Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

I’ve been thinking a lot of about the New Year and what I want to make of it. It feels like a blank slate, like I could do anything with it. There is a whole year of experiences, potential and exciting achievements ahead!

I don’t want to leave the filling of that “slate” to chance. I want to achieve goals, accomplish things that I’ve only dreamed were possible and achieve the potential that God sees in me.

Many make New Year’s Resolutions, but more often than not these get abandoned before they are met. I don’t want to fall into this, so I will be taking a difference approach.

I’m going to be strategic about the things that really matter for the next year. I want to learn from my successes and struggles from last year. Figuring out what those important things are has taken some time. Have you put thought into what you want to achieve this New Year?

Here are the things I will be focusing on:

Non-Negotiable Daily Self-care

I know this sounds like showering and brushing my teeth every day. Although those are non-negotiable self-care tasks, I’m referring to the self-care of my whole being. I’m just like everyone else. I get caught up in the day to day tasks, surviving and getting by and before I know it, I’m drained, I’m not the best that I can be and I’m frustrated with myself. I realize that in the past I have attempted to make self-care a priority, but I’m not sure I succeeded. So, this year I’m going to continue to address this area.

My first non-negotiable will be continuing to read my bible, first thing in the morning. This is imperative, because it puts my perspective in the right place and puts the most important person, God, first in my mind.

My next non-negotiable is gratitude. It is very difficult to be angry, frustrated or discouraged when you make the choice to focus on the things you have to be grateful for. I have been writing down in my journal, 10 things I’m grateful for each day and I’m going to continue this into the New Year.

Another self-care non-negotiable will be exercise. In the past I have made this my only self-care, but I’ve learned this past year that I need to find balance. It is possible to be too focused on and out of balance with even a “good” thing. So I will be setting specific measurable goals for myself in this area, including things like number of days a week, etc.

My last non-negotiable self-care is one I’m still learning and in no way have I perfected. That is the practice of giving myself grace. I am a type A, list-maker, goal-setter extraordinaire, who also struggles with focus, energy and completing the tasks I so passionately take on. When I don’t succeed I often get sucked in the mire of self-doubt, frustration and self-loathing. When giving myself grace, I will acknowledge when I haven’t lived up to a goal I have set, I will re-evaluate the goal, I will be grateful for what I learned about myself in the process and I will continue to move forward.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is very different when compared to making a resolution. Creating goals should include taking an account of all of the things that are important in your life, rather than focusing on one area and saying “this year I’m going to lose weight” or “this year I’m not going to yell at my kids”.

Goals should be “doable” - I will not be setting more than 7-10 goals. I think 7 might even be a bit much for me right now. I want to be able to keep my goals present in my mind without forgetting them. Larger goals will be ones that I can meet in a month or two. I will break larger goals down into smaller goals.

Goals should be measureable - I will be writing clear goals that will include either a time frame and/or some other qualifying aspect. For example if one of my goals is to have date nights with my hubby, then I might measure it by saying that we’d have a date night monthly, that included dinner and that we’d have this routine established by a specific month of the year.

Goals should be “visible” – I will be writing them down. If I don’t, they are easily forgotten. I will be reviewing them daily and asking myself, “what am I doing today that will move me closer to meeting that goal?”

Goals

Do you make New Year resolutions?

Will you, like me, be taking a different approach to achieving things this year?