Jan 01, 2024

Well, that time of year again…you know, when social media, tv, and sometimes even our loved ones try to convince us that a new year suddenly means an entirely different you.

Wanna join me in taking a new approach?

I’m not fond of New Year, New You”.

How about we focus on caring for the already awesome person that you are.

I don’t know about you, but this past year was a struggle. Highs, lows, outrageous and incredible fluke incidents…and so much more. It’s hard to believe that everything that happened around here could possibly fit within a single year.

Did you have a year like that?

If you did, do you know that, despite what occurred, it caused you to grow? Yes, I said it.

In spite of unplanned challenges, darkness, bad days, trouble at home, trouble with family, you have grown in uncountable ways. Some ways are visible, while others may not be.

One thing is for certain, 2023 was full of growth.😉

Usually, at this time of year, it’s when the comparisons start…and end up with a list of “things to change” or “areas of improvement”.

But instead, let’s forego this – let’s just go ahead and admit it – it's unproductive activity, let’s take a different approach.

What if, instead of attempting to reinvent yourself, you make the decision to choose to accept and care for yourself more intentionally?

Let’s create some NEW New Year’s Resolutions:

Resolution 1: Choose Acceptance

Instead of pinching your ‘muffin top’, starting a new crash diet or crazy workout regimen…simply resolve to accept yourself. What freedom, what power! This year, I accept me. This year, I am enough, exactly as I am!”

Resolution 2: Get More Rest

Are you like I was? Believing everything society pushed? That you had to be busy, busy, busy all the time? Trust me folks, this type of intensity and overwhelm is NOT healthy.

When you are pushing yourself hard at work, trying to be the perfect mom/wife/husband, facing demands of what society tells you you need to be doing...rest is essential! Preserve and nurture yourself. Rest is what is going to enable you to carry on and maintain.

So this year, fit in some naps! Put your feet up, read a good book, have a lazy day once in a while. Consider it productivity! This leads me to:

Resolution 3: Engage in at least one joyful thing each day

With all that goes on in our culture, I'm sure you find yourself at the end of your day and realize you’ve hardly paused even a moment. The mere task of living can sometimes steal your joy. Don’t get me wrong, many of those tasks contain joy and a great deal has to do with how you approach your day and the many tasks in it. But, this year, try to fit in one thing – every day – that is pure joy. For me, it might be an extra long shower, snuggling with my kitty, or having an extra cup of coffee. I might give journaling a try this year… What is it for you that you can do, merely for your own sake, to give you a little extra enjoyment?

Resolution 4: Be intentional with what you agree to do (instead of trying to do everything!)

Are you, like me, one of those that get caught up in believing that you have to do everything? Just face it, you can’t possibly accomplish all those tasks. And in try to, you actually lose productivity and any happiness to be found along the way.

I’m so guilty of this. This year I plan to read the book, The One Thing by Gary Keller. It has come highly recommended and I'm hoping it will help me adjust my focus a bit more than I’ve been able to convince myself to do. (I’ll add a link to it at the bottom if you want to see if it is one that might help you cut out some of the noise and focus better. I can’t give a definite recommendation as I haven’t read it yet, but it’s next on my list). If you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Resolve, this year, to make intentional choices regarding what’s demanded of you. And when you choose to do something, do it wholeheartedly. Put the phone away and enjoy the activity at hand.

Resolution 5: Learn that “NO” is very empowering

This goes along with 4 above. Were you raised to always say “yes”?
If you live in the south, as I do, my guess is you certainly were. That ‘southern hospitality’ thing is sometimes exhausting…just admit it.

Being a people-pleaser is certainly expected in our 'neck of the woods'. I am guilty of saying yes to things that my intuition was telling me to run from (and run fast). It has created dread, chewed up precious time, and ‘stolen my joy’ for sure.
I’m working on saying “no” without explanation. I am starting to feel the freedom as I write this...

Don’t get me wrong, say “yes” to the right things. Just be aware that there are many areas where “no” is the right response in order to protect your time and sanity for the things that matter…your faith, family, and yourself. As well as enabling you to focus on the little things that bring you joy. And speaking of…

Resolution 6: Focus on the little things that can bring you enjoyment

The day-to-day is where we live our lives. Let’s turn our focus there instead of fleeting events. The society we live in likes to force us to focus on the big things…the expensive vacations, large houses, career promotions. These are certainly not things that last.

Try to ignore what society is forcing.

Focus on the little things. The early morning quiet and stillness before the blaring alarm, the smile of a baby, the purring of your cat. These are precious times and they make a difference. Take note and let them be the inspiring experiences that they are.

This year, let’s resolve to be and do, to commit and enjoy.
But on our terms, not societies terms. It will take energy, but focus that energy and be intentional.

Accept yourself this year, start with just one of these resolutions. Then add another, weekly or monthly, whatever works for you.

After all, it’s your life and your joy…take ownership of it.

For the love of simplicity,

The One Thing, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Available on amazon >> The One Thing