmas and every day Thanksgiving if we just allow ourselves to love every day. And that is a beautiful thing.


Have you set your New Year’s resolutions this year?

I have been thinking lately about all of the New Year’s resolutions that are abandoned as the year goes on. A resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something” or “the quality of being determined or resolute.” So if resolutions are supposed to be firm decisions, why do we so easily forget or disregard them? How do we make resolute resolutions?

Most people have heard of “SMART” and “WISE” goal setting. SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely. And you need to be WISE in order to work toward fulfilling those goals. (People have different terms for the WISE acronym.)

Together, these philosophies can help you work to make and keep your goals. However, the problem with both of these is that they only come into play after you decide what goal you want to make. So most people’s goals tend to be focused on changing behavior, which means that people are expecting to be able to change their behavior without changing the causes of that behavior.

Sometimes life does work out in a way that allows our behavior to change our thoughts, but usually it is our thoughts that change our behavior. So I’ve come up with my own acronym to help you with deciding what goals to make in the first place. I hope that this will help you to make goals that will make you want to change rather than simply change your behavior.

Here are my steps to GREAT goals:




The first step to making a great goal is to get ready. You need to be ready to change, ready to become better than you are now. You get ready by recognizing a desire to change. That desire could be due to health problems, family concerns, or mental or emotional needs. For example, “I want to be healthier because I have a family history of diabetes.”As much as you can, try to get to the root of what causes the behavior you want to change and then determine why you want to change.

Next, explore the areas you want to change. If you want to be healthier, explore your options for becoming healthy. If you don’t enjoy using exercise equipment, don’t make a goal to go to the gym. Instead explore options like walking around a mall. Look at your behavior and explore options that you would enjoy doing. If you take the time to explore the areas you want to change, you’ll likely find an option to change that you can commit to doing.

Then, turn your life to make the change you want to see. It’s good to make goals to change behavior but unless you choose to change yourself, your behavior will likely remain unchanged. You need to commit to turning your life. Turn in the direction you want your life to go. Make your goals part of your life rather than add-ons. Integrate your goals into your normal routine or better yet integrate your normal routine into your goals.

Once you’ve decided to make great goals, be smart and wise in how you make those goals a reality. Get help and feedback along the way. Changing yourself isn’t easy so use all the help you can get.

Good luck with your goals this year!