5 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right
As we approach the first days of 2020, we’re not only about to write the opening pages of a new year, but also a new decade. My wish for you is that your life in 2020 is filled with vision, passion, and purpose. And you don’t need a lot of these to make a profound impact on your life. Just like with cooking, a pinch of seasoning will often do.
My hope is that the list below will help you increase vision, passion, and purpose in the coming year so that you can live out the amazing destiny and call created for you by God.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
- Identify the good from the year before. When gratitude fills your mind and heart, you begin to experience a shift in the way you think. Moreover, as you remember the good, your brain stores the good and begins to release the offenses, slights, and little resentments that may build up throughout the year, which is super cool. Remember the good things and you will open yourself up to the amazing things to come in 2020.
- Don’t be afraid to explore the disappointments. The only way to not repeat history is by doing something differently the next time. The best way to do things differently is to identify what went wrong and why this occurred. Look back at your disappointments with curiosity instead of criticism. Choosing to view the past with curiosity and not criticism is important. If you criticize yourself, you will begin to experience shame. This only makes you want to duck and cover instead of doing the brave work of being honest.
- Instead of making resolutions, identify a few habits you would like to practice in 2020. For example, instead of resolving to lose weight, save more money, and exercise, determine what habits you can create that will lead to these results. Instead of saying that you will be healthier in 2020, be specific and determine that you will drink hot tea instead of wine in the evening. Or instead of resolving to save more money, specifically create a habit of transferring money to your savings account every Friday (even if it isn’t as much as you would like— some is better than none!). If you create the habit of packing your gym clothes the night before or texting your workout buddy, you’ll be more likely to follow through on your fitness goals the next day. Habits create consistency and permanency of action.
- Volunteer. Here’s the thing: if you are loving someone else, you stop focusing on your problems. There are so many benefits to volunteering, including becoming more grateful, decreasing stress, and broadening your experiences through learning about different populations. Check out local organizations in your town where you can give back to your community and people in need. You’ll gain so much in return.
- Be present. Create blocks of time in your day where you don’t check email, social media, or texts. Tune in to the moment you are experiencing in the now. Mindfulness is a powerful way to rewire your brain chemistry. And mindfulness often lowers symptoms of anxiety and depression. When I’m “present,” I’m always amazed by how much more peace I feel. Instead of dreading the future or ruminating on the past, I’m taking control of the only moment I have— the present.
- This one’s just a bonus— listen to my podcast that will begin on January 17! Also, I’m starting a new weekly campaign called Marriage Mondays: Helping You Strengthen Your Marriage One Week At a Time. Would you like to be added to receive show notes for the podcast and/or the Marriage Monday email?
Each new year offers you a fresh start. But don’t worry. So does each day. Each moment. You don’t have to start your new year off perfectly. I know I won’t. I’ll make my own mistakes and experience failures. I hope this list offers you a few things to practice, not only at the start of 2020 but also the 364 days that will follow.
I don’t say it enough, but I’m so very grateful for the space you offer me in your life. I have so many you of sending emails each month, telling me how the monthly post is a blessing. Thank you!
Blessings to you,