I'm ready for fresh starts, how about you? The end of the year is an exciting time as we anticipate closing out the old and bringing in the new. Our focus is often ahead, looking and leaning forward into the next season.
I'm doing the same, finding this month relaxing and calmer since January will take off from the get-go. In all this thinking and planning, I'm reminding myself of a few things to tuck away when preparing for fresh starts -- mind if I share them with you?
1. Celebrate last year first -- Take time to highlight the good of this past year, what went well, before tackling the changes you feel are needed.
2. Make a plan for doing, and also for being -- At the top of plans should be time for our rest, not only for our work. Prioritize sleep and schedule out (yes, schedule) times for pause throughout your calendar, especially if there are big projects on the horizon.
3. Let go of non-essentials -- oh my, this is so different for each of us! What's vital to me may be foolish for another, so begin maybe with this question: what distracts from the true purpose and meaning of my life right now? Make a list, and find ways to say 'no' and let it (them) go.
4. Try not to overwhelm others -- note to self: do not attempt to overhaul the menu plan, financial plan, shopping plan, cleaning schedule, kid's chores, weekly rhythm, and more all. at. one. time. It's overwhelming to the family. Anyone else? :)
5. Remember it doesn't all have to balance out exactly -- I'm not advocating ignoring priorities, but you know...sometimes we need extra of something to accomplish what's ahead of us.
In 2011, I needed time for recovery after a season of burnout. The year included lots of stepping back as a focus. However, 2012 was completely different! I made room for several big projects and ideas to be cranked out. So...what is a need for you in preparing for next year?
6. Plan for ways to support yourself -- we need community, we need like-minded people in our corner. Don't go it all alone, reach out (and pray for) ways to connect with others on a similar path.
7. Prepare for resistance -- when we attempt positive changes, we'll often run into some level of struggle. It comes from within ourselves or around us. Anticipate it, and prepare to respond by getting back up again and taking the next step anyway.
8. Release pettiness -- it's not worth it, and a time-waster. Let it go, whatever it is.
9. Know your threshold -- Again, I think it's different for each person. But when you can no longer approach life in a relatively calm manner, it's time to evaluate and make changes.
10. Remember to be grateful -- All that we already have, all that we've already accomplished...is a gift. Any one of us have come incredibly far somewhere and somehow, we've been blessed in some way. As we pursue the next thing, give praise always for what's been and what is here and now. It's a gift.
Be blessed into 2013!
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