Today is the second day of the new year but to me it feels like the first.
January 1st is always a travelling/unpacking/catching-up day because we make the trip back from my grandparents’. A large portion of the day is spent in the car and the rest is spent doing laundry, putting things away and lamenting the egregious amounts of food we ate the past two days.
This year, swollen ankles and an aching back made for an even lovelier New’s Year Day.
Complaints aside, I’m looking forward to jumping in to my resolution list. First off, I have to actually make the list. As I said before, I had a general idea of three things I wanted to focus on, now I need to narrow them down.
General Idea #1- Live more naturally and healthfully
I plan to do this by…
Making, almost exclusively, from-scratch meals
Eating the recommended 5 fruits and veggies per day
Cutting out chemicals and preservatives from food, household and beauty products
Making an exercise plan and sticking to it (more on that after the baby comes)
These will clearly be ongoing processes.
I can’t dump all my makeup and cleaners in one day and I haven’t been grocery shopping yet for from-scratch meals. This is more of a goal to reach by the end of the year rather than something to start today and stick with all year.
General Idea #2- Become more spiritually disciplined
I plan to do this by…
Having a morning devotion that includes straight up scripture reading
Having at least one set-aside prayer time every day
Listening to more worship music
Memorizing verses/passages of scripture
General Idea #3- Use time more wisely
I plan to do this by…
Starting the day with spiritual discipline routines
Making a cleaning schedule
Prepping, cooking and freezing more homemade meals
Planning out posts and editorial tasks
Doing Rosetta Stone lessons at least 3x a week
Finishing at least one book per month
Practicing guitar at least 3x a week (not including teaching time and worship team practice)
So there are my New Year’s resolutions. Pretty traditional approach. But maybe the traditional approach isn’t for you.
If that’s the case, look at these 3 new types of resolution lists I’ve come up with that might help you make this your best year yet.
#1 Try It List
*Approach: Bucket List type *For: those who want this year to be more adventurous/want to step outside their comfort zones *Qualities: less stringent, more specific
HOW: Make a list of things you’ve wanted to try but made excuses, things you’ve been scared to try, and/or changes you’ve been too uncomfortable to make. FOCUS ON: overcoming fears, being more adventurous, gaining experiences
#2 Less/More List
*Approach: Do This, Not That type *For: those who want a simple way to start new habits and kick old ones *Qualities: less stringent, more general
HOW: Make a list, divided down the middle, of things you want to do more of and things you want to do less of, in a more general sense. FOCUS ON: making small changes that lead to bigger ones; an ongoing process rather than a set of rules
#3 Year in Review List
*Approach: Taking stock *For: those who need encouragement and want to improve this year more than last *Qualities: less stringent, more reflective
HOW: Look back at what you accomplished in 2014. Maybe you still have or know the previous year’s resolutions. How did you do with those? What other things did you accomplish that weren’t necessarily a resolution? FOCUS ON: the positive. This is not a time to beat yourself up about the resolutions you didn’t meet, but a time to reflect on the good things that happened and the ways you improved. Use that as a springboard for what you hope to accomplish this year. If you’re feeling pretty negative by the end of this list, resolution lists probably aren’t for you. (Bonus sub-category) Try making lists at the end of every week or every day of what you accomplished. As you do this, you’ll want to accomplish more so that you’ll have more to list by the end of each week (or day). Then at the end of 2015, you’ll have a much more positive Year in Review list.
Remember not to get discouraged when you slip up. It’s hard to form new habits! Research says it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit, and that’s if you’re practicing it every day. If it’s something like a weekly yoga class, it’ll take longer to get into the habit of exercising, so don’t give up.
Whichever way, make sure you’re focusing on things that will help you improve yourself and your experiences. It’s important to be able to look at ourselves honestly and acknowledge our shortcomings without being too critical. If you’re a believer like me, just remember that it’s how God sees us that’s most important. Try to look at yourself through His eyes, especially when you’re not happy with the results of your last WeightWatchers weigh-in.
Thanks so much for reading. I hope you’re entering the new year with a positive outlook and a renewed spirit.
Later this week we’ll talk more about ways to make the most of this new year, as well as have a fun tutorial and some recipes.
P.S. If one of your goals is to become more spiritually disciplined, join me in memorizing a verse/passage every other week or so. Here’s a link to a list of 24 verses with pretty printables of each one to help you get started.