Rachel Awtrey


Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Posts tagged Inspiration
15 Practical Ways to Not Break Your NY Resolution Already

If you're like me, you can come up with an excuse for anything so quickly. Especially when something is challenging. This can be the worst mid-January - when you trying to stay committed to your resolution but routine and life has already begun to get in the way. That's why I invited my friend, Sam Baker of Wellness Watered to give her two cents and share a few ways she's been able to keep her resolutions. A few weeks ago, Sam interviewed me about goal setting + dreaming (read the interview here) and that's where I first learned that she is the best at helping people live their best life through food, fitness and fun stuff in between. I just needed to share a little bit of her with you!

Ahh, January. The start of “the year you’ll actually get fit” or reach that goal that’s slipped through your fingers in years past.  The month where the crowds at the gym look a little more like a flea-market than a place to workout. When the hashtags #fitspo and #cleaneats break the internet.

Motivation is running high and you’re determined:” THIS. IS. MY. YEAR.”

And I bet I could even guess a few of your resolutions for 2018.

  1. Lose X amount lbs/get in better shape

  2. Start that job/career/dream you’ve always wanted to pursue

  3. Save X amount of money

  4. Be more present

  5. Improve relationships

  6. Learn something new

  7. Travel/adventure more

  8. Stop a bad habit (cussing, smoking, drinking, biting nails or… QUITTING?)

Well, you’re not alone… It’s nearly impossible to avoid TV, social media, the radio or even conversations with friends without hearing about some sort of New Year's resolution being chased.

Honestly, I’ve regretted not taking stock in Planners and highlighters.

But guess what? Only about 8% of those people actually FINISH what they set out to do. (source: huffingtonpost)

By the time Spring rolls around 92% of the “goal diggers” are back to their old ways pretending they’re not disappointed with giving up so soon and wondering where they went wrong.

But what if I told you that it wasn’t anything THEY did wrong - and that it was just a flaw in their system?

And that I have several tried & true practical ways to actually reach those goals this year?

Not to brag, but I’ve had the best life coaches to teach me their ways: Mr. Failure & Mrs. Defeat.

I was THE QUEEN of making 20 “resolutions” every year and then getting too overwhelmed come February, leaving me feeling guilty and defeated for the 11 months leading up to next January.

Through my glorious screw-ups, I crafted the perfect recipe of secret sauce to make your goals happen this year.

Do you want in on the recipe?

Comin’ right up!

Sam’s Secret Sauce To
Just “Get ‘Er Done"

1. Make A Plan

Write out actual ways to reach your goal

If it’s to start your dream job - research companies to reach out to

If it’s to run a 5k - make a training plan

2. Stop waiting for motivation

Don’t let feelings & emotion dictate what you do

Let your actions stem from dedication to this new goal

If you wait until you “feel like it” - odds are, it’ll never happen.

Form new habits that will eventually develop into a lifestyle

3. The Buddy System

Have someone to hold you accountable to your resolution

Have a partner that is striving for the same goal

4. Get Real

Make sure your goal is realistic

Do you have/can you obtain the time, money, resources to make it happen?

Do you have too many goals?

Don’t make goals out of your control

Finding a husband, becoming a CEO, etc.

Make goals that you know you have the means to conquer.

5. Slow and steady

Make small changes that you can conquer 1 at a time in order to reach the ultimate goal.

Take it one day at a time - don’t have a set finish line that you have to reach said goal by.

6. Stay in your own lane

Stop looking to others as the example for what your journey/outcome should look like

Don’t compare your progress to others

Simply try YOUR best for YOUR life (some people work from home or don’t have as far as a commute - figure out how you can give it your all depending on the demands in your life).

7. Have Grace

Don’t expect perfection - you’re human and YOU WILL screw up.

Talk to yourself - don’t listen to yourself

When you hear the voices in your head tell you that you’re not good enough, replace those lies with true affirmations of confidence and self love.

8. Pick Up Where You Left Off

Don’t “scrap today, this week, this month” from a few mistakes, it takes a long time to form a new habit.

So stay consistent.

Keep showing up for your goal even if it means you give it the best you can that day.

If your goal is to get in shape and all you have time for is a 10 minute walk - then do what you can TODAY.

9. Live a Posture of Success

Act as if you’ve already succeeded.

Live in the mindset that you’re already a champion of this goal.

Visualize yourself reaching this goal.

10. Realize your worth

Understand that you’re already worthy of love & happiness RIGHT NOW - even before you complete your resolutions.

Recognize that reaching this goal won’t increase your worth or change your value as a person.

11. Stop fearing success

Allow yourself to cross that threshold that you never allow yourself to cross.

Allow yourself to evolve into a new person & redefine who you are.

12. Don’t let results be your end all be all

It’s all about how you show up & how you get up when you’ve fallen

Sometimes circumstances are out of our control (sickness, loss of job, other people not cooperating) - so don’t measure your success by an expectation you had for how your goal would look.

13. Don’t have a timeline

It may take longer than THIS YEAR to reach that goal or it may only take half the year - so don’t put a deadline on your goal.. Just give it your best and let it happen organically.

14. Keep Your Standards high

Don’t lower your standards to make others more comfortable or to avoid sticking out

If your friends pressure/guilt you into breaking your resolution to “bond” with them - hold your ground and pretty soon they’ll recognize your new habit is here to stay.

15. Realize it’s okay to change your mind

But not to make excuses.

If you find that “I don’t want to lose weight anymore - I’m happy with my body”, it’s okay to shift your goal to “being healthy” rather than “weight loss”.

These are my fool-proof secrets to finishing not only your resolutions for this year, but to reach in goal you have in your life.

And I know half of you are Type-A and super ecstatic over a list of things to conquer - but the other half of you are more type B, C, or D and you’re probably like “Woah, Sam. 15?! There’s no way I can remember all of these!”

But don’t worry, sister, I’ve picked my TOP 3 to keep in your pocket for when you're on the brink of throwing in the towel.

The Holy Grail of Goal-Reaching

1. Don’t run off of motivation/emotion - but determination/truth

2. Have Grace on yourself/Don’t expect perfection  

3. Live a posture of success/triumph

We weren’t created to live in a constant cycle of defeat.

Go after the goals that will make you the BEST version of yourself.

Whenever I set a goal for myself I always have a little heart to heart first and I ask myself these 2 things:

  1. Do these goals make me feel stressed/anxious at the beginning of the day - and depressed/defeated come the end of the day? (Aka they’re unrealistic/unnecessary)
  2. Or do these goals make me feel motivated/excited at the beginning of the day - and content/fulfilled come the end of the day? (Aka they’re helping you become your best self).

Don’t set yourself up for failure - if you know you’re only setting a goal to appease somebody else or to try and be what others tell you you should be, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’ll never succeed - because even if you ever see “physical success”, you’ll always feel unfulfilled.

But girl, 2018 is your year.

Your year to have grace on yourself and ask yourself: “What is actually necessary and what do I actually want out of my life this year?”.

Lasting outward change stems from healthy intentions and a strong sense of self worth.

If deep down you don’t think you’re worth the happiness of reaching a goal, you’ll always stop yourself from passing that threshold.

So make a plan. Make the necessary sacrifices. And let this be the year you shed the shackles of failure.



Sam loves thinking, researching, writing, and creating (whether that’s words, recipes, workouts, or even a to-do list). She's a firm believer in “dessert always," loves Weiner dogs and loves to get people out of their comfort zone and into their dream.

An enthusiast for helping people live their best life, Sam shares recipes, secret to success, a candid look into her life and fun fitness goals that everyone can live by. 

Read more about Sam here!

What the dwell are you doing?

The most intimidating part of life for me is wondering if I'm doing the "right" thing. I'm not talking about making the right decisions but I'm talking about meeting the benchmarks set by the world's standards. I often ask myself, "Wait, they're applying for jobs? Shoot! I got to start applying too, I guess" or the super frequent, "they're spending that much time studying, or doing ministry, or working out? I'm way behind." 

I'm thinking all of these things in fear; fear of being judged and fear of not being where "I'm suppose to be." 

What does that even mean? "Suppose to be." Who is the person setting the standards for what's normal these days? I'd like to meet them.

There's so much pressure on us to finish the checklist set before us. But, what checklist? Who's actually putting the pressure on you? Do they know the deep desires of your heart? Do they know the intimate prayers between you and the Lord and know His calling on your life? 

I can't tell you how many looks I get a day when people see my wedding band while I'm in my undergrad classes or buying groceries. It's because it's not "normal." Sure, it's not "normal" but it doesn't mean it's not right. It doesn't mean that my ways of obedience look the same as your ways of obedience. This leads to hesitation that if we are obedient in what the Lord is calling us to do then maybe we'll be judged or people will think poorly of us because it's not what they would have done. 

The pressure we put on ourselves to achieve a benchmark the world has set for us is not Biblical. Obedience carries freedom, even if your ways of obedience looks different than her ways of obedience. There's freedom in knowing that we don't have to orchestrate our desires, future or benchmarks. 

Already having affirmation from the Lord and then needing to have more affirmation from people to move forward into what we're called is a slap in Jesus's face. It's saying, "Your voice isn't loud enough so I need other's confirmation just to make sure. The affirmation you gave me on the cross that I was enough isn't enough for me." Yikes. 

Then there's sometimes when I know that the direction I'm moving is not the direction for me. But, I'm too fearful of failure to mess up if I head in another direction that's more uncomfortable or unfamiliar. 

My favorite movie growing up was Matilda. The one where the little girl was tormented by her parents who didn't want anything to do with her. She then realized she had magic powers and that she could move things with her eyes. Unfortunately that doesn't apply to me. 

My soul sister, Nikki, reminded me: in order to make something change directions, you have to move it first not just stare at it. You can't look at a soccer ball, mid-game and tell it to move towards the goal and expect it to happen. You have to get on the field, kick the ball, get it moving, and then you have the ability to change it's direction. For you, getting the ball rolling may look like taking the MCAT or the LSAT or the GRE or getting an internship, or interviewing for a job, or writing a blog - all are validated. 

I'm not sure if I'm called to a writing career and publishing a book (one of my dreams) or to sit in an office and come up with creative marketing solutions for companies or if it's to teach a crowd of young kids in a classroom. But what I do know is I can only start moving my soccer ball from the field, I'll never be able to have a say from the bench. So I better get in the game if I have a goal in mind.

Do what you love to do, the Lord doesn’t give you empty desires (as my friend Ana reminds me). If you have a desire, who is to tell you it's not valid. If it's not valid, it wouldn't exist. The Lord was so gracious to give us so many avenues for creativity and glorification for Him. 

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what's on our resume, what our job title is or what plaques hang on our walls in our office. We're called to love the Lord “with all your heart, mind, soul and strength." Matthew 22:37

And loving the Lord with all of our mind means turning over everything we know or anything we think we know to Him and giving him the opportunity to speak into what we love. Before we identify as a student, assistant, doctor or lawyer, we are first called to identify as ambassadors for His Kingdom, not our kingdom. Everything else is a cherry on top. 

You don’t have to know what you’re doing or what tomorrow holds. It’s a healthy place to be fluid and flexible and to listen to what the Lord is saying in this current season and not dwelling on the unknown. 

So whatever your choice: a gap year, entry-level position, law or med school, creating a portfolio or writing a blog about all the silly things you love, it’s all validated if you are first dwelling and resting in the Lord rather than dwelling on the “right choice." Just make a decision, you can't mess anything up. That's where grace comes in. 

I may not know my future but I know what I like to do. I know I like to write about anything. Dumb stuff like pouring coffee or roaming random places with Thomas or heavier stuff that makes me sweat and my heart beat really quickly and my fingers move faster on my keyboard than I knew was possible (like right now.) So I'm going to continue chasing after the desire that the Lord placed in the deep parts of my heart and find encouragement in the satisfaction I find when I pursue what the Lord has gifted me with. 

Yeah, so I don't know what the dwell I'm doing right now but I'm choosing to move forward, to take a step in faith and not in fear. No more fear of what people think or if I'm following "the rules."

Who wrote those rules anyways? Pshhhh.

Feeling trapped? Dance to one of my favorite songs and shake all the chains off. 


1. Get your ball rolling and just move forward and believe that you're not powerful enough to mess up the Lord's orchestrated plan for your life. 

2. Stop leaning on the worlds understandings for what is for you. 

3. Truly examine your passions and your seasons and have full confidence in the Lord instead of yourself to complete these dreams and aspirations.