Starting the New Year with Purpose and a Plan!
Where do you find yourself mindset-wise as you head into the new year? Do you make extravagant promises with yourself about the "new person" you are going to be or the "new shape" you are going to create with better eating and fitness? A better question is really at what point do you give up and feel like a failure, year after year? It can be a crazy cycle that is hard to break. But I've got a couple ideas for you so that you can have a successful 2019 and feel like you've definitely moved forward.
Let me start off by saying I am not referring to "New Year's Resolutions"... its more than that! This is about planning to succeed... yet NOT making goals and resolutions that are extremely hard to follow through with (because really... we all must plan on life "happening"). So here are three things you can do to start the year off right... and finish it victoriously!
1. Make a SHORT list of priorities for 2019
The reality is that I am sure that you could go on and on with a list of what's important to you, but you've got to narrow it down and be specific for 2019. Write them down or print them out and put them in at least 2 places that you will see daily. Then, let your daily decisions revolve around fulfilling your priorities.
Again one of the most important things is that your priorities are specific and simple in nature. For example, last year I had a priority of being a "better mom", but I made it more specific by saying that my priority was to help my then 14 year old son and 10 year old daughter have the resources they needed to make puberty transitions smoother. So throughout the year I kept my eyes open for resources and opportunities to support this priority. (SKIP to #2 OR for more specific details keep reading ;) )
For my son I found a few books and devotionals that were written specifically for adolescent boys as well as a YouTube channel of a funny, entertaining, yet wholesome 20-something year old who has fun videos about things boys care about (Blimey Cow). I also made it a point to make sure I allowed for plenty of "guy time" at my house where my son and his friends made funny YouTube challenge videos, pranked each other, and pulled video game all nighters in the back yard. I tried to look for any and all opportunities he and my husband could spend some quality together including on "guys trips" camping in the desert and practicing at the local shooting range. Boys need "side to side" time where they just "be" with each other ( I learned some amazing things about parenting boys in this book that I HIGHLY recommend called Mother and Son: The Respect Effect...which aligned with my priority). I picked up a book called Swipe Right: The Life and Death Power of Sex and Romance which really helped me understand today's dating world and gave me perspective on how to guide my son as well as what to look out for. All that to say, I hope that through keeping my eyes open to opportunities and being intentional about providing guidance in these trying times, my son was surrounded by tools and people who'd help him take one step closer to adulthood in healthy ways.
As for my daughter, I also found some books and devotionals that spoke specifically to her puberty transitional phase . I allowed her to have 2-3 parties (in addition to her bday) just to cultivate good relationships with good girls. Additionally, I allowed for (and hosted) countless sleepovers (late night girl talk is critical to this transition time!), and I also cultivated a little place in our back yard (We called it "Our Space") where we could meet each week and just spend girl time together (chatting, reading, listening to music, etc). Suffice to say I think it was a productive year!
2. Choose a WORD to focus on throughout the year
It's amazing what can happen when you keep key positive words in your frame of reference for an extended period of time...you start evolving and changing for the better. So choose a word you'd like to see come to fruition in your life, then focus on it often. Some examples may be Love, Friendship, Joy, Patience, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self Control. Maybe it's something that revolves around your career or parenting? Whatever it is, choose to hone in on it in 2019 and I can promise there will be positive changes that follow!
(SKIP to #3 OR for more specific details keep reading ;) )
Here is an example of a way to be efficient and effective in applying that word you've chosen to your life: I am a Christian and and trying to raise my children in a home that both honors God and strives to live in a state of gratitude. So our word one year was LOVE...more specifically, "Do everything in love". But what does that look like? That's the question to be answered throughout the year! First thing I did was put this word in a place where we could see it regularly. Then, little by little, incorporated small readings that would point us to the direction of how God defines what love is...after all, He is love. Throughout the year as quarrels began and conflict arose and our flesh wanted to take over time and time again, we would take a moment to think about eh qualities that surround "love" to give us guidance on how to best act, interact, and react in circumstances. We've got a LONG way to go, but just focusing and having the word int eh forefront of our minds helped things to move in a more loving direction... or at least have a perspective that kept "love" in clear view!
3. Allow for FLEXIBILITY as things and ideas may shift as the year goes on
This is maybe the most important thing...yet it doesn't matter if you haven't done the first 2 steps. Basically, roll with the punches. So things aren't going perfectly (as they never do) and plans are changing and maybe even falling apart (like they usually will) THAT'S OK! Your priorities are still your priorities and tomorrow is a new day to look for opportunities to focus on what's important. So when you "fail" just remember, tomorrow is a new day... and even the same day has multiple opportunities!
Praying for a Blessed and Prosperous New Year for you all!
(MissyMeaux.com Team Member)