New Year, New You?
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I'm not a huge fan of this "new year, new you" business. What are you Madonna? I don't think the goal is to reinvent yourself. To me "new year, new you" feels like making changes so others notice. I believe that you work on yourself, for you.
I am of the mindset that we should always be trying to better ourselves. Not that you need to kill yourself to be perfect, but just trying to do it better than you did it before. Eat less crap. Read something besides the comments on Instagram. Take a walk every now and then.
By now we've all heard the statistics that 80% of all resolutions fail. (If you haven't read this i'm going to assume you've only been reading the comments on Instagram....) so we try to put a spin on it and call them 'goals' instead of 'resolutions' or 'hopes'. But when it comes down to it, the new year is a starting point for most of us mentally. Even if you aren't a fan of setting hard and fast goals (trust me I get it). I think it's a great time to at least get your priorities in order.
As someone who has always pushed back against the positive affirmations, goal setting, perky accountability partnering (I've never been much of a joiner) it has taken me a while to realize that these things are indeed important. The best part (if you're too cool to better yourself) is that you can make these priorities all on your own, and you don't have to share them with anyone unless you want to.
We all have different lives and goals and things that are important to us so what I need to work on, is going to be different than what you believe needs work. So for me, I started by choosing the top 5 things that matter in my life. For me those things are (in order that they occurred to me):
1. My Family
2. My relationship with God
3. Self Care
5. Work life
Then I took at good hard look at them and ordered them by actual importance. This is what it looked like to me:
My relationship with God
For me. God is at the top. There are many reasons for this, but primarily because when I put my spiritual life first, all the other categories seem to fall into place.
So, what REALLY matters to you? And then, what order SHOULD those things be in? What REALLY needs more dedication? You don't have to tell me, and even if you did, I pass no judgments, so be honest here.
If you are stuck on what you think you'd like to work on, here are some suggestions from my Instagram followers (in no particular order):
• Taking more time for yourself
• Learning how to mix drinks
• Learning a new instrument
• Losing weight
• Eating Healthier
• Leaving behind unhealthy relationships
• Being more active
• Spending more time with family
• Budgeting/saving more
• Being content
• Less drinking
• Reading More
• Spending more time with God
• Organizing your home
• Starting a garden and not killing it (my favorite lol)
• Mending relationships
I loved that there were things on completely opposite ends of each other in that list. It just shows how different we all are and what our unique struggles are. Here are some other options if none of those appealed to you :
• Cook one new thing each week (I feel like my family would be mixed about this)
• Create a cleaning schedule you'll stick to
• Quit smoking (or any other bad habit)
• Eat more vegetables
• Drink more water
• Consider therapy (there are so many options for this now and if you think you would benefit I STRONGLY recommend it)
• Volunteer (I love this because the best way to feel better about something that pulls at you is to do something about it)
• Listen to books while you work out (I will be doing this)
• Drink more water
• De clutter the kitchen (this feels like a personal attack)
• Wear workout clothes that make you feel good
• Write to yourself (This was something profound I started doing a few years back. Its different than journaling. I found so much healing and I was able to identify what was at the core of my struggles much faster by talking directly to myself through organized thoughts on paper)
• Pray for someone new each day
• Keep a journal for a month of specific prayers for someone you know is struggling and give it to them. ( I had a friend do this for me years ago. It was a profound thing in my life, and yes, I still have the journal).
• Take walks, just for the joy of it.
• If you feel pressed to do something kind, do it.
• Stop putting off that thing (whatever came to mind....is that thing. Get it done)
• Go out of your way to be polite
• Wear clothes that make you feel amazing ( you don't have to go broke to do this)
• Learn a new language
• Replace negative thoughts with positive ones (it's not about ignoring the hard times that are real, but about seeing the positive instead of only the negative)
• Be on time for everything (paying bills, appointments, work...everything)
• Send a letter to someone each week, just to tell them you care
There are so many others. If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments at the bottom!
•My relationship with God•
At the top of my list is my relationship with God. Spending time in prayer, and listening to worship music, and really getting into my scriptures is something I thoroughly enjoy. However, because it doesn't have the same immediate urgency as work and kids etc. I tend to put it off until I've neglected it completely and I end up feeling so completely empty. With covid ruining everything this year, I haven't gone to church in months. We watch on TV but it isn't the same and so I feel the need to make more of an effort.
Since I tend to push this off, I will literally be putting a daily reminder in my phone. I'm setting it for right when my kids go into quiet time so it will be when I have alone time to really focus, and I won't push it off until the last minute of my free time. I plan on leaving space to read, or just listen to worship music. I also enjoy writing out my prayers. There's something about seeing things on paper that helps clear my mind.
My church also offers online Bible studies (together with other people but online) so I'm going to find one and jump in!
Also at the tippy top is my family. We homeschool, and my husband works from home, we are home together all the time so you'd think that spending time together was a given. Unfortunately, we spend so much time being near one another that real quality time- actually staring at them isn't something that happens as much as they, or I would like. Life gets busy, so being very intentional with my time, with them is a big one this year.
I have plans to not only give them more eye contact (you know how that goes) but to set aside time to really BE there with them. We have a dry erase board in our kitchen and I plan on mapping out evenings each week to be super one on one with my kiddos.
My husband and I both work at home so we tend to be together watching tv in the evenings (once the kids are in their rooms) but on our computers or phones. This isn't good for everyone, and while this generally works for us since he and I are great about communicating, I'm going to make sure I put the dang computer down more frequently (probably picking certain nights and communicating those with him) Again, being intentional is important and I don't want him to ever feel like he isn't a priority for me.
I have some pretty good sized health goals this year. I got a jump start on this so I have already printed myself a chart to keep myself focused on being more consistent with my workouts. I'm going to go out of my way to be pickier about what I eat, exercise more, but not worry as much about the scale. I have a healthy body outlook- until I get on the scale. Something about the numbers kicks something bad in, in my mind, so this year I will be giving more attention to what matters. My actual health, and not the skinny factor.
I'm generally pretty good about this, but Covid (thanks covid) has thrown a wrench in my usual self care activities. Typically I take myself out for a leisurely meal, get a coffee, and walk around whatever store feels right at the time. No kids, just me on my own time. I can still do these things but it's just not the same right now so I'm going to be much better about taking the time for me even if I have to be creative. Get my food to-go and park somewhere beautiful and listen to my music (no Frozen soundtrack) or get take out and lock myself in my sewing room and watch my favorite shows (again, no Frozen). Like everything else it's less about what I can get by with, and more about setting aside the time to tend to what's important.
I started my blog this year and it has taken me a bit to get my bearings and that's perfectly fine. I feel like I have a little more direction now so my goals for this year are to be more organized with my time and my plans so I can accomplish these goals. I have a cute new planner and I'm getting the things I need so I don't feel so scrambled. I got myself a notebook so I can keep track of my ideas and not search for them among notes about appointments and such on my phone.
I typically feel bogged down by a schedule so I'm going to do my best to make sure I still leave plenty of room for creative space.
Now, do I think I will perfectly execute all of these plans and nail every category and never look back? Absolutely not. Perfection is never the goal. I simply hope to improve, and I know that's something I can do.
What are your hopes or goals for the new year?