When it comes to new year resolutions, there are some staple ones I have had since I was a kid and have never yet been able to fully meet them.
1) Do the splits
2) Stop biting my nails
To my credit, I have had naturally grown pretty nails at one point, but the habit of biting 'em keeps returning and I have yet to overcome it fully (I will chew off nailpolish, fake nails are gross to take off and the closest I came to doing the splits was the high school dance team which I quit after a year.
An additional resolution I remember from my early tween years was to find a guy I could be interested in. At 5'7 in fifth grade, there were not many boys at school I even looked at (yes, I'm superficial but it's one of those things I will admit when it comes to height). I remember every year wondering when I would find Mr. Right. Over the years, Mr. Right would have more qualities tacked onto him and by the time I was 25, he had to be so many things...
6) Good family values
7) Good moral values
9) Listen to my type of music
Luckily, I did find Mr. Right and he had 8/9 of the above (we listen to different music) but in reality, none of those qualities were as important as one I didn't even have to begin with.
Imagine my surprise when I realized Mr. Right's qualities were not as important as Heavenly Father and His plan of happiness and the qualities that came with that knowledge. Imagine my surprise when pursuing someone with the above qualities meant nothing if he did not have a firm foundation in the Gospel and a strong testimony of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Imagine my surprise when the once turn-off qualities of being too religious became a question of how faithful is he?
Never in my 25 years growing up had I been to Church regularly with my family and never had I imagined my Sunday routine consisting of 3 hours of Church (it's fun and goes by quickly on most days if you are spiritually ready) followed by uplifting and spiritual activities to keep the Sabbath Day holy (lately it's reading gospel non-fiction, writing letters, blogging, journaling, spending time with family, helping others, etc.). Never had I imagined I would have companionship study and prayer with my husband everyday. Never had I imagined I would have what we term weekly "companionship inventory" (stolen from the missionaries and then from Genny's blog post about her and Dan doing it) to go over how we are doing and how we can improve, family home evening (we sing a hymn, open with a prayer, go over our weekly plans, share a spiritual message, do an activity, close with a prayer and eat a treat) once a week or conversations about life and the Gospel. Never had I imagined how easy things would become if you just remembered to keep the Gospel at the center of the relationship. Never had I ....
I often think of the past, not to reminisce on it, but to remember the contrast of dark and light. I was in a room with less light, and unknown to me at the time, it was darkness compared to the light I have now. The best example is when you're in a dark room for a while and your eyes adjust. At first, you are unable to see anything but over time... you start to see just fine. That is, until you are shown the light and then, to your surprise, you were barely seeing even at the point where you adjusted whilst in the dark.
This year, as I look over my resolutions and how many of them pertain to developing myself spiritually, I am shocked at the changes. Though they are real, I sometimes forget how great the Gospel has changed my life because I have become accustomed to the light. I hope I never forget and never take it for granted.
This year, I have goals that are categorized into three areas: mind, body, soul (as copied from the goals set forth by my father-in-law's bi-annual challenge). I encourage everyone to come up with goals and though you may not reach all of them, I am confident you are better off for trying because though I am still unable to do the splits (and will have to wait until post baby to continue trying) and still unable to always have beautiful and unbitten nails, I am inching towards that day by stretching and only having ugly nails two-three weeks out of a month. If I can do it, so can you.