Welcome to my new column of my blog! I created this column to make things a little bit more fun and because I feel like we could always use a little “how to” in our lives! From how to bake, how to pray, how to relax, how to lose 5 pounds, or how to lose a guy in 10 days (kidding, but great movie recommendation!), I always love reading a “how to” article!
Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I wanted my first how to article to be…
How to Begin a New Year!
Here’s my take on how to begin a new year feeling organized, refreshed, and inspired!
1. Begin a daily devotional
- January (even if you are a few days behind) is the perfect time to begin a devotional! If you are on the go a bunch or already know you fall behind in book devotionals, I highly recommend downloading a devotional app. Devotional apps can differ from simply sending you a short 1-2 sentence reading everyday through your notifications, or there are ones you can read a few paragraphs in each day. A devotional each day allows you some time to have a short foundation of Christ-like thoughts and energy to either begin your day with, or like me, end your day with as you reflect and refresh for tomorrow.
- The daily devotional I am currently reading is “Jesus Calling.” I also recommend Lysa TerKeurst’s “Embraced.”
2. Read a new book
- One of my new years resolutions this year is to read more books! I love reading and am forcing myself to spend more time in books than on screens this year. A new year is a great time to make a habit of reading more because you’re inevitably searching for new inspirations and refreshment, and so much relaxation and enjoyment comes from reading a book. My favorite books tend to be faith, fashion, or lifestyle based, but I do love biographies, autobiographies, and chic fiction novels. To kick up an old reading habit, try allotting some time to go to a local book store and look through New York Times Bestsellers or books you’ve been hearing all about- I guarantee they probably won’t let you down and will have you hooked on reading again!
3. Clean out your space
- Leave your clutter in 2018! There is no better feeling to me than cleaning out cabinets, drawers, closets, under your bed, etc., and this is the best time to do so! I can tend to keep a lot of things that I “think” I’ll eventually do something with, but this is the time to just get rid of all the things you aren’t using at all and are only taking up space. If you have the extra time on your hands, this is also a good time to donate items that could still have some use in them! I even like going as far as cleaning out drawers of pens, pencils, etc. that aren’t good anymore.
4. Reflect on last year
- Don’t begin a new year on a limb! Be intentional and purposeful with your actions and words this year. Take some time on a weekend or at night to reflect on the past year. This can be something that’s rather deep and personal, or something that’s surface level just to boost your self-confidence and daily moods, or both! As for myself, I’ve taken time to do both and feel completely refreshed and inspired mentally and physically. Think about things like: what are things you feel like you’re doing that you don’t “love?” Are they changeable? What habits are you ready to break? What do you want to do more of? What are those things you’ve been wanting to do for months now?
- For me, some of the things I want to leave in 2018 are sleeping in, staying up too late, eating late at night, and more, and some habits I would like to pick up are writing down more goals, keeping a prayer journal, and beginning a fitness journey.
5. Try new things
- I’m the type of person that always has a running mental note of things I want to try. I make lists of things in my head all the time of movies to watch, books to read, websites I want to look at, etc., but just recently, I started listening to podcasts on Spotify. I’ve heard of several people speak highly of podcasts but I didn’t think I would be able to follow them without any words or pictures, but now I know you can’t knock it ‘til you try it! I highly recommend podcasts for time periods that you won’t be bothered (driving, getting ready, quiet time, etc.) and if you’re new to them, pick an inspirational person you love and search any podcasts they may have recorded. I chose Samantha Ponder’s podcasts and I was hooked. Next, I plan to listen to Lysa TerKeurst’s latest. Whatever it may be that you’ve “been wanting to try,” give it a go!
6. Get organized
- Whatever this may look like for you, just get organized! Get a new 2019 planner, buy a fresh new pack of Sharpies, pencils, or office pens, or even new makeup, beauty products, etc. and start fresh! Clean out those junk drawers and turn them into organized spaces that are easily accessible! Making a habit of being a super organized person will never lead you wrong.
7. Put together your personal health
- If I had to guess, the #1 new years resolution in all of Earth is to lose weight! Ask any random person what some of their NYRs are and I guarantee they say losing weight is one. Even if it’s not “losing weight,” personal health improvement is a top choice for something to work towards in a new year. Personally, I’d like to become more active, meaning muscle toning and shaping up, more running, and drinking more water. It always helps to clean up your diet a little and do things that if anything, make you “feel” better rather than look better. Start clean and healthy in 2019!
8. “Wake up earlier, say no to more things, and get rid of 75% of your stuff”
- As I mentioned above, I recently listened to two podcasts by Samantha Ponder, and being the incredible, inspirational professional sports broadcaster, wife, mother, and Christian she is, she often gets asked how she does it. Women particularly, like myself, are always wondering how these seemingly put-together, wise, role-model worthy women do it, and Sam’s piece of advice was my favorite. Samantha, in all honestly, said that three things she did that changed her life were these three decisions: waking up earlier, getting rid of 75% of the things she owned, and saying “no” to more things. She explained that waking up earlier gives you more time in the day to get things done, getting rid of 75% of the things she owned, (even the organized, color-coated, boxed, storage type things) left her with only the things she needed and little-to-no clutter, and saying “no” to more things allowed her to train her brain that she didn’t need to do it all. Her kids didn’t have to play all the sports, she didn’t have to do all the yoga classes, book clubs, stereotypical woman/mom things, and she had more time for the things she really enjoyed and wanted to do. All in all, great advice for a new year!
9. “Move on from old history, move on from old habits, move on from old hurts”
- I heard these three things be mentioned in church today by pastor Chris Hodges (1/6), and I think these are wonderful tools to use when beginning a new year. Moving on from old history may mean moving on from an old friendship that just isn’t working out anymore or that isn’t the best for you anymore, etc. Moving on from old habits, is of course self-explanatory, but this one for me is moving on from being social media indulged 24/7. Lastly, moving on from old hurts can be hard, but we cannot let old tragedies define who we are. People that hurt you, things that hurt you, or times you may have messed up and hurt others don’t need to linger around your life for too long.
10. Love yourself and love others!
- Lastly, go into the year with self-confidence and confidence in others! Be your best self and begin new journeys leading you to be the best person that you can be. Now is the time to change your life for the better and be a go-getter for the life you really want to live. Don’t make excuses for yourself anymore, and start loving yourself, your life, and others, now!