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Jan 1, 2015… I can do this.
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By Trish West

January 1 is more than the start of a new year; but a chance for many try again, start something different or set new goals for themselves. I know many who almost never make it to February before getting into the cookies or lighting a cigarette. I always thought starting an exercise program right in the dead of winter was a sure way to set yourself up for failure, especially the day after the first heavy snow fall. Another resolution I've heard from many, is that you'll go to church more… usually this one is made after attending a spectacular Christmas service and the bar is now set pretty high. It doesn't take long before the desire to sleep in wins over getting up early to attend regular service. If we want to save more money, have tighter abs or take time to relax and read more - then the desire, determination and accountability needs to be there.

The desire to make a change… whatever your resolution may be. The determination to stick it out... regardless of 12inches of snow or the temptation of late night snacking. The accountability to know that we are not alone - that when things get tough we have someone there cheering us on and lending their support.

This year has been a year of difficult change… some was to be expected and some was a complete surprise. Christmas will be a struggle to try and keep things ‘normal’ when obviously it is not and the New Year is now seen as a chance to start new… a clean slate. This is the first year that I am making a New Year’s resolution and it is more of a personal one. After a recent separation, Christmas will be difficult this year for the kids and I, so it seemed fitting that January 1st is a good day to 'start new'.

I have 2 out of the 3 things needed to succeed; the desire for change and to find the strength needed to move forward. I have the determination to succeed, not only for me but for each of my children as well. Now the last one - 'accountability' is one I am struggling with... who do I trust to confide in such a personal resolution and to then hold me accountable? Who can I share my struggles with when things are tough - to know there is no judgement or fear they will not understand? I started to pray for the answers when mid-prayer I stopped. Of course... who better than God himself? Who better than someone who is always there to listen to me, has words of encouragement and wisdom to help guide me and loves me unconditionally.

When I realized this, I also realized I didn't need to start January 1st for this change to happen in my life. Like many others who set up New Year resolutions - I don't have to worry if I make it past that February mark without feeling like I'm going 2 steps backwards or get discouraged when unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have the support and love needed to start now - to make those changes needed to move forward in the new direction life has taken me. I trust I will never be alone and will always have God by my side...holding me accountable for my own actions and my own choices as I seek change that will better my life, my children's as well as my relationship with Him.

I know I can do this.