#DearFam, Happy New Year! I feel like every year I say the same thing, “I can’t believe it’s a new year already”, or “MAN, the year went fast”. I honestly have no complaints as 2023 was a good year. I am alive and healthy, my parents and in-laws are both doing great, & my family is doing well… God is good!
As we welcome the new year, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. Ahmad and I for the past 5 or 6 years have been having our annual family meeting where we look back at past goals and either check them off, pivot, and reflect. We then set new goals and what always amazes me is how God works in our lives throughout the year. The things that we many not end up accomplishing use to make me sad, but now I know it’s because it’s God’s will and not mine. Surrendering our plans and goals to Christ is what it’s all about. I challenge all of us to set our goals but also give them to God, let him lead our year! I also want to share a few ways I’m starting the new year on a positive note.
1. Reflect on the past year: Take some time to think about the highlights and challenges of the past year. What were your accomplishments? What lessons did you learn? Reflecting on the past year can help you gain clarity and perspective as you move forward. Remember that it’s ok not to accomplish everything on your list. Maybe God was blocking a door to save you from something. Maybe he had us pivot to open another.
2. Set goals: Setting goals is a powerful way to stay focused and motivated throughout the year. Think about what you want to achieve in different areas of your life, such as career, health, relationships, and personal growth. Make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). Ahmad and I sit down the first week of the year and put pen to paper. It’s good to brainstorm with your spouse on how you can work together for the family, set new family goals, and if you work together like we do, it’s a great time to set work goals as well.
3. Create a vision board: A vision board is a visual representation of your goals and dreams. It can be a powerful tool to manifest your desires and keep you motivated. Gather images, quotes, and words that represent your goals and create a collage on a poster board or in a digital format. I haven’t made a vision board in years, but I print out templates and write down my visions and goals. This year I added a verse section to my goals sheet. My verse of the year is Jeremiah 29:11.
4. Practice gratitude: Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can have a profound impact on your overall well-being. Take a few moments each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. I love to journal my prayers, and its always great to look back and read old prayers to see how God has moved in my life. This simple practice can shift your focus from what’s not working to what is going well in your life.
5. Prioritize self-care: Make self-care a priority in the new year. Take time to nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This can include activities such as exercise, meditation, journaling, spending time in nature, or indulging in hobbies that bring you joy.
6. Learn something new: Challenge yourself to learn something new in the new year. It could be a new skill, a hobby, or a subject that interests you. Learning keeps your mind sharp and opens up new opportunities for personal and professional growth. I was late to the party, but I signed up for the waiting list for an interior design conference. Totally out of my comfort zone to sign up for an event like that, but hey I am ready to learn!
7. Connect with loved ones: Strengthening your relationships with family and friends is important for your overall happiness and well-being. Make an effort to spend quality time with your loved ones, whether it’s through phone calls, video chats, or in-person gatherings. I think that I am personally probably a better friend than I am family member. So this year I want to make sure that I am calling/texting family members. Life is so short!
8. Give back to others: Helping others not only benefits them but also brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose to your own life. Look for opportunities to volunteer or contribute to causes that are meaningful to you. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. If you know of any or have any charities dear to your heart please share in the comments section. I would love to research and help in any way that I can.
9. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment and non-judgmentally aware of your thoughts and feelings. Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine through activities such as meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking a few moments to pause and observe your surroundings.
10. Embrace change: The new year often brings new opportunities and challenges. Embrace change and be open to new experiences. Remember that growth and progress often come from stepping outside of your comfort zone.
I hope these tips inspire you to start the new year with positivity and intention. Wishing you a happy and successful year ahead!