Happy New Year! I heard a radio personality talk about how far into the new year it’s appropriate to say Happy New Year. I think this first week, and this first post of #2023 lends itself to the greeting. Okay, on to other first-of-the-year stuff. Has anyone else already taken down their Christmas decorations? We have! I love having my house back. The calendar page has turned, or maybe we closed one calendar and started a new one. I love a fresh calendar – 365 days of possibilities and unknowns. Some good days and some bad; hopefully more of the former.
The first of the year often brings a new set of goals and plans. After two weeks of some time off work that ends with the pop of a new year, how do we go back to the daily routine and keep our minds fresh? It has to be an intentional renewal every day. We need to think of each day the same as we do at the beginning of the year – new possibilities and unknowns. Lamentations 3:22 – 23 (there’s a book of the Bible you don’t read often) tells us that God’s mercies are new each day. Why shouldn’t we adopt the same mindset? Each day is an opportunity to do a little better than the day before. Show yourself and others more grace and humility.
Write it down. Not just your #goals, but things you want to be intentional about. On my 2023 planner weekly page, I have a box called #Gratitude. It’s a blank box and reminds me to look for things to be thankful for. Even if I don’t write anything in it, just seeing the word, “Gratitude” is a reminder enough. Let’s talk about #goals. They should be written. To be sure we don’t get too far into January, I always have them written by the end of the first week.
Written goals are more likely to be completed. There are multiple ways to write, organize, and accomplish goals. Mine fall into three main categories: Spiritual, Financial, and Physical. There can be multiple goals for each, but be sure they are specific, measurable, and attainable. We tend to be very optimistic about what we can accomplish in an entire year, but we also tend to put off the action items we can do today, this week, or this month toward that goal. Don’t start efforts toward your goals all at once. Maybe add a timetable to allow for you to ramp up. Remember slow and steady (mostly steady) wins the race.
Mostly steady wins. Keep moving forward. If you have a big goal, break it down and take small steps toward the bigger goal. Weight loss and exercise are big areas goals are set in. Both can feel monumental. In both of these, remember small changes lead to bigger successes. I joined Weight Watchers to give me the accountability I need to lose some weight that I’ve gained over the last several years. I was doing well last Spring and Summer, but then I slowed down when it was harder to be outside and it was too cold to swim. It took years for me to slip into some bad eating habits, I’m not going to fix them in a day or week. Here I go, slow and steady.
I’ve heard it said that financial success is 80% behavior. I think that could be said for many of our goal categories. Self-discipline to not let distractions take us away from our goals is huge. So while you’re writing your goals, go ahead and include one or two actions you need to take to get started.
Let me encourage you to take some time this week to write down what you’d like to accomplish this year. Find a friend who has goals they are working toward. Accountability is important to accomplishing goals. And add a couple of steps to get started. Oh, and don’t try to start everything in January. Slow and steady. Small wins lead to big wins.
You can do this! As of this posting, you have 361 days, and 8,664 hours to complete your goals.
All the best,
Watch for Karen H. Richardson’s debut novel, Curtains for Maggie, in 2023!