I’m starting the year by taking January off.
I’m giving myself this first month to breathe, to plan, to pray and to prep before I dive into the rest of the year. My year 2014.
In the past I guess I’ve felt like I had to have all my ducks in a row by 12:01am on January 1st. I had to be ready to fly out of the shoot. To charge ahead into the year with my goals, my dreams & my plans or else I had failed.
This year, no. There’s nothing magical about 12:01am on January 1st. I love the New Year because it’s fresh and, well, new…but it still a continuation of time. One day builds on the next.
So, this January I’m starting the year slow. Which doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything. It just means I’m only doing a few key things.
5 Ways I’m Starting the Year Slow
1] I’m using a notebook. I bought my notebook at Target this year. It’s not fancy but it’s spiral bound and striped and I like the way it feels in my hands. It’s nice and thick but not too big. When I bought it I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to use it. I tend to have lists of stuff every where, several legal pads going at a time and maybe two or three sticky note pads to throw in the mix. This year I decided to keep it simple. I’m keeping everything in this one notebook [except for my daily to do list that’s just a sticky note I put on the front cover]. And I’m going month by month, not list by list or thought by thought. I jotted my top three goals and a prayer for the year in the front and then started into January. This is where I write my goals for the month, my prayer requests for the month, my meal plans, my Bible study notes, random thoughts, dreams, desires… Every except my daily to do list. We’ll see how it works!
2] I’m creating a Pinterest board. I got this great idea from reading a post on Naptime Diaries and I love it. It’s pretty simple: create a vision board by pinning anything that “looks” like your year 2014. It’s a great way to have a visual representation of your dreams, goals, plans & aspirations for this year. Besides it’s fun. And a different twist on vision casting. My board is here.
3] I’m doing things instead of making lists of things to do. This is a big one for me. They say it sometimes takes longer to write down something you need to do than it takes to actually do that thing and I believe it. In the past I’ve spent a lot of time making lists. I don’t intend to stop making lists, but I do intend to stop making lists needlessly. It creates a false sense of accomplishment. It’s also a form of procrastination. And I don’t want any of that in 2014. So I’m making my lists with purpose and I’m starting my days by doing. Doing the wash or doing my yoga or doing my quiet time. And it feels good.
4] I’m reading. This is a big 2014 goal that is taking shape for me. Not big in a “I’m going to read 100 books this year” way, but in a “I really, really want to read at least a little every day” kind of way. This past year didn’t see much reading. Unless you count books on childbirth, breastfeeding and baby raising. And that’s ok. But this year I would love to read at least one book a month. I’ve started on my first book and I’m loving it so far.
5] I’m memorizing Scripture. I memorized Scripture halfway through 2013 and then fizzled out. Maybe I was trying to memorize too much too fast. I’m not sure. But this year I’m taking it one verse at a time. As Jesus places one on my heart, I’m going to write it in my index spiral and meditate on it for as long as it takes to commit it to memory. My first verse for 2014 is Isaiah 43:19:
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.