With the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions, which are often times the same resolutions we’ve made many times before.

You may know exactly where you want to start this year, or you might not know which way is up in the midst of all you want to do. Our staff has put together some of their “best practices” life and wellness tips to equip and guide you in the right direction, or at least give you some peace of mind in the resolution-making process. Check it out, seek God and receive the grace He has for you in abundance this year!

 

SPIRITUAL/DEVOTIONAL LIFE

  • Because I tend to be task oriented, slowing down my brain is paramount. When  I’m in prayer, I have a notebook beside me to  write down any thoughts I have that might distract my prayer time.
  • I had to learn to focus on memorizing one to three verses at a time, reading over them, meditating on them and praying whatever God puts in my heart about them.
  • Do what actually connects you with God. Quiet your mind and read a book He has highlighted, the larger passage of a snippet of Scripture that flew through your mind yesterday (and ask Him why!), draw, journal and ask what He says about your emotions and circumstances of the day. Whatever you do, remember this is time with Jesus, the Person who
    reveals God to us, not “doing devotions” or simply spending “time with the Bible.” Don’t miss God’s heart.
  • I find when my life is busy or if I am tired, I need more structure in my time with God, even though I feel like having less.  Take time to pray through your day.  It’s amazing to me how often I worry about things yet never pray for them.

 

FINANCES

  • What has best helped order my financial life is being accountable to someone to save money. I automatically draft a certain amount of my check to an account my spouse manages and that has allowed us to save enough money that we usually have money now for things like car and house repairs. In the past, we always had to believe God for a miracle anytime we needed something. God faithfully provided but it made our lives very stressful. This way life is much more peaceful.  A single person can be accountable to someone else like a family or life group member about how they are using their money.
  • For all non-fixed expenses, ask God how much you should spend each month in different categories of your budget. If you’re married, do this together. Seek God about it together each month and live by faith together within that amount.
  • We follow a highly complex formula regarding our finances which has served to keep our heads at least slightly above water.  Here it is: Don’t spend more than you have.

 

SCHEDULING/TIME MANAGEMENT

  • Schedule one day per week where you take 15-30 minutes to look at your schedule for the week, figure out your to-do list and plan when you will get things done. Just that short amount of time spent once a week will be a huge investment in your clarity and efficiency for the week!
  • I don’t schedule more than I can do.  I value punctuality, so I plan ahead.  This ALMOST always works!
  • It’s really valuable to look ahead 4-8 weeks, especially when juggling kids’ schedules. My wife and I have an hour each week where we get the calendar and make sure we have our date night, family night and dates with our kids down as a priority.
  • Don’t be afraid to limit your kids’ activities. Kids sometimes want to participate in every activity and peers, school or community organizations constantly recruit our kids. However, too many activities create a hectic chaotic life. Kids need time with their parents even if you are not doing anything particular. Kids gain the majority of their self-esteem from their parents.
  • Take time every Sunday to plan your week – big rocks and values first. Do this first individually and then sync with your spouse if applicable. We come to our planning meeting having thought our schedule through and having any questions lined out.  This allows us to make time for what is most important, rather than responding to the urgent – in personal, family and ministry.

 

EXERCISE/WELLNESS

  • With food, exercise and sleep, I’ve found it’s better for me to start small and be consistent then to start with giant goals which quickly lose steam.  Take a short twenty minute walk a few times per week…build up to longer walks or maybe even jog.  Your heart, lungs and body will love the movement and fresh air.
  • Just do it! I rarely feel like running before I run. I tell myself, “Run until you feel good,” because I know that if I will push past my initial discomfort and bad attitude, I ALWAYS feel great after I exercise.
  • Spend at least 20 minutes a day doing something that gets your heart rate into its target zone. Use an app. Join a gym. Run. Do SOMETHING.
  • Find a workout buddy, make a goal, and actually SCHEDULE when you will work out together! That way you have a built-in accountability partner, and you both are working toward something that is challenging, yet attainable.

 

Blessings to you in the new year!