Happy New Year from my back porch!

It’s that time of year when we’re all making resolutions, resolving to do more of this, and less of that. For most of us, it’s losing weight, exercising more, eating better, etc. etc.

For sure, one of my mantras for this is year is #20in20. I definitely want to lose these same (and last) 20 pounds that I’ve been trying to lose since Abbey was born. In 1997. She was born in 1997, y’all. She’s 22.

BUT, this note isn’t anything about losing weight. It’s more about habits, and changing 1 or 2 things, in order to make actual sustainable changes. Here’s what I mean….

Last year, I made 2 adjustments (created new habits) at the beginning of the year. And I am thrilled to tell you that I stuck with them! I have never stuck with a “resolution” in my life. Like, EVER. And last year – 2019 – I stuck with 2 of them!

First, I didn’t call my adjustments resolutions. I didn’t even use the word. I made 2 decisions. They were:

Read the Bible in a Year. Did I finish? No. But, here’s the thing, I didn’t quit! Years prior, I would start the Bible Plan for fill-in-the-blank year, and I’d get to about April. So, I added a layer (new approach) last year. I told myself, “No podcasts, Audiobooks, or any other electronic consumption until you do your daily readings. I made that one adjustment, and I stuck to it. I started out each day listening or reading my daily scriptures before I listened to anything else. Yes, there were days I missed, but there was never a day that I listened to a podcast without having listened or read scripture first. As I mentioned, I didn’t finish in one year, but I will this year!! And does it really matter if we finish in 1 year or 18 months? The point isn’t the timeframe, but the fact that we’re in the Word!

The 2nd habit/re-framing I did was that I looked at the start of every month as a “mini new year.” Yes, I am crazy! I don’t know why I have always loved the first of every month, but I have! Maybe it’s the whole fresh start thing. My favorite times of the year are the first of the year, back to school, and the first day of every month. Each feels like a new beginning, a re-set, a new season, or a new chapter.  Actually, if you think about it, as believers, we get a “clean slate” every morning! Oh thank you, Jesus, that your mercies are new every day! Ok, back to what I was saying… Last year, I decided to make the 1st of every month a re-set. I took a few minutes to evaluate what I accomplished the month before, how I ate, how often I exercised, how much I read, and so on. Perhaps it’s just me playing games with myself, but it really did help me last year. By nature, I tend to chuck it all if I slip. For example, if I end up eating a slice of pizza for lunch, then I’ll go ahead and have nachos, a Pub sub, or something similar for dinner. And, yes, dessert too. If I’ve “blown” the day, I might as well as enjoy. This is terrible thinking! But, more on this later in another post. The point is sometimes we make all these big New Year’s Resolutions, and once we fail, we chuck the resolutions for the year. Sometimes it’s in January, sometimes we make it to April. BUT, looking at the 1st of every month, gave me a dozen re-sets. By doing this, I found that I got more things done, exercised more than I ever have before (more on that too!), and I was overall just more mindful of my time and how I was spending it, and my progress in the areas that I wanted to change.

I don’t know if any of this will help you at all, but here’s the best I can offer:

Pick 1 or 2 things you really want to do/change. We can’t (effectively) change 10 things all at one time. We have to do it in degrees. For me, it was being in scripture every day and exercising 120 times (I ended up exercising 160 times last year! Again, more on this later!! I’ll share the trick that worked for me). Give yourself grace, and don’t become legalistic about it.

I heard somewhere that you do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your habits. Your goals are where you want to be, but your daily choices and habits are what will get you there.

My two new habits this year will be:

-10 pushups every day. This will literally take less than 30 seconds.
-I want to write more and consume less. I want to communicate more with you and less time scrolling Instagram.

I love our little community here, and I love hearing from YOU! What new habit do you want to incorporate this year?



I love the idea of twelve resets with the firsts of the month. My goals are very similar to yours, especially the daily Scripture.. I also want to exercise more and eat better. Being a member of FASTer Way will definitely help with that, especially with the accountability it affords.. I have always been a feast-or-famine type gal, too, in that, if messed up on my eating plan, I would just forget the whole thing and indulge. Not anymore! Finally, I want to get more organized. We are moving into a new house soon, so that will be a good time to clean out and reset. Thanks for the inspiration offered in this post. Yes to daily habits!


Would love to be able to see old friends. Haven’t seen you since I helped you and Pete move to Tampa from Mobile, in 1993 I believe.


I want to be in the Word more. Last year was the 1st year I read my Bible and didn’t quit after a few weeks because it confused me or just didn’t understand what I was reading. This year I am doing read the Bible in a year.
I also want to be more bold in my walk. Be able to truly be used in my fear to do what God has planned for me.
Thank you Carmen for being so awesome.


Enjoyed hearing about this in morning on radio. Read your blog tonight. Love idea of breaking it down to each month!
I started the BibleProject read the Bible in a year on the 1st. I had been hearing you talk about this for awhile. Thank you! I’m also do the C25K plan and planning on getting back into jogging with a 5k in April. Appreciate your down to earth style.


What was the name of the devotional you was reading from an 2019?


Thank you! This has inspired me to keep going. I want to lose my last 13, but more importantly I want to exercise at least 5 times a week ( due to back issues, walking 15 mins at a time is about all I can do). Along with the walking I want to plank every day, adding a second every two to 3 days, and lift weights every other day(again nothing extravagant, but for me it’s a win). Along with health habit changes, I too want to read in the word on a daily basis so will take your advice and not enjoy electronic devices until this is done.


Yes. Everything you said rings true. Whatever you prioritize in your life is what you will do. Put God first in your life and He will be first. Whether that is reading the Bible and praying and meditating on the Word or listening to uplifting music. Jesus first! ❤️

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