I know this is the time of year for all sorts of resolutions and such. And I’m not opposed to the idea of resolutions, I just think we can have a healthier approach and make the most of the new year. Personally, I like goals and plans and ambitions, my enneagram threeness geeks out over those things. However, I have found a rhythm that is more motivating and practical for me than a typical resolution. It’s what I call a reset. And guess what? It’s not just for Januarys.
Sisters, whether it’s January or the beginning of any old month, week, or year… we can have a fresh start. It’s not unlike how I feel about Mondays… I love them. Weird, I know. But think about it. Monday’s are a kind of new start too. It’s a chance for us to reset after whatever the weekend brought our way. Maybe it was a million kids activities rudely bossing us around, or possibly, we stayed up too late, ate too poorly, made some bad decisions… weekends can be like that can’t they? Then, in walks Monday… saying, hey let’s have a do-over!
Likewise, after a year of just. so. much. A new calendar year is an opportunity to reflect, refresh and hit the reset button.
Now listen, I know that there is never a guarantee that things will all be gloriously fixed or solved just because it’s a new day, new month, or new year. But there is something mentally and emotionally and I believe, spiritually encouraging to know that today is a new day.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3:22-23
So, I wanted to get the reset ball rolling for us by sharing a few areas in my life that I’m giving a refresh.
My Prayer Life
Early on, I started this habit of keeping a prayer journal and it absolutely transformed my intimacy with God and my life. Through prayer journaling, God taught me how to pray, how to listen, and how to recognize his activity in my life. Bonus: it also embedded scripture into my heart and memory. Over the years, I’ve had seasons of abundant prayer-journaling and seasons of drought.
This year I am bringing back my prayer journal! This particular journal is the one that started me, decades ago, on my way to intimacy with God through writing out His word and my prayers.
PRAY MORE / ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS / FIND FOCUS AND ULTIMATELY EXPERIENCE A DEEPER CONNECTION WITH GODVal Marie Paper
Investing in my marriage is actually one of my goals this year. Which may sound kind of lame or like, duh, isn’t that a given. But y’all, the truth is, we all tend to take things for granted and just run them on autopilot when life gets crazy. Marriage is no exception. So, I gave my marriage a page in my goal planner! I gave it words on a page and put some action steps towards it. Sometimes, just having tangible reminders (ink on paper) of what is important and how to live towards those things can make a huge impact.
A peek into my goal planner…
- Pray more together
- Take an anniversary trip
- Begin dreams and plans for making the most of our next chapter
- Bi-weekly date night
- Speak my man’s love language well (check this out if you’re lost… it’s a game changer)
- Let things go often
My Daily Life
Simplify. This one has been a couple years in the running. I tend to overwork things and try to do more than I ought. Therefore, that combination can be depleting and absolutely no fun to live with! So, here I am still working on this area… truthfully, it may need to take up permanent residence in my yearly calendar.
My purpose for simplifying my daily life is to create space and capacity to focus on what really matters to me and my family. So this required some yeses and some nos.
A peek into some of my yeses and nos for a more simplified life…
- Order groceries online AND schedule them when the family is around to put them away (my faves: Shipt and Walmart)
- No hosting events for 6 months (until remodel is finished)
- No galas, fundraisers, big events for 6 months (because #remodeling… with the exception of my church community & daughter’s graduation)
- Outsource more (partner with a fellow mama or friend to save money)
- Keep a list of easy go-to dinners posted in my pantry. No one wants to reinvent things when you’re at the end of your stamina!
- Assign kids a night of the week to cook (This is a carry-over from Covid lockdown that was a huge hit)
- Let things go often
Final reminder as we reset
In order to say yes to the things that matter most to us, we will need to say no to others. As your fellow chronic over-doer, I’m here to free us from all the guilts. Guilt that is not ours to carry! Ask God to give you vision for what is yours to invest in and freedom to let the other things go… even if for a season.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.Matthew 11:28-30 NIV