Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a meaningful Christmas season with the people you love. I’m excited to return today after a few weeks away hanging out with my precious family. Time off is so important, but I must admit to greatly missing you and this space.
I want to share three incredible lessons that were truly life changing for me this year. They each created habits which I have no doubt will continue to serve me for years to come. I hope you find them helpful as well.
1. Using a one word theme instead of goals for the year will release a monumental amount of guilt in your life.
My one word for 2015 was Health. In years past, I would have health as one of around 10 areas I wanted to improve for the year. Under the health category, several concrete goals were always listed, including a specific number of pounds I needed to lose for a successful year.
These overwhelming and inflexible plans always caused an obscene amount of guilt every December as I reflected on the many unmet goals on my crazy, impossible list. I would be heartbroken as I rewrote each item as an expectation for the upcoming year.
This year was different. I didn’t lose a pound. I actually maybe even gained a few. Thankfully, that wasn’t my goal. Focusing on the word health helped me see all the gains I’ve made in this area, without being trapped in specific numbers and statistics.
I started training as a health coach in September, with plans to use myself as my first client. I’m so excited about this new education I’m receiving and the 97 I just got on my first test! Stay tuned to the monthly Turning to Food updates for my future coaching plans. The series will return this month.
A love of fasting also developed from my Health focus in 2015. I’m looking forward to continuing learning about and practicing this incredible tool and sharing it here throughout the coming year.
Stop in next week for my one word focus for 2016.
2. Other people are the best accountability tool ever.
You and this little space on the internet have changed my life. Before I started blogging, I was a complete introvert. I never imagined how important other people are to following through with personal projects.
Since I started sharing my life here with you, I completed both a 31-day and 21-day detox program. This is something I’ve wanted to do for many years, but it took committing to each program here in this space to make me finally follow through.
I’ve also finished books from my rapidly growing to be read pile. The amount of books laying around my house is overwhelming. I absolutely love to read, but it gets pushed down on my to do list far too often. Thanks to the accountability of my 2015 TBR Pile and now the upcoming 2016 List, I actually read at least one entire book a month to share with you.
I plan to start some group challenges this year so we can help each other on our life journeys. Please be sure to join me on my new Facebook page which is where these will take place. Hopefully the extra support and fun prizes will bless you as much as you continue to bless me. Thank you!
3. The entire day is completely transformed when the first few moments are spent with God.
Earlier this year, I started beginning each day with God through a Hello Mornings group. This helped me first learn the benefits of reading the Word before any other daily task. I ended up leaving this group after a few months in order to unplug for the summer.
After returning online, I received an email invitation to a new app from Proverbs 31 Ministries called First 5. I’ve been hooked on this one ever since. The app sets off 2 alarms for me, one in the morning to wake up and one at 3pm. At those times, I read the short devotion they share and the corresponding scriptures.
Through these small daily breaks, the entire Bible will be read in 4 years. I know that sounds like a long time, but it works out to about a chapter a day with weekends off to meditate on the week’s readings. It’s named the First 5 to represent spending the first 5 minutes with God before anything else—checking social media, email… Having the app and readings on my phone allow me to not even need to lift my head from my pillow to get started with Him each morning.
I hope these lessons will serve you as they have me this year. I would love to hear what you learned in 2015 in the comments below!