You know, as each year begins, you will find people creating resolutions; a list of goals they plan to complete by year’s end. And, while these goals may appear to be sincere, they oftentimes are not fulfilled for one reason or another. They have the best of intentions in getting them done, but  somehow, they just seem to fall short. Many factors play into why that happens; not enough time, lack of enthusiasm, poor planning, change of heart or just total abandonment. So what ultimately happens is that you decide to give it another try next week, which becomes next month and then of course, next year. The routine year end and year out becomes a continuous cycle of complacency, doubt and wishful thinking.

Consider this. If I am one who is overweight and has been diagnosed as a borderline diabetic, I have the opportunity to set goals in place to ensure that I do not change my status from borderline to type 2 diabetes. My desire for candy and hearty eating should not outweigh my desire to life a happy, full and productive life. I can still have candy and eat a full course meal. However, what, when and how I eat should be well planned, maintained, creatively developed and realistic. It will take some getting used to (this newly found way of eating), but the results are long lasting. The excess weight is gone. I look and feel better. My doctor’s visits are few and far between now. I’ve accomplished something that no one can take away from me. My mind is stronger. My thoughts are clearer. People acknowledge my determination and ‘can do’ attitude. My quality of life next year is dependent upon what I do to maintain it this year.

So what does this have to do with domestic violence? When you’re in an abusive situation and have made the courageous decision to leave, your intentions are well meaning, but your approach may be completely off base. Like resolutions, if it’s not carefully planned with realistic goals put in place, you are setting yourself up to return to the very life for which you so desperately want to escape. With every unspeakable, depraved act of domestic, sexual, emotional, spiritual and financial abuse that you, or someone you know, encounters, our holistic quality of life decreases. Meet new people, create a hobby, volunteer. There are many ways to be creative in filling the void of someone who truly doesn’t deserve the time for which you give of yourself.

Your life depends on your ability to keep your mind, body and spirit in tact. Don’t set goals for yourself that you can be easily manipulated out of; even in your own mind, for we all know how easy it is to talk ourselves out of something. Especially if the something is attractive to us and makes us feel a sense of happiness. But, just like establishing healthy eating, the same approach should be taken in establishing healthy relationships. Discover what it is that works best for your holistic health. A potential diabetic will consult with a doctor to learn about themselves and what they need to eat/drink prior to taking the next step of grocery shopping. Take inventory of what you need before you attempt to shop around for the next relationship or worse, go back to revisit the bad one. Take note, when you stop doing something long enough and then go back to it, it’s just not the same. How many times have you heard someone who has stopped eating pork tell you how sick they feel when they attempt to eat it again years later?

Your life if all you have. Don’t allow it to be dictated by someone who doesn’t care about your well being. Make this year one of  taking charge of your life, living control free and exploring new opportunities for love, laughter and long living. Remember, your life depends on it.