My hope is that you are leaving this year with a sense of love, gratitude, and inspiration, and that you are energized in mind, body, and spirit for all that the coming months have to offer. Many of us exit the holiday season in a flurry that’s equal parts chaos and merriment – hands raised here! – and it can take a moment (or a month) to feel grounded again. I’ve outlined a few of the guidelines I employ to set meaningful new year goals.
Meaningful New Year Goals
1. Clean Your Spirit
- This means different things to different people, but can start by carving time into your day for prayer, reflection, and self-love. I’ve found prayer journaling and “brain-dumping” before bed an incredibly helpful way to ground myself. I encourage you to find 10 minutes at some point in your day to breathe deeply and focus on the truth that you are worthy. You are loved. You are enough.
- Focus on gratitude.
- Schedule time every month for service work. This could be anything from preparing meals for a local homeless shelter to volunteering at a nursing home or community center. Life is busy and if we don’t make the time to shift focus from our own needs for a bit, we’re less likely to take the time to actually do so. I’ve started to plan each month’s service work a month in advance, so that it gets priority in my schedule.
2. Clean Your Space
- Take holiday decorations down and stow them for next year (after the Epiphany, of course!). Is anyone else guilty of keeping those lights up well into February? Not this year! By choosing to head full-tilt into 2018, you’re more likely to feel excited, empowered, and resolute in the potential the New Year has to offer.
- Do a quick inventory of what’s come in over the holiday season, and what needs to go out. It can be easy to shove old items into the abyss of your closet and put the new items in daily reach, but I challenge you to be honest with yourself about what’s essential and what’s not. If you received a gift that serves the purpose of an old item, consider donating the old one to someone who could use it more than you.
- Don’t wait for spring to deep clean your space. While it’s incredibly satisfying to throw all the windows open and beat your rugs on the back porch (do people actually do this anymore?) at the first signs of spring, it’s just as fruitful to keep your space clean year-round. I do a “Spring Cleaning: Lite Version” every other weekend in our apartment by choosing one room or closet that really needs some love and going to town. If that’s not reasonable for you, choose the room you spend the most time in or that you use most for productivity (like an office, your kitchen, etc.) and deep clean and declutter it. I assure you, if you create a space that allows your mind to be restful and your spirit full, you’ll find it easier to remain focused and resolute.
3. Clean Your Slate
- I know there are mixed feelings about putting emphasis on a “New Year’s Resolution” as some say that you shouldn’t wait for January 1st to begin working toward your goal. And I don’t disagree! There really is no better time than “now” to begin making a change. That said, I have always found it extremely helpful to set detail-specific goals in a measurable way. While frequency, pounds, dollars, etc. are all ways to measure a goal, my favorite measuring stick is time. Why? Because most goals are achieved only through a pattern of consistency – and sometimes just “showing up” is the most important box to check. Time is one of the strongest indicators of success and highlighters of improvement. You can find dozens of Bible passages that stress the necessity of perseverance; so by setting a goal that can be measured over time (if even secondarily), you are setting yourself up for success. The time will pass anyway, you might as well use it to grow.
- Give yourself grace. It’s easy to focus more on what we have not (yet) accomplished than on what good we have already done. For personalities like mine, that’s not always a bad thing, as it serves as motivation to continue working, to continue progressing. However, I encourage you to challenge yourself to see the glass as half-full and to strive for progress, not perfection. Remember: if you’ve already identified an area for growth, you’ve begun the process of growing.
What are your goals for the new year? Share in the comments below! May you have a happy and blessed New Year!
Written by Erin Lowrey. you can find out more about her here.