Gratitude Day 866
Acts 13:16: Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen.
Happy New Year! This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
There are a lot of feelings about New Year’s. Feelings about a year ending and another yet beginning.
Some people are so ready for a year to be over. Just read social media. You’ll find those people quickly.
Others and excited to think about the future. They come up with lots of ideas and plans and goals for the new year.
Me? I look at the New Year differently than I did years ago. In some ways, it’s simply another day. It just ends with a different number than yesterday.
Does the new year give us an opportunity to rethink and reset a bit? Of course. Yet, I think there’s a lot of chatter and expectations for people to suddenly create a new version of themselves in the next 30 days. For most people, this simply doesn’t happen.
Instead, let’s look at the beginning of a new year from a slightly different place. What is a healthy and manageable way to think of the next 365 days? Here’s a few thoughts.
Begin the year with listening.
Yep, listening. Put yourself in a place where you have an opportunity to hear God speak to YOU. So often, there is so much noise in our lives that God would have to speak really, really loud for us to hear God!
Instead, take a few minutes. Get yourself in a place where God doesn’t have to be so loud and provide space to hear yourself and God. Maybe jot down a few thoughts. More importantly, think of these thoughts as prayers: hopes and dreams that you want to partner with God.
Maybe they will all come true. Maybe they won’t. Either will be fine. But we won’t hear these things from God unless we create space for it to happen.
If you must create some goals/plans/wishes for 2024, keep them short and simple.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to remake everything all at the same time. Instead, pick just one or two areas in our life and focus on them for a period of time. Pick one that you are committed to and know you will follow through with. One that you are really motivated to make some difference.
Here’s the deal. Resist from making 15 or 20 goals and dreams. Pick one, two or three and really focus on these. You might actually make real progress on these goals!
Set the bar low enough that you will cross it regularly and often.
When we make a little progress, it feels really good. Often, this encourages us to keep going.
When we set the bar too high, it often feels impossible. Break down our ideas into small, doable things that you can accomplish easily and quickly. One little step at a time. You might be amazed how much difference you can make by just doing these simple things every day.
Rather than think you will read 52 books in a year, commit to read 10 pages a day. Most of us can find 10 minutes to read 10 pages.
Start by saving $1 day or $10 a week. We won’t miss this amount but by the end of the year, we’ll have several hundreds of dollars to put towards something important.
Walk 10 minutes a day or exercise 10 minutes a day. That’s all. It really is better to do 10 minutes than do nothing. Or even 10 minutes that 60 minutes once a week and overdo it.
Finding those things that we can easily do in a day and then consistently doing them? This is how we make real differences and changes in our lives. It’s not about being perfect or creating a plan that is really not possible. Little is much better.
Then, after you’ve worked on those few things a couple days or a week, once again, listen.
Are you putting your energy towards the most important things? Does it seem that God thinks this is a good thing? Are you getting some feedback from yourself and God? You probably won’t hear it unless you are listening.
We are born with two ears and one mouth. However, most of us spend a lot more time talking than listening. Maybe God has a different idea about this. Spend some time listening this week. You might be amazed what you hear!
Happy New Year.
If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.
Interested in some other blogs that focus on listening? Here they are!
Listen: God is Always Speaking by Sharla Hallett
Your Body Is Talking – Listen
Be Still and Listen by Regina Marcazzo-Skarka
Listen To What Your Limits and Questions Reveal by Lisa Crowder