It's hard to believe 2012 is here! At the begining of each year I like to set goals for myself, but I tend to look at them on a quarterly basis rather than over the year. Breaking them up into quarterly bites is easier to swallow and I'm more likely to see them through.
Setting my running goals for the year have been easy. I want to run four half marathons and my goal is to run sub 2:10 in at least one, though I'm hoping to be sub 2:05 by fall. I want to run the Clarksburg 10k in under 55 minutes and at least one 5k in under 27 min to PR at all distances this year. My total mileage goal is 1000 miles in 2012. I feel pretty confident about each of these goals.
Setting goals for my personal and spirtual life are more difficult, so I've spent some time in prayer asking for direction on the areas of my life that need attention or areas where I'm still not willing to relinquish control and let God guide my steps. Several weeks ago it became apparent that the first area of my life I needed to tend to was my diet.
Last year was not a healthy year for me, I struggled with an ongoing illness that in September was identified as gall bladder disease which resulted in surgery. I'm feeling much better but I've really struggled to get my diet in check. I am about 75% vegetarian, never eat fried foods and seldom eat red meat, but I do have a terrible weakness for chocolate, baked goods and sweets in general. My diet has become so restricted due to a recently identified mild gluten and lactose intolerance that I find myself leaning toward empty calorie snacks and frozen meals because it's easier and requires less thought and frustration.
These dietary restrictions have really consumed much of my life over the past year, so it wasn't surprising to me that this would be an area for me to focus. For the first 90 days of the year I'm giving up refined sugars and desserts, with the exception of natural sugars such as those found in fruits, honey and agave nectar. This includes, obviously, my beloved chocolate, in every form. It's only been two days and so far so good, but I will surely be tested in the months to come which will require a great deal of prayer to get through. So stay tuned I'm sure there will be many entries on my struggles here. My focus will be on whole foods, not processed pre-packaged foods and less eating out in order to avoid hidden sugars that will only lead to cravings.
I've continued to pray for additional guidance on my goals for the new year, as its clear my diet isn't the only area I need to cleanup. I've been doing a much better job reading my bible, I'm 30 days into a plan that will have me reading through the bible in a year, I'm making some progress in my daily prayer life, but I haven't really felt movement which has left me frustrated and perplexed. I know that God is moving in my life but something has felt off. My prayer today was simply "Lead me and give me wisdom." My prayers are seldom poetic or profound. After reading in my bible I dove back into the book I've recently started, Relentless by John Bevere. What specifically struck me was the discussion around 2 Cor 7:1.Let's make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let's make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God. More Passionate, More Responsible (2 Corinthians 7:1 MSG) I looked up a couple of translations of this verse and this one really moved me. Its clear It's time to clean house! I'm still not sure where exactly He will lead me or what distractions specifically have been getting in the way, though I'm sure there are many, but I'm ready for the journey!
2012 is going to be a great year regardless of what comes my way because I have been given the most precious gift of God's empowering and abundant grace to see me through.