I used to think that new year’s resolutions were for the birds. Then I found a new perspective.
Losing weight, advancing in a career, getting out of debt, or whatEVER it might be, most of us have things we want to accomplish in the new year. We can call it a resolution, a set of goals, a vision, or just plain old aspirations. But if we really want to see some change, we have to have some intentionality about it all.
For me, I take some time at the very beginning of the year to really ready myself for the days, weeks, and months ahead. Here are five main things I do every January to set my year on the right track.
At the end of every year I like to take time to reflect on the previous year. Usually around the last couple of weeks of December, my mind automatically starts to wander into this territory. What went well? What worked? What didn’t work? What did I learn about myself that I liked? What did I learn about myself that I didn’t like? How can I improve? How can I make my home life the best it’s ever been? How can I be a bigger blessing to those around me?
I do this because I think that the beginning of a new year is a great chance to regroup, refocus, and hit that reset button.
2. Set Aside Time To Refocus
In January, I always set aside time to really focus for the upcoming year. I take time way from social media and other distractions, so that I can truly spend time focusing on myself, my family, and the specific journey that lies ahead of me. Without the extra “noise” that we’ve all become accustomed to, I can really think. I can read, pray, worship, and spend time nourishing my soul and spirit. Not that I don’t do these things regularly anyway, but there’s something extra special when you rid yourself of all the “extras” and just allow your brain some quiet time to think.
What I love about this is that as you’re quieting your heart and hammering out some new goals for the year, you can find what really truly matters to YOU, deep down in your own heart, without the influence of anyone else.
3. Write the Vision
Once I’ve had time to do that, I start to dream. I pray that God would fill my heart with a vision for the upcoming year, and I start to think about what I really want this-coming year to look like.
Last year, I made the conscious decision to really focus on health. I didn’t actually have one specific, measurable goal (although I think it would be good to have one), but I knew I wanted to consistently focus on my health throughout the year, and I totally did! I lost the last of the baby weight, ran a few health & fitness challenge groups which TOTALLY rocked my world and got me on track with my nutrition, and I started a workout regimen that has me now stronger than I’ve ever been. Am I the picture of health? NO! However, I can truly say that I met and surpassed my goal of “focusing on my health”.
But it all started with a vision.
And you have to write it down. There are many research studies that show that people who WRITE DOWN their vision, are exponentially more likely to actually attain or surpass their goals.
There are several ways to do this. You can make a vision board (whether on a big poster board or in the free space pages of your planner), write it in your journal, type it out and print it, or design it digitally. Whatever works best for you. Just make sure you keep that vision somewhere you can reference it regularly. You’ve got to keep seeing and reading it in order to stay focused.
4. Make a Plan
Once I’ve got a vision and some goals, I make a plan. This is VITAL. How will I walk out the dream that’s forming in my heart? What steps will I take? What will I need to change in my daily habits in order to make it happen? What am I willing to give-up or sacrifice in order to be able to walk in the vision that is in my heart?
A dream is a wonderful, but you have to put a plan into place if you ever want to see that dream come to pass.
Then, it’s go time. After taking time to quiet myself, figuring out what direction I’m headed in, and putting a plan in place, I am ready to run. I’m ready to take the bull by the horns, and RUN into the days, weeks, and months ahead.
Anything worth doing is worth doing passionately. So take every ounce of passion in your heart and run forward with NOTHING (and NOBODY) holding you back. There is soooooooo much greatness ahead, if we can just align ourselves with the perfect plan that God has for us, and make a decision to walk (or run) in it.
Here’s to a Happy New Year!!!