The New Year is now only 12 days old and I am already feeling behind! For one reason, I have been sick so all my “best laid plans for this new year” aren’t getting done. For another reason, I have so many resolutions I want to do that I am just overwhelmed. Not a good place to be!!!
So, how are you doing with the New Year? I hope you and I can understand that feeling overwhelmed isn’t what God wants for our lives. I believe He wants us to give Him our lists and ask Him to work through us for His glory and purpose.
I need to remember that every day. Yes, I will make my goals and resolutions. But, I will lay them at His feet! I pray you will too. And that this New Year will continue on with accomplishments and successes that please the Lord.
I hope this list of ideas help and motivate you to make the changes you desire:
1. Does the way you spend time reveal what is truly important to you?
2. Do the people who surround you build you up, believe in you and want you to succeed? Can you phase out those who offer only criticism and negative energy?
3. Who are you in this season of your life? Can you also keep the real you too? Don’t let one part of your life take over the rest.
4. This is the time of year to make goals and the strategy to make them happen. If you want to lose weight, as an example, then make new menu plans along with a way to exercise: either with a gym membership or getting out your walking shoes.
5. Examine what you would like to do as a hobby. Now is as good a time as any to start working on one. Having a special outlet for yourself is important.
6. Show yourself kindness! Think about one thing you can do each day just for yourself as a bubble bath, a walk, reading, sitting down with a cup of tea/coffee, etc.
7. Make a goal of connecting with those in your life. Turn off your cell phone during private moments so you can nourish personal connections with complete focus.
As we begin to define this new year, another question to ask ourselves is: Where are we spiritually? Are we being spiritually fed? Please let one of your resolutions be a set time each day with the Lord. And also, make sure you are in a church that is based on the Bible with Biblical teaching. Encourage yourself to connect with other Christians in fellowship as a Bible study or Sunday school/adult fellowship/small group. And remember that the basis of our faith is our love and our walk with God the Father:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Do you ever wake up laughing? Those who know me know I can’t remember my own name in the morning! But, what a way to start a new day…and a new year!!! Nothing feels as good as a great belly laugh and nothing makes time with others as warm and as pleasant as sharing a great laugh.
Laughter actually triggers physical changes in our body which strengthen our immune system. It also decreases hormones that compound stress and increases the presence of antibodies that fight infections. In a study at the University of Maryland, after watching two groups watch different movies, they saw that those who watched a comedy had their blood flow increased by an average of 22%. The study concluded laughter may be almost as healthy as exercise!
Along with setting goals for the new year, we know we need to set goals to be as healthy as we possibly can be. Here are some tips to help you:
1. Eat healthfully. Believe it or not, the fat we eat drips into our bloodstream and becomes calcified plaque. Eat more fruit, vegetables, and lean meats.
2. Exercise. Yes, we all know to do this. But another motivator might be how your knees feel. The more weight we carry around, the sooner we may have to have a knee or hip replacement or even heart surgery.
3. Take your pills. Don’t forget to take your prescriptions at the right time as well as any vitamins.
4. Don’t over drink and don’t smoke. The damage to your liver from drinking too much will affect your whole body. The damage to your lungs from smoking make them riddled with spots of black tar that get bigger and bigger until they are like gaping holes (not a pretty picture!).
5. Remember to go each year for your check-ups. Early prevention is a blessing to a healthy life.
6. Be careful. While working around the house be careful standing on ladders or breathing toxic fumes. While doing sports or riding bikes make sure you wear helmets. While driving or riding in a car, always use a seat belt and drive correctly.
7. Tattoos. Do you really want an image on your body that will change its shape as you get older? And there are more cases of hepatitis C than people tend to think about that come from getting a tattoo.
ALSO! Did you know? January is National Bath Safety Month. Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths of children age 4 and younger? Please be aware that it only takes a few seconds for a child to become injured or drown from a bathroom related accident. Never leave small children alone around any container of water. This includes toilets, tubs, wading pools, spas, aquariums, and buckets. If the phone rings and your baby is in the tub, let the phone ring!
As we begin this new year, money problems could be following with us. If you don’t know where your money goes each month, go to www.mint.com, a free online money-management program, and use the immensely helpful basic budgeting tools.
Once you sign up, you’ll be prompted to link the site to your bank and credit-card accounts. Within minutes, mint.com automatically categorizes your costs and shows how much you’re spending in different areas. Then you can easily see where you need to cut back (from Real Simple Magazine, January 2011).