5 Ways to Start the New Year
What does 2020 mean to you? Will you spend the first day of the year preparing for Introvert Day (Jan 2?) or will you spend it watching Netflix? Maybe you'll purge the fridge of all holiday junk food in preparation for your healthy resolution...later.
Or maybe January 1st is just another day.
I tend to spend precious days off from my day job, slicing my time into segments of author work, household productivity, and family enjoyment. I might organize a month or two of blogs, then clean my bathroom, then read a book. Repeat.
Or, I might lose myself in multiple episodes of Father Brown or The Great British Baking Show and get absolutely nothing else done.
No matter how you spend your new year's day, I'm glad you've decided to give me three minutes of your time as we explore ways to start the new year.
STOP! Chances are you may be reading this AFTER January 1st. If that's the case, don't you dare make the excuse, "Drat! It's January 4th! Now, I have to wait til next year to make any changes. I couldn't possibly start a new year challenge on the 4th." Learning and growing can happen at any time. The start of a year, month, week, or day. There is never a bad time for a beginning.
Here are five ways we can jump start the new year:
1. Get Organized!
Whether we have a large project to tackle (wedding, graduation, etc) or need to improve our household's time management, "Take Back Your Time - Identify Your Priorities, Decrease Stress, and Increase Productivity" by Morgan Tyree is a great place to start. You can purchase a copy of her book here.
Morgan is also my guest on the latest Introverted Believer Podcast, published January 1, 2020. Check out this episode here to learn more about her book and ways to start getting organized.
2. Consider Choosing a Guiding Word or Scripture
In recent years, many are praying for God to lead them with one guiding word or scripture. There are several blogs that break down the selection process or offer prayers for choosing, but bottom line is replace resolutions with God's guidance. The word may help you release the past, grow in the future, stretch yourself intellectually or surrender yourself in humility. Paired with a scripture, the idea is to bring back your decisions to this scripture or word as you face challenges throughout the year.
I have a life verse (James 3:17), but have not yet chosen my ONE WORD. Each year I pray about it. I think about different words and try to pay attention to patterns and listen in the quiet. However, each year I come to the same crossroads of whether a personal word choice would be more constricting, or would provide more focus. I'm still at that crossroads. More prayer on that. :)
3. Start Journaling
Whether we journal by topic, by scripture or simply keep a diary, journaling is a healthy way to brainstorm, process information, and work through problems. It's a time-out for our brain. We can buy inexpensive journals at department stores or beautifully bound, lined and bookmarked journals at our local Christian Book Store. There are free journal pages available when you subscribing to my website. As a member, you get member-only access to journal pages, checklists, and more. SUBSCRIBE HERE by completing the form in the pop up and start journaling!
4. Find New Authors or Start Reading in a New Genre
I have always been a fan of contemporary women's fiction. This year I've tapped into some Christian suspense and I LOVE it. If you enjoy historical fiction, consider alternate history. If you love science fiction, try steam punk (check out Edie Melson's Fable here). Haven't tried romance since sneaking into your grandma's bookcase as a child? Find contemporary Christian Romance Authors and other new favorites by conducting a genre search here. Happy Reading!
5. Give Back
I'm praying for God's leading on where to spend my time in this new year. With the blog, Introverted Believer Conference (ALL THE DETAILS RIGHT HERE!), my new PODCAST, and working on devotionals for my book, I am going in a lot of different directions. Where I know I am NOT spending enough time is volunteering. With so many great organizations and needs out there, it is important that I go where God needs me rather than searching for something that 'matches my values', fits my schedule, or meets my skill set. I want to listen and obey, rather than plan and execute.
Your turn! How do you plan to start the new year? Will you choose a personal word and scripture? How will you get organized? What will you read this year? Where will you volunteer? Will you try journaling? Join the conversation today!