Living Differently In the New Year

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Purposeful Living | 4 comments

The year 2020 is here and I love the wonderful possibilities that a new year promises. At the end of each year, my husband and I look back on the year we finished. It’s almost like our own little “year in review.” 

New years hold many promises including “a hope/desire to change.” This year, my perspective on the new year looks very different from previous years. 

Maintaining Priorities

I’ve talked about priorities many times here on the blog and the importance of keeping them in perspective. When the year begins, the focus is clear. But as the months go on, our grasp on them loosens and it’s easy to lose sight of our vision. Here are a few things I’ve found helpful.

List Them Out

A priority is something that must be attended to each day; something that must come before all other things. Listing your priorities is the first step to gaining perspective and focus when you feel overwhelmed with a “to-do list.” 

Think about them as you list them. For example, my top ones are:

  • God 
  • Husband
  • Children
  • Work (in various forms)

I constantly have to remember, not everything is a priority. I struggle with wanting to do ALL the things. It helps me to just make a list and then go back through and cross off things that are not a priority.

Keeping Focus

Once you have your priorities listed, keep it somewhere you can see every day. This helps keep your priorities visible and serves as a daily reminder to attend to those things first. 

It’s Okay to Say “NO”

Wow, do you struggle with this? I do! I have found that my schedule is so full that I don’t have time for the priorities? That also means my energy will dry up quickly. 

Saying “no” to things doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re too overwhelmed with life to do something. It means that you’re saying “no” to avoid being too overwhelmed. 

Trusting the One Who Holds the Goals

It’s okay to make goals! Goals are great to have in all areas of life. However, it’s not okay to retreat into a deep depression when you don’t meet that goal. This year, I’m recalling to mind Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV). 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Friend, we can plan and plan but ultimately the Lord orders our steps and that is what we should truly desire! His plans are already laid out. So, if our plans don’t go quite as we hope, trust that the Lord’s plans are much better.  

Parenting Differently In the New Year

Focusing on Far-Sighted Parenting

Do you have a vision for your children? When I was pregnant with our daughter, I read about the concept of “far-sighted parenting.” This term refers to having a long-term vision for your children. You ask yourself questions such as: 

  • Where do you see them in 5,10, or 20 years? 
  • What is your desire for them when they leave your home one day? 
  • Are you establishing a short-term vision for your children that will carry them toward your long-term goal for them?
  • Do you parent them now for the relationship you want with them down the road?

This looks different for each family. For our family, it means creating small short-term goals that will shape our children into virtuous adults for the Kingdom of Christ. 

Less Talking and More Listening

As a parent, I often have grandiose ideas of how a day should go or how I want my children to accomplish a task. This often results in frustration on both parties when the task isn’t done “correctly.” Sometimes, I just need to listen, sit, and be still with them. 

These are just a few of the ways I’m living differently in the New Year. I’m starting with the things I know I need to do and then listening, trusting, and resting in the one who already holds the plans. 

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