At the beginning of the year, people make lofty and often unattainable plans, and by January, have given up. The Cambridge Dictionary defines a resolution as “a promise you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.” I prefer not to see it so black and white- the good vs. bad, and not to chastise myself if I don’t start or stop something.
Typically, people resolve to change an undesired trait (eat less sugar) or behavior (exercise more) to accomplish a personal goal or improve their life. I see the new year as a way to establish new patterns while celebrating what already works well in my life. I don’t want to set unachievable expectations for myself that set me up for failure.
Here are my intentions for the new year~ new rhythms and what remains:
New Rhythms for 2018
- Taking five minutes each morning to ask myself five questions:
- What matters most today?
- What is the best use of my time today?
- How can I show the love of God to others today?
- What do I need to do to for others today?
- How can I care for my soul today?
- Two Hands
My friend Lindsey wrote in her last newsletter, “I once read a story about a doctor at a hospital who intentionally started carrying around a ceramic mug instead of a disposable to-go cup. She wanted each of her patients to know she was focused, not in a hurry, fully present with them.” Lindsey then said she read something a few years ago about the idea of drinking coffee with two hands. “The idea was simple – when we drink coffee (or tea) with two hands, we are usually moving slow and soaking it in a bit more. Usually, we are really enjoying that cup of coffee, that moment. I’ve been thinking about it constantly. I’ve been drinking my coffee with two hands this week and let me tell you – there is so much wisdom in that simple challenge. When my hands aren’t busy doing other things, my mind is more attentive to what is happening around me.” (you can find that post here).
I love this idea and have been drinking my coffee/tea this way ever since reading the post. I want to savor those few minutes in the morning with my warm cup. Furthermore, I ask for a mug when at coffee shops instead of a disposable cup. Somehow it seems I enjoy that coffee or tea more when it’s in a ceramic mug.
- Spiritual Direction
I will be meeting monthly with a spiritual director. Spiritual direction ministry is often referred to as sacred companionship, spiritual conversation, or having a soul friend, or soul care. The goal is to help one deepen his/her relationship with the Lord. Here is an article explaining what it is/isn’t (this was the most useful article I found), and here are 15 reasons to have one.
- One or the Other?
This year, I will first ask myself, “Is this life-giving or life_draining?” before deciding to begin any project, take on a responsibility, try something new, etc. I have learned the hard way what saying “yes” to something does to me if I haven’t first considered how it’ll affect my soul.
What Remains for 2018
- Five Goals
At the beginning of each month, I write a list of five goals I want to accomplish. I jot them down on a post-it note, and that piece of paper gets moved each day in my bullet journal. It serves as a reminder of my monthly intention, and I can cross the goals off as I complete them. I don’t always achieve each goal, but having them written gives me a focus for the month, and I find that I work better when I set objectives for myself.
- Date My Husband
My husband was away A LOT last year. He worked out of town for eight months and was only home on weekends. We had to be very intentional about our time together; otherwise, the 48 hours were eaten up by yard work, house chores, bill paying, errands, and the like. While we didn’t go on dates every weekend, we often went at least once or twice in the month. We even managed a few mini vacations alone. We firmly believe dating your spouse is vital. You can read more about that here. All that to say, we plan to continue date nights.
- Try New Things
While I will be the first to admit that I crave routine in many areas, I also love trying new things. I continually experiment with unfamiliar recipes and foods. We don’t usually eat the same thing for at least four weeks, and my family is okay with that. I also hunt for webinars or online courses to take that help me grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or intellectually. I also enjoy trying out new podcasts, unfamiliar-to-me restaurants, unexplored hiking trails, or new brands on the market.
Typically, I read a few books per month, sometimes more, sometimes less. The only change I have here is I want to try inserting more reading time into my daily schedule.
- Morning Time with Jesus
Each morning I take time to read the Bible and a devotional, pray, and often, journal. My time with God is a vital part of my morning, and it sets me on the right course for the day. You can read more about my morning routine here and devotional suggestions here.
Have you set goals for yourself for 2018? How do you achieve your goals?
Do you set New Year’s resolutions? I would love to hear what yours are! Let me know in the comments below.