Lately I’ve heard January being referred to as a “free trial month” for 2018 LOL, but personally I was PUMPED to begin this year. I took down my December calendar before it was even Christmas I was so excited (that’s honestly too extreme now that I’ve typed that out). Last year had its ups and downs and it was the hope and promise of 2018 that thrilled me so much.
I’m a list girl – what up Type A ladies?! – so I’m sharing my top 7 ways to step into 2018 with a totally fresh start – appreciative of 2017, but focused on 2018.
1. Reflect + Move On
I’m not an incredibly nostalgic person and I rarely look back and think that I’d like to do any moment over in my life. I’m such a forward thinker that I sometimes forget to reflect on experiences. This year I made an effort to think about the highs and lows of 2017 and what I learned from each experience. I’m grateful for the highs and the joy they brought and appreciative of the lows and the chance that I had to depend God in a different way. Thinking about how life changed from January to December is absolutely crazy and I’m in awe of how God orchestrated all of it. With that being said, that reflection allowed me to learn but also move on. I can sometimes dwell on the tough moments and give them too much energy and attention, but making an active effort to move on can be incredibly healthy and refreshing. Do yourself a favor and look back on the year God gave you – pray for wisdom from it and pray for strength to step out of certain situations that are holding you back. Walk into this year with confidence and purpose.
2. Make Realistic Goals
Maybe you’re a goals person, maybe you’re not. I don’t think everyone needs to spend hours journaling and making a list 15 items long, but I think it’s great for everyone to briefly pause and think, “How can I grow in 2018? Who can I love better?” If you ARE a goals/list/resolution person, then you need to set yourself up for success and create realistic goals. Personally, I pray for a theme each year – a word that will cover my thoughts, actions, and intentions – something that will inspire smaller goals, too. I list out the umbrella areas of my life – God, Relationships, and Personal and then create small goals within each. Sometimes if are goals are too general like “Spend more time in prayer,” we can give up on them easier. If we create actionable goals like, “Wake up 15 minutes early every day and pray,” we’re more likely to insert them into our day and get it done. Set yourself up for success!
3. Gather Your Dream Defenders
These are the trusted people in your life that make YOUR dreams THEIR priority. The people who are your sounding board and your cheerleaders. These are people who pray over you and your dreams and are willing to do spiritual and physical work to help you succeed. If you don’t have some of these people, GET THEM. They are game changers and absolutely necessary. Tell them your goals, get regular feedback and advice. Invite them to give you tough love when you need it. Community and accountability is everything, y’all. Also – go BE a dream defender for someone you love. It’s the best thing you can do for a dreamer.
4. Pray Over 2018 with Intention
Praying for your new year: life-changing advice right? This is THE BEST thing you can do, though. You’re trying to succeed and be your best in 2018? Walk alongside God within His purpose and plan and you’ll be successful. It’s that simple. Yes, God wants us to honor and respect our bodies and be healthy, He wants us to work hard at our jobs and take care of our families, but He mainly wants to be in a relationship with us and be the center of our lives. If we pray over 2018 and ask for wisdom and guidance and for a heart that honors the Lord, we’ve already crushed 2018. Have you prayed for 2018 yet? Do it right now if you haven’t!
5. Clean Something
This one might sound goofy and you can skip it if you realllly want to, but DANG this one gets me motivated. We all have that closet or cabinet (or trunk of your car if you’re me) that we’ve been avoiding for months. Making a point to clean and organize it like right now will set you on a goooood path, y’all. Cleanliness is close to godliness, right? Decluttering something physical in your life is so good for you mentally and I will recommend this until the day I die. So just humor me Type-B’s.
6. Address the Scary Things Up Front
I’m talking bills, budgeting, weird chronic pains, serious relationship conversations, etc. Don’t go into 2018 with the same stress that can be handled now. If you can take a step toward relieving some anxiety in your life you really should. It can painful and boring and messy to talk about money, the future, and serious things, but it’s so important. Set aside some time to list out the things you tend to avoid and make a plan on how you want to conquer them. Do some research on budgets, the best doctors in your city, or just ask for some help and advice. You deserve to move into 2018 with joy, sister.
7. Do 2018 Your Own Way
Whatever you choose to do – do it your own way. Don’t feel obligated to pick a theme for your year or write down the same resolutions for someone else. Heck – don’t even make resolutions. Go into 2018 confident that you’re living a life that honors the Lord and allows you to love people. That’s all we’re called to do anyway. I’m praying that whoever reads this will feel encouraged and motivated to make 2018 a year of joy, growth, and incredible love.
Thanks so much for reading!
P.S. a very happy birthday to the girl who wrote this AMAZING post on peace last month – love you, Chris!
– Caitlin –