5 New Year’s Solutions
Let’s be honest: most New Year’s resolutions last 2 weeks, or maybe 2 months, and then you’re back to “normal.” Willpower isn’t always as strong as we’d like.
So, I’ve thought about some one-time things that you can do now that will still be helpful to you 2 months, even 12 months from now. Call them New Year’s solutions, if you want.
1. Unclutter your life.
There are things that take up unnecessary space in your life. You need to identify them and remove them.
Let me give you a few examples of what I’m talking about. I do a lot of my Christmas shopping online. In doing so, I unknowingly sign up for a lot of email marketing spam. Every day around this time of year I wake up to about a dozen emails that are simply telling me of coupons, Groupons, discounts, and sales. So, in uncluttering my life, I take 5 minutes to “unsubscribe” from each of them by finding the tiny link at the bottom of all these emails.
I also clean out my closet and our garage and give away everything that I haven’t used lately. I’ve heard one thing you can do at the beginning of the year is to turn all your clothes hangers around (facing the other, awkward direction). When you wear something and then hang it back up, you naturally turn it around. At the end of the year you give away all of the clothes that are still hanging backwards, and therefore haven’t been worn in the past 12 months. You clearly don’t need them.
How is your life cluttered, and how can you create space?
2. Create a spot.
Specifically, a quiet spot to do your quiet time.
Is your New Year’s resolution to read your Bible more? Start with finding a spot that you will go to every day. I have a desk near my bed with a heater near it (because it’s hard to get out of bed when its cold). It has a wide-margin Bible (so I can take notes) chained to it. (Literally, the Bible is tied to the desk so I don’t move it.) I have a single-serve French press coffee maker on it with a kettle that I prepare every evening. This is my spot. It is where I start my day right, every day. No breakfast or business meeting until I’ve had my Bible first.
Where will you read it? Find a spot.
3. Choose a bedtime.
Obedience doesn’t start with getting up on time. Obedience starts with going to bed on time.
How early do you need to wake up in order to visit your spot before your earliest meeting? Got the time in mind? (4 am? 5 am? 6 am?) OK, now back up 8 hours and you have your bedtime.
This is where a healthy habit of starting your day right starts: ending your previous day on time.
4. Choose a plan.
Six months from now, I don’t want you to wake up and wonder what to read. Decide now. Find a reading plan.
I will be reading The Journey. You can sign up for free and have your daily reading plan sent to you each morning. Join now and by this time next year, together, we will have read the entire Bible.
5. Clutter your life with reminders.
That is to say, clutter your life with the right things.
I may unsubscribe from a lot of things, but I still get my Join The Journey email every morning. I still get a daily verse and reflection. I still get my American Prayer Initiative email every morning. I may get rid of a lot of unused material goods, but I still have Bibles everywhere (my truck, my desk, my backpack).
Why? Because I’m hardheaded and often get distracted. I want to literally trip over God’s Word everywhere. Reading something in the morning is not enough for me. I need reminders everywhere that I can reference at any time of need. I’m not saying you need to go invest in a bunch of Bibles. (I hope you have invested in one; if not, we’ll give one to you!) I am saying it’s a good idea to be surrounded by reminders to focus on what is truly important.
What tips do you have for simple ways to change your life in 2015?
(With help from Kevin McConaghy)