Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Five Ways to Start This Year Off Right

I don't know about you, but my year really didn't start until Monday. Had to get the kids back in school and my husband back to work before I could think straight! Now that I'm thinking somewhat straight, I've got some idea to share with you on how to start the year off right. These are the things I'm mulling over this first full week of the year... 

Reflect on the year that was: What went right? What went wrong? What would you like to have changed? What do you want to do differently this year as a result? If you had a word for the year, how did it manifest in your life? If you could name the year, what name would you give it? This post by Modern Mrs Darcy was fun to read and will get you thinking about your own year that was. In taking time to assess the past, you can go more confidently into the future.

Give yourself a challenge: The challenge should be something that's been bugging you about your life lately. Whether it's to do a better job at praying, to commit to exercising more regularly, to finally start that website or write that book, to eat healthier, to read aloud to your kids at night-- whatever it might be. You know best what would enrich your life, your health, your motherhood, your marriage, your spirituality. Create a challenge and break it down into steps, then think of a reward for yourself if you accomplish the challenge. I think this mentality works so much better than random resolutions because typically we rise to challenges, especially if there's reward involved.

Pick a word: I've written about this ad infinitum but I will say it again. Choosing a word for the year is revolutionary. Check out for more info about this concept and start pondering and praying about your perfect word for 2015 if you haven't already. My word for the year last year was affirm, and it was an interesting year of seeing God affirm His promises in my life, but in ways I didn't see coming. My word for 2015 is abundance, as I need to move out of what I call the scarcity mentality into one of abundance-- from "not enough" to "more than enough." And I don't mean in a prosperity way, I mean abundance of time, resources, and the fruits of the spirit. I hope to share what I'm learning about this as the year progresses.

Make your TBR list: TBR stands for "To Be Read." There are so many great books coming out this year, and so many that have already come out. I would encourage you to participate in Mrs. Darcy's Reading Challenge.  And if you want to know what books I'm planning to read in order to complete her challenge, just visit the Pinterest board I created one lazy day over Christmas break. (I had far too much fun with this. My children might have called me a nerd.) Don't know what to read? I highly recommend every single one of our "Books of Winter" at She Reads. Reading enriches our lives, informs us, is good for our minds, and makes us empathetic. Don't just wish you were a reader-- become one!

Evaluate your routines and systems: What's working? What needs work? If you need a new system or routine, get one. If yours is too complicated, simplify it. If yours is nonexistent, create one. There are many, many resources on time management, planners, motivational books, etc. out there so start clicking around online and jotting notes about what your ideal routine and system for keeping track of things would be. It won't come together in a day, but it'll start coming together-- and that's a step in the right direction.

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Susan said...

Happy New Year, Marybeth! Thank you for this wonderful, thought-provoking post :)

Shelia said...

This is my first year choosing a word. Trust...I kept noticing it popping up in many areas during the last few months of the year (2014) through bible verses, devotions, even in songs on the radio. I feel God nudging me to fully let go of my need for control and just Trust Him. As a single mom of 3 that's not always easy yet I know He's the only reason I've survived the last few years. Thank You for this post. I will definitely be pondering a few other items listed as well.