Happy New Year! I know, I know, I’m a bit late in saying that, but I am just now getting back to my laptop after the holidays. I feel a bit breathless these days — my eyes bright, my cheeks flushed, and my heart full.
I loved getting so much good time with the people I love and I am so excited for the things 2017 has in store.
The one thing that’s not happy is that my husband Carl made me take down the Christmas tree. I thought if I was really quiet about it, and didn’t draw attention to it, I might be able to keep it up at LEAST until Valentine’s Day, but alas, he noticed it was still up, and down it came.
So the tree is down, and I’m officially ready to hit the ground running for 2017.
I don’t know about you, but I love the start of a new year.
I know that God’s mercies are new every single morning, and that at any moment of any day we can make a fresh start. But I love the fact that a new year gives us an excuse to stop, reflect, and make some new decisions and goals moving forward.
And so today, I wanted to share one of my goals with you!
One of my goals for 2017 is (surprise, surprise) to get in better shape.
I know, that’s the most cliché goal ever. But it’s only cliché because it’s something so many of us want to do.
I want to be diligent and faithful in taking care of myself. I want to feel strong and confident in my skin this year — even more than I already do. And more than anything, I want a challenge. It’s been years since I’ve been involved in sports or dance, and I miss being challenged physically. I wanted to give myself something that I could really work toward.
So getting in better shape is one of my goals for this year!
But okay… I have to confess: I’ve been at it for no more than a week, and today I looked in the mirror frustrated, wondering why I still look and feel the same.
Isn’t that terrible? I definitely know better than to think that health and fitness show up in full after a few days of mild exercise.
But still, I found myself feeling discouraged already — feeling like I was staring up a really tall mountain, wondering if I’d ever make progress, if I’d ever reach the goal that I set for myself.
And then I remembered a lesson I learned awhile back. I learned it when I was working on my course, Make The Most Of Your Single Life (which is actually coming back Feb 13th!! Click here to get on the waiting list!)
Creating a course like this is a MASSIVE undertaking that takes years of planning, and prep, and research, and then solid months upon months upon months to write, and create, and film, and edit.
I was in the midst of creating it when I had a similar thought. “I’m working and working, but am I making any progress? Am I ever going to make it to the top of this mountain? Am I ever going to get this done?”
It felt entirely impossible from where I was sitting that day. I was totally discouraged.
But in that moment an image popped into my mind, and I haven’t been able to shake it since.
I pictured the beautiful buildings I’ve seen around the world, and tried to imagine how in the world they were made. Yes, buildings are made possible by architects and engineers and lots of math and science. But at the end of the day, what built those buildings was a dedicated team working diligently every day, stacking up one stone at a time.
As I was working out today, I remembered that image, and I realized that’s how my goal is going to be achieved as well.
Fitness doesn’t happen overnight, in fact, nothing good really does. The biggest, best things in life happen when we show up faithfully day after day, stacking just one more stone on the pile.
That’s how truly great friendships are built!
We become better friends with people each time we hang out with them. We make more friends the more times we show up someplace new, the more conversations we initiate, the more coffee dates we go on, the more times we follow up to go on another. (Have you grabbed a copy of my free eBook on making new friends?)
Relationships are built one stone at a time. Businesses, blogs, careers, our faith are all built one stone at a time.
And that’s what I had to remind myself of today.
No, I can’t visibly see progress one week in. We rarely can, no matter what we’re working on. But if we keep showing up, and keep putting one stone on the pile each and every day, after awhile we’ll be able to look back and see that we’ve built something spectacular.
Have you ever heard that expression that says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
I remembered that when I was working on Make The Most Of Your Single Life, and whenever I’d get discouraged, I’d repeat that out loud. Sometimes I’d say it, sometimes I’d chant it, sometimes I’d sing it, and sometimes I’d shout it like a drill sergeant.
(Picture me, if you will, running around my house yelling like a drill sergeant “HOW DO YOU EAT AN ELEPHANT? ONE BITE AT A TIME! That actually happened… more than once.)
But that’s the reminder I needed to get that huge project done. It reminded me that big, amazing, impossible things are accomplished when we show up faithfully day after day and stack just one more stone onto the pile.
I finished the course that way, and that’s my plan for health and fitness too.
I don’t know what your New Years Resolutions are this year. Maybe they’re specific, maybe you have a big long list, or maybe you just have a few general ideas in mind.
But whatever they are, that’s how they’ll get accomplished. One stone at a time.
You can do this. You can start that blog, pursue that relationship, heal that broken heart, go deeper in your faith, lose a few pounds, get even stronger, get out of debt, ace the GRE, get that promotion.
We’re in this together, friend. Yell the elephant phrase if you need to, and know that I’ll be yelling it at my house, probably at the exact same time!
I’m calling it now. 2017 is going to be a great year! We can do this, one stone at a time.
All my love and a million blessings to you sweet friend!
P.S. Okay — I have a few big, exciting things to tell you! Ready? You aren’t going to want to miss these!
1. I’m going on a speaking tour this spring and I have a few dates left open! If you’d like to book me to come speak to your group, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be on tour from Feb 28th – March 5th, and dates are booking up fast, so email me as quickly as you can! I would LOVE to come and meet you! This is going to be so fun!
2. Doors to my course Make The Most Of Your Single Life are opening back up from Feb 13-17th! I am SO excited! If you haven’t checked it out yet, I would love to tell you more about it! You can hear all about it (and get your name on the waiting list) right here.
3. Not long ago a girlfriend asked me, “Stephanie, now that you’ve been married for two years, if you could go back and give your single self some advice, what would you tell her?” I just loved that question and so to answer it, I wrote 4 letters of the advice I would go back and tell my single self if I had the chance. It’s the advice I know would have made that season easier, happier, and more fulfilling. I would love to share those letters with you! Click this link, sign up, and the first letter will be in your inbox before you know it!