Looking into the New Year and Dreaming Big
Aww… New Year’s resolutions. Some people love them, others not so much. Typically, I am in the latter category, however, over the last few months I’ve had a major change of heart and of mind. For the first time in a long time I’m excited about the opportunity to reflect on what’s occurred over the past year, take a moment to be grateful for progress made, and dive in and set new intentions for what will hopefully be a very bright year ahead. Cause why not?! Why not take the chance at a fresh start? Recommit to your health. Spend more time with God. Take a chance on a new business. Why Not?!
I was recently reading Mark Batterson’s book Chase the Lion, one of the sections was titled The Art of the Start. And it opens with… “You cannot finish what you do not start.” And ain’t that the truth. It goes on to outline the best way to take the plunge on a new endeavor. “First, give yourself a start date. And I’d highly recommend today! Second give God an hour a day every day. It might mean getting up an hour earlier or staying up an hour later, but that’s how dreams become reality. Third, give yourself a deadline. Deadlines are lifelines. Without them nothing gets done.”
So I’m taking a page from that book and diving into new dreams and goals. Because, really a goal is just a dream with a deadline.
Now, if you aren’t feeling as optimistic. I’d encourage you to first take a moment to pause and reset prior to thinking about your goals.
A couple ways to get in the right mindset…
- Gratitude Practice- 5 things I am grateful for
- Appreciation Practice- This is slightly different than gratitude. Appreciation is simply taking joy in something around you. The way the sun ray hits your face. Gratitude is often in comparison to something that once was. I’m grateful that it’s sunny today because it was raining yesterday. Does that make sense? Appreciation stands alone recognizing the full worth of something. List 5 things that you appreciate.
- Guided Meditation
Once you’ve got the right mind set, we can dive into the goals themselves. It’s best to look at the 9 main areas of our lives and think about which area you’d like to focus on.
- Health- exercise, lifestyle choices, and eating habits, blood pressures, weight, etc. Important to put an emphasis on how you feel rather than how you look.
- Self-Care- Healing Old Traumas, Introspective Growth, Taking care of yourself-Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, and Spiritually.
- Home Life-organization, schedule, space, atmosphere, cleanliness
- Finances- income, tackling debt, money mindset, learning about investing and management
- Career- Work/Life balance, Advancement opportunities, starting a new business, growing income, switch career fields.
- Relationships- Marriage/Romantic, Family, Friendships, Faith
- Personal Development-Setting goals, time and productivity, self-growth
- Extra-Curricular- Hobbies, Travel, volunteering, vacations
- Spiritual- Our relationship with God, relationship with church, time spent in the word, spiritual wellness
Now that you have an area to focus on it's time to create the goal. You can simply state, "I want my marriage to be stronger" or "I want to feel more connected to my spouse" but that’s subjective and difficult to measure. So, with that feeling in mind channel that into a goal. The best way to create a goal is to follow the SMART set criteria.
SMART Goal: I would like to go on two dates a month with my husband for the next year.
1. Talk to my husband about the goal and get him on board.
2. Coordinate care for my little one with family and friends.
This goal although it may seem small helps support your value of having a close relationship with your spouse.
Here’s another example…
Self-Growth- I would like to read one book a month for the next year.
1. Dedicate a time to read
2. Pick out book per month. Make sure library dues are paid 😉
You get the idea.
So, here’s to a new year ahead with big dreams and big goals. And don’t be afraid to dream big. If your dream doesn’t scare you it’s probably too small.
Lord, I ask that you walk with me into this new year. Walk with me into this new season of life. I am so grateful for all that you’ve given me. I know that even the hard things serve a purpose. Nothing is wasted by you. Guide me in your ways as I take on new challenges, as I practice diligence and self-control. Bless me and Keep me and Shine your Light upon me throughout the days to come. In your name we pray. Amen.