A New Beginning- 2017

Resolutions are goals that we make at the beginning of a new year to enable ourselves to improve in different areas of our lives.   For many of us, we make our promises, but after an elapsed period of time, our actions to better ourselves seem to putter out, and we lose our drive to continue on.   Sometimes this happens because we have declared multiple goals to work on, and other times it is because the effort to improve doesn’t seem worth it.

Nevertheless, the New Year offers us the opportunity to have a new beginning, a fresh sheet of paper, to set a goal and begin something new.   Here are some ideas that I gleaned from various resources, that I would like to share with you.

The blog, ahaparenting offers the following advice:

  • Pick one thing that feels do-able and commit yourself to it.
  • Start by supporting yourself.  Intention only takes you so far.  You have to address the feelings that drive your behavior.
  • Commit yourself on paper and in public.  Be brave and tell your family your intention.  It also helps to write down your goal and carry it with you.
  • Hone your desire- Why do you want this goal?  What will be different in your life when you achieve it?
  • Make a plan.  Break your goal into little pieces and accomplish them one at a time.
  • Take one small step every day.  Assign yourself a reasonable task for each day.  Put your daily tasks on your calendar.  Check off your daily progress.
  • Take one day at a time. Every day when you wake up, you need to re-commit yourself.
  • Make it a habit.  If you want to rewire your brain, work on your goal every day and take a positive action towards making your goal.
  • What about those days when you blow it?  Forgive yourself.  Review and think about what you can do next time to prevent failure again.
  • Review and revise.  Revise your plan if necessary.  Any goal worth achieving takes time and hard work.

Another writer, Mike Ashcroft, agrees with the topic of a one goal resolution for the year.  He became easily overwhelmed by his long list of  goals that he felt that he needed to be working on.  He stated that looking at the list of things he was supposed to do to live his  life right or well, or whatever all this was going to do for him, made him feel defeated.  He decided to drop his list of ways to get the most out of life, because he realized that he needed to find a new way to approach personal change.  He lost his list and chose one word to focus on for his year.  He allowed a single word to become the lens through which he examined his heart and life for a new year.  He states that the one goal resolution is easy, doable, and surprisingly powerful, mainly because it supplies narrowed focus.

Damselindior suggests implementing 5 unusual resolutions for a better life.

  1. Smile in the mirror to put yourself in a good mood.
  2. Write that down- Write down the things that make you happy in a journal.
  3. Snap it!  Taking a photo that represents your day can be a nice way to document your life.
  4. Say Hello.  Try saying “hello” to at least one stranger a day.
  5. Find Silence- End the day by having a quiet time before you go to bed.

In the blog, kidsinthehousethe writer offers 10 parenting resolutions for 2017.  They are:    

  1. Have less screen time- Limit the time your kids watch TV and use technology in your home.
  2. More listening- Practice your listening skills.
  3. Create new experiences- Children need exposure to new foods, people, and places.
  4. Take more photos of your kids- They are only this age once.
  5. Read more- The benefits of reading aloud to kids are innumerable.  Establishing the foundation of reading skills for your children will positively affect them for the rest of their lives.
  6. Make time for self-care- Parenting is stressful.  Don’t forget to take care of yourself and recharge.
  7. Get outside- Show your kids the value of an active lifestyle by getting outdoors and going on walks, or trips to the park.
  8. Build a community of parents- Build friendships with other parents through playdates, online communities, or gatherings of the school or community.
  9. Play more.  Unstructured play is one of the most invaluable tools to our children’s social, cognitive, and emotional development.
  10. Continue learning.  Parenting is an experience like no other.  It requires us to learn new things constantly.

Amanda from gatesinteriordesign compiled a list of goals that she suggested implementing for the year.  They are:

  • Unplug
  • Walk more
  • Shop with cash
  • Read 1 book a month
  • Be more creative
  • Honor my time
  • Save more
  • Get organized
  • Keep a food journal
  • Practice random acts of kindness
  • Start each day with 3 goals
  • Give more compliments
  • Write more thank-yous
  • Attitude of gratitude
  • Limit social media
  • Learn photography
  • Sleep more
  • Drink more water
  • Quit sugar

The blog, personalcreations  offers tips for a better 2017 in the areas of work life, health, general happiness, and productivity.  These tips include simple acts to improve these various areas of your life.

To Work Smarter

  • Move your alarm clock away from your bed so that you are forced to get up.
  • Clean up your inbox.  Unsubscribe from newsletters or blogs you don’t read anymore.
  • Organize your workspace.  Before ending your day spend a few minutes organizing so that you can start fresh the next day.
  • Carpool to work cuts down on gas money.
  • Start work early- You are the most productive at the beginning of the day.
  • Liven up your commute-Listen to podcasts or audiobooks to lift your mood.
  • Get a standing desk- Studies show that sitting for too long slows down your metabolism.
  • Stay sharp- Keep up with your industry trends by joining associations or attending conferences.
  • Research shows that 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off work periods improve productivity.

A Happier You

  • Wear more red- It can increase self-confidence.
  • Journal before going to sleep.
  • Revisit old photographs.
  • Volunteer- Besides the benefit of helping others, you’ll meet new people, build self-confidence, and develop new skills.
  • Call one friend or family member a day- Staying in touch with loved ones strengthens your relationships and makes you feel better.
  • Spend money on your experiences-Take a trip to somewhere new.
  • Plan weekends ahead of time- Anticipating a fun event boosts overall happiness.
  • Move closer to work- Avoid the hassle of commuting.

Improve Your Health

  • Drink ice water.
  • Put a fruit bowl on your counter.
  • Eat at the table, not in front of the TV.
  • Wear an activity tracker.
  • Try gardening.
  • Cut out soda.
  • Start your day by stretching.
  • Eat a protein filled breakfast.
  • Put unhealthy food low in your fridge.

Boost Productivity

  • Track your time.
  • Create a meal plan.
  • Take naps.
  • Push back your alarm clock one minute every day.
  • Get rid of time-wasting phone apps.
  • Play music instead of your TV.
  • Single-tasking- take a break from multi-tasking.
  • Make your bed every day.
  • Get your most difficult chores done first.

Adrienne for the blog, cleverpedia, suggests that instead of piling on all of your ambitions from the get-go, try your hand at the New You for the New Year Challenge, which challenges you to develop 12 good habits over the course of the entire year.   You will basically have a goal per month to focus on, and by the end of the year you will have 12 new habits that will benefit you for a lifetime.  Interesting idea!  Here is how it is set up:

  • JanuarySave more money. Cancel subscriptions you are not using.  Call your cable company and ask them to lower your bill.  Pack your lunch instead of buying it.  Make your coffee at home.
  • FebruaryPractice mindfulness.  Unplug more. Take one day off from social media per week. Smile more.  Savor your food more.  Don’t eat on the go, make it the main attraction.
  • MarchGet organized- Digitize your documents so that you can let go of paper copies. Purge your home of expired items: food, medicine, make-up. 
  • April- Take up an anti-stress activity.  Try coloring or start gardening.
  • MayEat more fruits and vegetables.  Keep healthy snacks on hand.  Get rid of salty or sugary snacks.
  • JuneValue experiences over things.  Get involved in local groups.  Experience more live music.  Plan a vacation, even if it is just a weekend getaway.
  • July- Drink more water.  Drink flavored water or herbal tea instead of soda.
  • AugustSwitch up your workouts.  Get in shape with a beginner program.  Use the machines at the gym.  Enroll in a fun fitness class like kickboxing, spinning, or Zumba.
  • September Learn a new skill.  You can find free tutorials for just about any instrument on YouTube.  Learn a new language.
  • OctoberProtect yourself.  Learn how to create a strong password. Resist broadcasting your vacations on social media.
  • NovemberControl portion sizes.  Use smaller dinner plates.  Less food will fill up a smaller plate.  Divide your plate up the healthy way- half veggies, one-quarter protein, and one-quarter starch.
  • DecemberPractice generosity. Make a commitment to volunteering.  Find a charity that you can donate to.

My favorite website, biblelovenotes, included a New Year’s Prayer to pray as you begin 2017.  I would like to close by sharing this beautiful prayer.

My New Year’s Prayer

May I discover new and wonderful things in Your Word. Psalm 119:18

May I listen more closely to Your voice.  Proverbs 8:32-34

May I forget what is behind and focus on what is ahead. Philippians 3:13-14

May I realize that Your love is greater than my mind can comprehend.                    Ephesians 3:17-19

May I experience Your peace that is beyond my understanding.  Philippians 4:6-7

May I trust You and not myself.  Proverbs 3:5-6

May my heart be more transformed by Your truth and less conformed to the world. Romans 12:1-2

May I forgive all who offend me.  Colossians 3:13

May I readily confess my sins to You.  1 John 1:9-10

May I confess my sins without excuse to those I’ve offended.  James 5:16

May I see Your purposes each day, each minute.  Ephesians 2:10

May I give You my all.  Philippians 3:7-14


May the Lord keep you in the palm of His hand.

Debra Smith



































































































































































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