A high percentage of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February. Instead of making a Resolution (or having a list of them), why not decide to make some changes throughout the year?
Here are three suggestions for changes to make in 2019 for you, for your health, and for others.
Spend more time with the Lord. I have made it my goal to spend time with the Lord first thing when I wake up. I know myself too well that with all of the busyness of the day that He has to be my first priority. As such, the first words that I utter when I wake is “thank You, Lord, for another day. Please help me to glorify you, be a blessing to others, and please keep my family and me healthy and safe.”
Don’t only take your time reading through a book in the Bible, but if you have a Bible with commentary, read those notes as well to fully understand what God is trying to tell us through His Word. Go as slowly as you need to in order to understand what you are reading.
Start a prayer notebook. Add in specific prayers for those you care about, plus any strangers (such as someone you read about online who just lost a family member). Also be sure to add in prayers that the Lord has answered.
Listen to upbeat music. There is so much negativity in some of the current songs these days. However, there is also an abundance of options for positive and hopeful music. K-love radio is a wonderful alternative solution when listening to music.
Cut back on news consumption. Watching and reading too much news can be overwhelming and discouraging.
For your health…
Eating healthy is an important goal. But if you plan to make it a goal just to “eat healthier,” you may not succeed. Instead, choose one or two food items to add to your menu that you are able to commit to eating. For instance, I detest broccoli – always have. But I determined last year to incorporate it into my diet slowly and intermittently. So far, my plan has been successful.
Revamp the typical resolutions. Losing weight and getting fit are at the top of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s common at the gym where I workout and teach a cycling spin class that January will be a crazy busy month and then return to “normal” attendance by mid-February. Instead of just saying you’ll lose weight and get fit, make your goal specific and manageable. Plan to go to the gym three times a week or take one new class for the next six weeks. Or plan to incorporate 20 minutes of weight training twice a week. One of my goals last year was to be sure I spent ample time stretching after a workout. Too often, sufficient stretching would (unwisely) be the thing that would suffer if I ran out of time.
Offer yourself small rewards at several junctures of attaining your goals. You made it through the first session of kickboxing. How about that new workout top you’ve been eyeing as a reward? Just be sure not to make sugary treats your motivation for working out. 🙂
Declutter your life and your home. Again, start small and aim to declutter one manageable area at a time.
Speaking of decluttering? Sometimes, sadly, it’s time to weed your garden of friends as well.
Rethink friendships. God tells us in His Word to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). Thankfully, He doesn’t say we have to hang out with toxic people – those who cause us undue distress or are cruel or unkind. If you have someone in your life who is jealous, hateful, abusive, a gossiper, or any other type of negative person, it’s time to spend less time with them. Not to be unkind or to retaliate, but to distance yourself from that person and the negative effects they can have on you and your health.
Learn to say no. Easier said than done, but sometimes we have to cut back on the massive amount of things we undertake on a daily basis. Pray for God’s wisdom this year, that He would show you what to cut back on and not feel guilty about it.
For others… (click on the blue links for specific suggestions).
Volunteer. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Volunteers spent a median of 52 hours on volunteer activities during the period from September 2014 to September 2015.” Volunteering can range from coaching a soccer team for kids, to delivering meals to the elderly, to teaching Sunday School.
Bless others in unexpected ways and perform random acts of kindness.
Help those going through a difficult time.
Instill in your children the importance of serving others.
What are some changes you plan to make this year?
From my family to yours, Happy New Year!
*Note: Movie Monday will return next Monday.