Each New Year often brings about lists of resolutions that people plan to employ as they enter the New Year and start anew. I personally am not one big on resolutions because starting new and better habits can be done at any time. Here I have listed some things I think you should be doing at some point, not necessarily the beginning of the New Year.
Setting Goals versus Having Resolutions
Although many may think that they are similar if not the same, they actually have a key difference. A resolution is something that you set out to do; a goal is something that you put effort towards. Effort is the difference. Let me share with you something my husband says to me when I am a little hard on myself for not being able to do something or not doing as well as I thought I should – “Effort is Sexy!” At the top of the year I can make a list of things that I am going to start doing, stop doing and change, and those are resolutions, but when I make the list and add the steps that I plan to take to achieve them, they turn into goals.
When setting goals, they have to be realistic and relevant. Sometimes larger goals have to be broken down into smaller goals, so they are truly attainable. I actually recommend this. You see it doesn't matter how fast you can run if you give up and don't make it to the finish line.
Opening your mind
Are you the kind of person who sticks to what you know? Have a daily routine? Stays in the safe zone? Consider taking two steps to the right and getting out of your box. Being open to trying new experiences opens up a world of possibilities. It even allows you to learn some new things about yourself, find new things that make you happy, and even put you around different people to enable you to make new friends.
Giving people their roses
My family recently experienced the loss of a family member who was very young. You know one of the ones you assume will be there forever because they had a whole life ahead of them. A few years back, my friend lost her grandmother and she said, "You know I just really want to give people their roses while they are still around to smell them". That stuck with me, and it became so real when I lost my sister in law. Take the time to let people know what they mean to you, express your differences in a loving way, and just take the time to give them the time while you still have the time.
Giving and then giving some more
Each of our lives has purpose and we all have something to give: time, love, money, and our talents. We all have some if not all of these qualities. If you are not currently a person who is a "giver", try to start to become one. By giving you get so much more. The fulfillment that comes from pouring out blessings onto others is immeasurable. Not to mention that giving gives good karma, juju, joog or whatever you call it. Don't believe me? Take a look at Matthew 25:14-30.
Being on a mission
Most businesses have a mission statement that they operate under. When they hire new employees they teach it to them and advise them of what they are striving for. They share it with their customers as to what they believe, and they operate under it when setting goals as well as moving forward. Well guess what? You don't have to be a company to have a mission statement. Sit down and hash out what you stand for, what is important to you and what principals you will use to guide your actions. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but having one is a good start to becoming the person you want to be in the New Year and years to come.
Finding a mentor
Having a mentor is essential. I personally believe that having more than one is necessary. Mentors help give you guidance and direction. They listen, they share, they give you honest feedback, and they provide you with examples of how to achieve your goals. We are all complex individuals, thus the reason I say multiple mentors is there are professional mentors, those that can help you to achieve your professional and career goals; then there are personal mentors and they help you in areas of your life such as your marriage, parenting, and overall personal development. I have found that in every stage of my life and area of my life I have found a mentor. Someone I trust enough to share my story with and take their advice. Mentors help me become a person I am proud of when I look in the mirror.
As you set goals and take steps to being the person you wish to be, write yourself notes of encouragement, notes that document and congratulate your accomplishment. This can be scriptures, quotes, thoughts or anything that reminds you of your mission and your goals. These notes should be in places that are easily accessible and that you view often. I personally have notes on mirrors in my home, on my desk at work, in my planner and sometimes in my car (I try not to keep them there, cause I don't like car clutter, but sometimes they are warranted). Overall, you want to write yourself reminders and even a love letter to help you keep striving towards your goals, believing in yourself and loving your journey. Now these seven things are not the end all be all of having the best year of your life, but I think they are a great start. Be blessed,
Do you think any of these might be helpful in the new year for you? What are some other things you might add to this list?
A special thank you to our guest writer.
Bijee (a.k.a “B”) is a young woman trying to be the person that she can be. Her greatest blessing is her friends and family, which consists of her husband and two children. She doesn’t take lightly to being a good wife, mother, daughter, and friend. The ultimate goal is to be a role model to her children and a good woman to her longtime best friend and husband. She strives to show her daughter what a good woman looks like and to model what her son should be looking for when the time comes. This attitude and approach is outlined and guided by Titus 2 and Proverbs 31. You can find her at The Reflections of a Good Woman where she blogs about Faith, Family, Friendship and balancing life.