2014 is going to be a year of discipline for me. Sometime in the last year “easier” and “just do the best you can” became my personal life mottos. In the midst of major transitions (hello parenthood, new job, and re-entry into America! I’m looking at you…) coping became the name of the game. For a season it was ok, and for a season it was all I could manage honestly. The season has changed though.

I sense the importance of being faithful and disciplined in this season of my life, so that I am better able to be obedient in future seasons. I’m a “challenge” girl–all or nothing. So, instead of resolutions I am going to be taking on personal challenges in some key areas this year.  I’m approaching this in some ways like a fast–requiring some sacrifice for a greater purpose, inspired by our life scripture Isaiah 58 and Jen Hatmaker. And in honor of my upcoming 31st birthday (which is 31 days from tomorrow), I’ll be taking on each challenge for 31 days.

Here are the challenges I am committed to for now, starting tomorrow! 

Challenge 1: Plant-based, whole foods (Vegan) for 31 days

  • We were mostly vegan for the second half of my pregnancy with Clementine. We felt awesome! Lots of energy, we were healthier, and real food became so yummy to us. We were not vegan when out or at friends homes, but mostly vegetarian. For the first challenge we (Trey’s agreed to do this one with me) will cook/eat at home and take our food with us so we can really stick to it for 31 days. I’m not only doing this for the health benefits, but also because our girl’s diet in Africa is very low in animal protein. This is a way for me to be mindful of her in order to be faithful in prayer and action in our adoption. 

Challenge 2: Early to bed, early to rise for 31 days

  • Those of you that know me well know that I love my sleep. LOVE my sleep. But, I’m not very disciplined about going to bed early enough that I can get up in time to accomplish important tasks for my day. In fact, I’m selfish with my after-baby hours and like to take the time for my favorite introvert activities–reading, movie watching, bubble baths, internet time–which often means staying up to accommodate my “me time”  For 31 days I will be in bed by 10:30 PM, and I will wake up early enough to eat breakfast and prepare for my day in a disciplined way. 

Challenge 3: Simplify our environment for 31 days

  • This is going to involve:
  1. Making my bed. 
  2. Purging un-used and un-needed items. 
  3. Organize storage areas.
  4. Finishing household projects.
  5. “Put the house to bed.” as my Mom would say.

Challenge 4: Consistent exercise for 31 days

  • Being a Mom has really highlighted for me the importance of my longterm health. I want to model to my girls the importance taking time to make good health choices. Only one problem…I hate working out. Totally hate it. So, for 31 days I’m going to find forms of exercise won’t make me miserable. Ideas I have so far are yoga (which I do love), walking during my lunch break or with Clementine, and weight lifting. Something everyday for 31 days–get moving!

Challenge 5: Write for 31 days. 

  • I asked Trey what he thought I should take on and this was his idea. I like writing, and I want to get better at it! I won’t necessarily blog each day, but journaling will also count. 

That’s all I have so far! Here’s to a more disciplined year!