2017 IS HERE.
I love a fresh start and have always felt a thrill at the blank canvas a new year brings. But in recent years I’ve gotten a little more black and white about the issue, and taken a less romantic view. What, I ask myself, actually changes between 11:59PM, December 31 and 12:01AM, January 1? Why is it that I view the rolling over of a new year as the magical flipping of a switch – the perfect motivation for getting in shape, reading my Bible more, picking up a new hobby, etc., etc.? Why do I burn out and get discouraged just a few months in?
At this stage in my life, I’ve realized that the rules of my life don’t change overnight. Over long periods of time, I have developed habits and routines, and changing them won’t happen with any less work or time. A “fresh start” doesn’t guarantee success, only the opportunity for it.
It really is true that the way we spend our days is the way we spend our life. There is no magic elevator to whisk us from ground zero of our goal, to the lofty floor of achievement. We have to take the stairs one at a time; and in some cases, build them as we go.
So let’s dream big, and set big goals this year! But then let’s get busy focusing on the little steps that will help us accomplish them. Otherwise we’ll arrive disappointed, not satisfied, at the end of 2017. I sure would hate for that to happen!
Serving as Chief Editor for Daughters of Promise has taught me some great things about staying on track and building toward goals. Here are a few practical and exciting ways that you can make this year awesome!
- Minimize clutter. Identify your goal, and then get rid of anything that doesn’t relate to, or won’t help you accomplish that goal. This strategy applies to everything from how you spend your time, to what you hang in your closet, to the partnerships you form in your company. Eliminating excess simplifies your life, reduces stress, and helps you stay focused on your goal.
- Resolve to accomplish one productive thing before breakfast each day. Suggestions: sweep the kitchen floor, spend a few moments in God’s Word, start a load of laundry, make a phone call you’ve been putting off. Accomplishing something early in the day kick starts your productivity for the rest of the day.
- Make a daily to-do list, but on the side list the top three things you hope to accomplish that day. These are your priority. Anything you check off the list after them is a bonus. Go you!
- Set “social goals” for your week. It’s easy to focus on the practical demands of life and forsake our emotional needs. Make it a part of your weekly routine to interact with a friend(s) in an intentional way. Plan ahead to ensure that these exchanges happen. It’ll feed your soul and keep you razor sharp!
- Keep learning! Adding to your knowledge bank is empowering and invigorating. Listen to interesting podcasts, research a topic that you don’t know much about, interview people whose habits/work you admire. Be curious! You’ll find that by the end of 2017, you are a more well-rounded, cultivated woman. I’d call that a success.
What helps you stay on track with your goals? I’d love to hear!
The happiest of New Years’ to you,
Chief Editor, DOP
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And a Happy New Year to you!