Yes, a new year has arrived, which brings about resolutions and goal setting. Everyone wants to improve areas of their life to be happier and healthier. Last year, I chose a word that inspired and motivated me, START. My main objective was to stop fearing the unknown and no longer allow my perfectionism to get in the way of moving forward to follow my passions.
For 2017, I’ve chosen the word PLACE, using it as an acronym, to help outline the areas of life that I (and many of us, I imagine) can hone in on to bring forth more purpose and meaning to each day.
Making these 5 things a habit, and practicing them often, will allow God to push me (and maybe you) to a place in life that is more impactful and inspiring:
P – Pursue
It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of living the American Dream, but rather, let’s try to:
- Pursue God more diligently, place Him as first priority, and allow him to take the lead.
- Pursue relationships with people (over things), intentionally, wholeheartedly, and without judgement!
- Pursue those who are hard to love, relate to, connect with, or understand. Seek wisdom through them.
L – Less of / Let go
There are a litany of things we all can begin to lessen or let go of in our lives to bring about more peace. Along with common vices like junk food and hitting the snooze button (guilty as charged), let’s try to:
- Lessen and Let Go of expectations, so they do not steal our joy or hinder gratitude/thankfulness.
- Lessen and Let Go of guilt and having the desire or need to be everything to everyone.
- Lessen and Let Go of clutter….in ALL of its forms (physical, mental, and spiritual).
- Lessen and Let Go of complaining, to better appreciate the gifts we easily take for granted.
- Lessen and Let Go of grudges, as it holds you hostage to bitterness. Forgiveness is freeing!
A – Awareness
To be more successful in our relationships with significant others, family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, let’s focus on self awareness, along with being more conscious of those around us:
- Seek to know others deeply…their story, struggles, and experiences. You will undoubtedly learn and grow from them, which will ultimately, brings about more self awareness.
- Seek to figure out your own personal strengths and weaknesses. Identify ways to improve upon flaws and maximize strengths. You will be a better leader as a result.
- Seek to understand your body better, discerning when to rest and take time to slow down.
- Seek ways to be more attentive and present. Know when to listen and when to speak. Aim for this quote to serve as a daily reminder to you, so you strive to understand and not to reply!
C – Consistency
Consistency is key in seeing out the life you have envisioned for yourself! We have to create positive habits that will lead to the change we desire. Here are some habits worth devoting your time to:
- Commit to a daily meal with family, gathered around the table….asking questions, sharing stories, etc. If dinner isn’t a time that works for you, then try for breakfast or lunch!
- Commit to exercising every single day, whether it is 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Your body and mind will thank you, I promise! Plus, you will have more energy to do the things you love.
- Commit to getting more SLEEP! I know, I know…don’t we all wish we could have more of this. You’re thinking, “if only it were that easy”. But, we can make choices to go to bed earlier and forego some of the things we think MUST get done and finish them another day. Being a night owl, trust me, this is a hard one to address, but it’s not impossible.
- Commit to time away from technology. It quite simply has taken over our lives! It consumes us. We have to find other ways to spend our time, and at times, allow ourselves to be bored and not constantly be stimulated and entertained!
- Commit to spending time with God (Prayer, Gratitude Journal, Reading the Bible, etc.)
E – Educate
It can be easy to fall back on the excuses “If only I knew…” or “I wasn’t sure HOW…” or “If I had more time…”. We can’t allow ourselves to fall victim to them, becoming complacent with not knowing. We need to begin by educating ourselves first before relying on others for wisdom and insight:
- Learn by reading. Read more often, whether your intent is to gain knowledge or simply for pleasure. If you lack the time to sit down for a longer period of time, listen to a podcast. Whatever you do, make sure you are seeking out reputable sources and authors that you respect and enjoy!
- Learn to advocate for yourself, because let me tell you, no one else will. You are responsible for your own health and happiness. You know your limits best! Always follow your gut.
- Learn a new skill or enhance one you already have. You don’t need formal education for most things (too much money). and so much can be done through online tutorials, Youtube, or just a little trial and error (and some sweat!). For me, I hope to learn to advance my Photoshop skills and improve my cooking skills (which are pretty nonexistent, ashamed to admit).
So, my mindset this year is directed more on molding and shaping my behaviors, because this is what precedes actions. In order to complete tasks and accomplish goals, and to actually KEEP resolutions, we need to first focus on our patterns of behavior!
Training our heart is optimal in changing the way we live. I would rather strive to be a more impactful and inspiring person…a reliable friend, helpful neighbor, selfless spouse, and patient mom, than to accomplish an admirable goal and check that resolution off a list.
So, I challenge each of you to choose 1 thing from each category that you can expend your energy on, and my hope, is that you find yourself in a more enriched PLACE of life this year!