In just hours, we will clink glasses, exchange kisses, hugs, and wishes for a happy 2018. And we will hope and pray for the brightest year ahead. Some will be a little sad because maybe 2017 is the last year they had a loved one. Others will do whatever they can to speed along the time until the clock chimes midnight, and like Cinderella leaving the ball, will race full on into 2018.
What will we do once we get there? What do you hope will become of the new year? We can make all the typical resolutions to be more organized, get out of debt, get in shape, “new year, new you”…Those are actually pretty great goals for all of us. But what if there’s something more?
Here are 5 ways to make 2018 filled with health and love:
Be gentle with yourself: Set reasonable goals – even daily goals – instead of sweeping resolutions like “I will finally get in shape.” How about “This week, I will go to the gym at least twice” or “I’ll do a workout video for 30 minutes 3 times this week.” Then up the ante the next week and the week after. They’re bite-sized goals and feel far more manageable than obscure “I’ll get in shape.” Getting in shape is a fantastic goal, but draw the road map for that.
Resolve to Rest: We live in super busy times. We’re scheduled up the wazoo with work and doctor appointments and school activities and sports and committees and…(deep breath). What did I just say there? We’re “scheduled.” So if we can schedule all of those important things, we can schedule rest as well. If you can take a day off each week and do all the things you want to like lunch with your friend or a movie with your spouse or just hanging out with your kids, do that. There was a seventh day of rest in the Bible for a reason: we need it.
If you can’t take a full day, make sure you schedule rest time each day. Shut off the TV and phone by a reasonable time, and don’t be tempted to check that email or texts one more time. If you leave your phone on all the time because you have a child away from home or maybe a sick parent, and need to be reachable at all times, see if you can set a specific ring or text tone for each. That way, you will be comfortable knowing you can be reached if needed, but won’t reach for that phone unless it’s from those special people.
Then rest. Read a book. Catch up on some conversation with the people in your house. Bake. Snuggle. Do something you enjoy that will de-stress you and then make sure you get enough sleep.
Say No: You can’t do everything and you can’t be everything, no matter how hard society tries to sell that theory. Accept what obligations are reasonable. There’s simply not enough time in a day or energy in your body to be on every committee or participate in every volunteer opportunity or do every chore around your house. Say “yes” to what’s really important and “no” to what you can let go. And don’t feel guilty about it. Chores bogging you down? Delegate. Even the littlest ones in your house can learn to do some things to help out and it sets the tone for them to be responsible as they grow.
Love Your People: I find it way too easy to pick my phone up while waiting for something, during a commercial on TV or even during a lull in conversation. And my kids have called me out on it, I humbly admit. They hate it. I feel bad. So I’ve had to resist that mindless reach for social media or email. I have to set my phone somewhere else and be with my people…my kids and husband. I want desperately to be with them and have quality time and hear what they need me to hear. Nothing will ever be more important than they are.
Grip Your Goals: Besides organization, fitness, weight loss, debt relief, what are your goals? Maybe they’re secret goals like you want to take flying lessons or voice lessons or learn to paint. Maybe you’re like me and are hustling to finish a book and find a publisher or you long to travel.
Don’t just chase those dreams. While it’s a nice thing to picture, it also implies that our dreams are forever getting away from us. Grip those suckers. Catch them, keep them, and make them real. You have to be brave and step out in faith. Just start. Research what it will take to make your dream a real-life achievement, then make a plan, and take those steps towards the goal.
Sure, they might be baby steps. Maybe you need to save up a considerable amount of money first. That’s okay! But start. You have to start and then don’t stop. You’ll get there.
What are your goals for 2018? What do you hope to make come true?
Me? I’m finishing my book and I’ve started another. I can’t believe it! My hustle this year will be to complete both books and pray like crazy that I can dazzle an agent or publisher and convince them to publish one or both of my books. I’ve started writing a novel and I’m so excited about it. And surprised! I’m not a fiction writer, or so I’ve been telling myself for a few decades. See? You are more powerful than you know. Get after it and let’s make 2018 spectacular.
Happy New Year!