New Year…Fresh Start
by Terri Bonin
It’s that time of year! New year, new you, right? The new year is always a great time of reflection. A time to look back on all the year prior has brought. It’s also a great time of forecasting and planning for the future. During this time of year, people are usually knee-deep in “resolutions”. I’m not really a fan of the term. People often resolve to make some sort of mass lifestyle change and sadly those resolutions will fizzle out the first week of January.
Me? I’m a big proponent of small, incremental changes. I believe that’s the only way you will ever get the return you are looking for regarding your resolutions. So as you are setting goals, remember that cathedrals were not built overnight, and you will not be where you want to be after just a few days.
Here are some practical categories to think about when you are setting goals. If you are like me, this can help you to narrow down your goals and put to practice what it is you really want for the coming year.
We all know that there is no building the house without a proper foundation. Having spiritual goals, while it may not work for everyone, has been a great way for me to think through and put into practice where I want my relationship with the Lord to be by this time next year. As you prayerfully approach this category, think about what areas in your walk you want to dive into, then write down practical steps to get there. Do you want to understand the Lord’s heart more? Make a goal to intentionally read your Bible. Want your heart to be grown for the nations? Make a goal to start serving somewhere in your community. Whatever it may be, it’s vital that we move into this year on the foundation of prayer.
This may seem like a weird category, but our emotional/ mental needs are often so easily overlooked. We get so caught up in the business of life that we neglect one of the most important areas: our hearts and minds. We should always be seeking to grow in our emotional and mental health. Without stability and progress in these areas, we can’t really expect to grow in any other areas of our life, can we? Do you derive energy from being alone? Set a goal to have intentional alone time during the week to rest and recharge. Are you brought to life being around people? Make it a point to have coffee or lunch or whatever it may be with people you love that will grow you. This category is really a call to learn more about yourself. Understand what makes you tick, what your needs are. It’s ok to meet those needs; let this year be the year that that happens.
Going off of some of the above points, set relational goals for the year. It’s just as important as any personal goals. God created us for community. We know that because the Trinity has been in community with each other for all eternity. And because we are created in the image of God, us growing in communal relationships is essential really for our health. Where do you want to be in your relationships this time next year? Think about your marriage, your family, your friendships. Where do you want you and your spouse to be? Set steps to get there, then take those steps. Are there any friends you would like to be closer to? Reach out and love them BIG this year. I feel confident you will find a deep peace and rest in your soul as you seek to grow deeper in your relationships.
Yes! Make MONEY GOALS! Just thinking about where you want your family to be financially next year really is only wishful thinking. Write down what you want your finances to look like, then take practical steps to get there! Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover is a great place to start when it comes to winning with money. He’s the king of practicality and will make winning with money so simple.
Health and Fitness
This time of year, these are the most common resolutions we see people set. These are also the resolutions most often broken. And for GOOD reason! When you resolve to “not eat carbs anymore” or to “work out 7 days a week for an hour a day”, those are usually unsustainable goals. This is really the biggest area where small, incremental changes are most important. If you want to win in your health and fitness, please please PLEASE don’t jump on the most popular diet fad, don’t make promises you only WISH you can keep (but know in your heart it really isn’t practical for your life currently), and PLEASE don’t do anything drastic (dumb). Think about where, reasonably, you would like to see your health and fitness this time next year. Then, check out The Laundry Moms private Facebook community “Release the Weight from The Inside Out” to address root issues you might be facing if you’ve been on this hamster wheel before because we’re all about seeing you WIN spirit, soul, and body!
These categories are by no means exclusive. They are merely here to help you get started and give some ideas. I truly believe that when you write it down and set goals that are actually achievable, you will look back and weep in the joy of how far you’ve come. Happy 2021, let’s ROCK this year!
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