Monday, January 24, 2011

I’m actually doing them: my New Years Resolutions after 3 weeks

I’ve referred before to my loathing and Ryan’s loving of New Years Resolutions before.  It’s caused problems in the past, but now we let each other be the goal-setters or non-goal-setters without interference. 

This year, however, I needed some help.  I’ve referred to my December somewhat obliquely over the last few posts, but, frankly, I’m suffering some mild depression.  I might blog further about it, but for now, I’m admitting it just as a background for the post.  I knew I had to make some behavior changes if I was going to feel better. 

I wrote a list of things I wanted to improve on the week after Christmas.  I think I had 38 things (no joke) on it.  I knew that it was a)impossible b)discouraging to work on all of those things.  I  needed to figure out what few things would be the most effective in my life to work on.  I knew I needed to talk to Heavenly Father about it, because He knows everything.

This is one of those times where I felt truly guided by the Spirit as I fasted and prayed over what should be my focuses in 2011.  I’m grateful, as always, that I can access my loving Heavenly Father when I’m struggling and seeking help.

This is what I came up with:

1.  I will not eat food that has sugar or corn syrup as one of the first three ingredients.  I will eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

2.  I will find a quiet, extended period of time to pray and read my scriptures, listening to the Spirit and writing down my thoughts.  That time, for me, is pre-workout.  As in 4:45 in the a.m.  (Yikes.)

3.  I will not get on the computer/blogs/email until I’ve done the essential things in my day, which include prayer, scripture study and 10 minutes of positive alone time with each child.  (I actually break this up into 3 kids in the morning—then computer, etc, during the day—then the last two kids after school, before I do anymore computering.)

4.  I will focus being a better mom to my kids by implementing the Ways to Show Love found in this article by Rex A. Skidmore…ONE per month.  (January is Showing Affection Through Touch.)

FaithandMom2

(Faith’s not hard to Show Affection to Through Touch, in case you  were wondering)

It is going pretty well.  I’m pretty disciplined and focused when I decide on something.  #1 and #2 I’ve been practically perfect at, and it hasn’t even been that hard.  #3 is definitely the biggest challenge when I walk around with a mini-computer in my back pocket all day, but as a good friend (Hi Sally) said recently “That computer is my Delilah…it saps my strength.”  #4 has been pretty easy, once I got going.  I’ve found that as I touch and show affection, I actually FEEL more affection (something I was struggling with, in consequence with the depression.) 

I could talk about each of these for an entire post, and probably will at a later date, but I just wanted to get them down for posterity, accountability and out of gratitude to a Heavenly Father who is always to be found when I seek. (D&C 88:63)

Thanks for listening.

34 comments:

Kimberly said...

That is awesome. You are inspiring and I learn so much from you. I really admire how you follow through. I hope your fog is lifting...

Ashley C said...

Great post, Jessica. I think so many women suffer from depression at times, and it really helps to be open about it. It definitely helps others to feel like they're not alone. So thank you for that. I have always been anti-New Year's Resolutions too. Until this year. I also decided that some things needed to change. It's such a great feeling when you make changes and stick to them. Good job! And thanks for sharing.

Lisa-Marie said...

What beautiful goals and testimony. I love your honesty and candid-ness.

IS #1 forever? a year? 6 weeks?

Brown Sugar said...

oh girl, this post was as uplifting as reading an article in the Ensign. I've got some things to think about.

Lindsey said...

I love this, and need to be doing a few more of the things on your list... in time, in time. Love it though, and thank you for being so open!

Lindsey said...

I love this, and need to be doing a few more of the things on your list... in time, in time. Love it though, and thank you for being so open!

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have wondered this past week, what is wrong with me? I decided tonight it is my complete lack of self control. (food, computer... food, computer... ;)) It is such a vicious cycle, but the worst part is seeing my kids feeling down and frustrated-- because they see me doing that. Tomorrow is a new day and many of my goals are the same as yours.

Jeanelle said...

I am amazed that you are happily and easily doing #1 - seriously, you are incredible. I'm sorry about the depression but hello, how awesome is Heavenly Father helping you to know exactly what you needed to work on? He totally loves us and I so adore being reminded of that fact. Keep on, keepin' on, sister! xoxo

Elizabeth said...

This is one good thing about the ticking over of a new year, you get to assess where you are and where you want to be.
Your list sounds great for both you and your loved ones... what could be better.
Good luck with it and I hope it helps lift your mood.

Carie said...

You never cease to amaze me. Which is pretty silly considering you are the most amazing person I know. I love your honesty, your commitment to becoming a better person, your willingness to share, and pretty much everything else about you.

I am still trying to get over #1. Not sure I could do that.

Jess said...

Jess R! I found you from Jess A's blog... Love your honesty and way to stick with your goals! You know I think you rock! Just sayin' it again!
Love, Jess #3

♥Shally said...

4:45 AM?!

You are superwoman. :)

the wrath of khandrea said...

you are fantastic. do what you do, girl.

jessica said...

And I thought I was a rock star for joining choir with Maya as one of my New Years Resolution....LAME!

Love You!

Sally said...

Jessica, it's 4:45. If you are up and reading your scriptures, good on ya, girl!

I really appreciated your post. I have been thinking about you and I hope you feel joy and sunlight today.

Lauren in GA said...

Jessica, you are truly one of the people I admire most in this world. I so appreciate your sharing your testimony of the miracles that can happen if we turn to Heavenly Father. It can be hard work and take discipline but is so worth it. I love you.

You look so beautiful in the picture. Your eyes and cheekbones and lips are so pretty. And Faith? What a darling girl she is. I want to hug her, too.

Jenna said...

Hmmm. I think I need to add the computer rule to my list. It's 8:45AM and I am reading blogs in my PJs. Yeah, I can improve in that area.

Linsey said...

I'm happy if you're happy. Congratulations on being so disciplined. And, thank you for being an inspiration for goodness and joy.

Cami said...

Good for you. Sticking to something is a great gift and talent.

Abbie said...

go! fight! win!

Christie said...

I've been struggling with depression, too, sista. You are not alone. I love how you went to the Lord first. I think that's a step I often forget. I make my plan and then get mad at him when it doesn't work out the way I want it to. Thanks for the reminder. Hang in there, okay?

Holly said...

Like always, your honesty is not only refreshing, it inspires me and encourages me.

Congrats on making changes--and sticking with it! After reading about Celia's changes I decided to give it a try too. I broke up with sugar and have been trying to follow the veggie/fruit plan. I'm starting week 4 and am constantly amazed by how much better I feel. I don't know why I could never give up sugar before, but this time I mean business, and am not missing it. I'm also less moody/irritable, so my family is highly supportive of these changes. :)

Keep up the great work!!

Holly said...

And I forgot to say I felt the same way, under a fog of depression, for much of 2010 and I'm realizing a lot of it comes down to the junk I was eating.

I'm so happy for you and am glad you are feeling better.

missy said...

I'm sorry to hear you are going through a difficult time. I don't know if I've ever commented before, but I've been reading your blog for a while now and I feel like we're friends. You just have a way of pulling your readers in and making us feel welcome. So I wish there was something I could do to help. It is inspiring to see your plan and your determination to get through the fog. I really look up to you. You've helped me deal with my "highly spirited" 5-year old and to look differently at the random moments of life with each of my kids. Thanks for being real and honest. Today I clicked on some of your notable blog posts on the left. Your 'love story' posts are sure to lift your spirits. They sure lifted mine! :)

Margaret said...

You continue to inspire me!

Camden said...

You're an incredible person. i can relate to the mild depression sapping your strength. Nothing i've felt that I've needed to seek help for before but enough that it's driven me to my knees--like you.

I'm also not a big fan of the long list of resolutions we typically do. This year, as a result of a youth conference I attended, I focused on 'laying down the weapons of my rebellion'. The idea being that if I put aside the things that are keeping me from feeling the spirit/improving my self then I make room for those two things.

Good luck. Thanks for sharing.

Mamma said...

Jessica,
Have you heard of the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin? Based on your desire for change in 2011 I think you'd find this very interesting.
If you decide to read it let me know what you think.
Hang in there,
Linda (Karen's BFF)

Fun Funky Flowers said...

Jessica, you don't know me, but I love reading your blog. Thank you for your honesty. Years ago, I went through a depression after having my last baby, and the book "Potatoes, not Prozac" really helped me overcome it, just through changing my diet (it sounds like you have already done that), exercise, and making sure I was spending some time outside each day. I am glad the Lord has given you some peace, comfort, and direction, but don't beat yourself up about it; depression is a real, physical problem, and requires the same attention as if you had something wrong with your kidneys or liver. Hang in there!

Rochelleht said...

That reminds me, I gotta get off this dang thing and go take a shower.

Adrianne said...

as always, you inspire me. Arizona sunshine is known to do wonders for depression. And you get me too!!! 4:45? How do you stay awake to pray/meditate?

Brooke said...

What ambitious and great goals. 4:45 is oh so early, good for you though! I hope you feel uplifted and loved as you keep working on all these things. You are an inspiration. I hope the blues don't linger long. I know how that can be no fun. Have a great week and remember how loved you are even way out in OK.

Brooke Romney said...

Well, I think you are amazing! It seems I love everything you say, do and recommend. I really admire you for turning to the Lord during tough times. That's not easy. I especially admire you for waking up at 4:45. In all honestly, that is still the middle of the night in my mind. Lots of love to you!

Shopper Gal said...

Jess- this just makes my heart sing. I'm happy to hear you are finding that important time for yourself (even if it's the insanely early hour-BOO)
That photo of you & F just makes me smile. You are an incredible Mom, Wife and Friend :)
HUGS!!!

Gabi said...

Great post! Clearly, I have been limiting my screen time as well...the only bummer about it is that it takes me so long to read inspiring words like these.

I think I'm the only person alive still eating sugar.

Keep up the great great work!