Fresh

newyear

We have officially left 2016 in the dust. It’s 2017.

There are a mixed bag of emotions when a new year starts. Looking at social media it seems many people have had a rough go of things this past year. For others it was filled with joyous occasions and laughter. We lost a lot of good people. A lot more were born this year too. Yet, for all we enter into 2017 with renewed vitality. There are new goals, aspirations, and recommitments to ourselves and loved ones. This past week I have had some great conversations, found some rest, and am looking forward to 2017. Here are somethings that will help me make the best of this amazing year.

Goals

The week between Christmas and New Years I take some time to set goals. These goals are range in a variety of topics. I set personal goals often about working out, reading books, writing and personal projects. There are goals about my finances. These goals help me to stay motivated for the year and work towards a target. These goals usually span the entire year so they are long-term. I work hard to make them SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-oriented). I can look at these goals throughout the year and check on progress.

Accountability

In the upcoming year I make sure to have people close to me to help hold me accountable. They hold me accountable to my goals but also to my faith and my personal struggles. Letting people into my world helps create authentic relationships. It is these relationships that have made 2016 an amazing year and I look forward to 2017. Accountability looks like making phone calls and meeting up with people. It is setting time aside to connect with another person and being honest and transparent with them. It is in these relationships that I look forward to an amazing 2017. 

Adventure

I love adventures. I drive my wife crazy because whenever we go somewhere I’m usually doing things I shouldn’t. Those areas beyond the “no visitors past this point” signs are usually where you can find me. In 2017 I hope to create some spontaneity and adventure to my life. This energizes me and I get to have fun. Adventure can be trips but it can also just be doing new things. Shake up your life in 2017. 

Loving others

My wife has created a monster. We have created a generosity fund that we use to love people. We both love to bless other people and see huge smiles on their faces. We set aside some of our paychecks in order to give to others. I believe that living a live that builds and encourages relationships with people is the sweet sauce of life. In 2017 I hope we can continue to love people and do some crazy things in faith with our finances. T

What do you look forward to this New Years? How can you make this the best year yet?

Journaling for 2016

Journal

 

One of my resolutions this year is, of course, to grow closer to God. I have loved journaling; I have been doing it for years now. Lately though I’ve become forgetful and it has taken a back seat. I realized that I just needed to tweak the routine for me. There are a lot of different techniques, styles and advice. Ironically, I am giving you one more. The idea though is to create something for you making you more successful, joyful and closer to God.

Above is picture of what I have begun to do. It has a few different sections that work for me. Lately, my attitudes have been frustrated, lost and often feeling stuck. I have added a few things in there to help shift those thoughts and bring about something more positive. I can lay awake at night thinking of all the things that should’ve been done, or worried about how something turned out. To help this I added a section to make my mind rest at night. My journal has become two parts, the bible reading and summarization in the morning. Then, I work on everything else before I head to bed in the evening.

Morning

Date:

This should be a no brainer but I put the date on this so that I can be accountable to my journaling. It helps me to keep organized and I can look back to see growth and what God has been doing for me lately.

Verse:

I need to be in the Word of God daily. I would find myself reading verses but only for work and not for maturation. My routine is to read a short section in my Bible (currently in Philippians). I will read it twice then pick one verse that has stood out to me. That is the verse that I will write down in my journal and reflect on throughout my day.

Summarization:

When I write this verse down I will attempt to summarize and put it in my own words. This helps make this verse personal to me. It will help me to memorize the verse better and get the theme behind the passage.

Evening

Free Space:

I love free space. It is space to doodle and to think. I can do whatever I want there. I use this to think about people that have helped me that day or a situation that I could’ve handled better. It helps me just be creative. Sometimes, I just doodle monsters. It makes me happy.

Reasons I’m grateful:

I have had an attitude of frustration at times in my faith. I read a book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It struck a cord with me and I began to write down one reason a day I was grateful. I lost that habit and realized it helped my attitude greatly. I have created a space for me to write down 5 reasons that I am grateful to God that day. They can be anything. They can be something you saw, an interaction with a friend, something beautiful. Anything that you are grateful to God for that day can be written here.

God’s love:

From doing a step study with Celebrate Recovery I have realized one of my major heart issues is that, at times, I believe God doesn’t love me. I know that He does, but in certain moments that is the default of my heart. Everyday I want to be on the lookout for ways that God loves me. It aligns my heart to know the God is at the center of everything and that He loves me.

The cool thing is that in the past few days I have been doing this my mood has be a lot better than before. It has taken some adjustment but I do look forward to it each day.  This is just an idea. Do something that works for you, but just do something. Grow closer to God this year. Be more productive with goals and get in your Bible daily. Happy New Year and lets make 2016 the best year yet.