I treat every new year like a fresh start which is why I love choosing a word and creating a vision board in January. Click here to read more. This year with starting a new decade in 2020, it felt even more monumental. I always cut things but this year I had to be ruthless. Besides it being my husband’s third year as a full-time Realtor, we have a 14-year-old, two-year-old toddler and ten-year-old who need my attention AND a home to run. Being a mom is a full time job. Supporting a self-employed husband is nearly another full time job! And I happen to also love to teach, speak, volunteer and host. Things get crowded FAST.
How about offering ourselves some grace for starting a new decade?
A few tips for the beginning of January. Pour yourself a cup of something yummy, light a candle and settle in.
1: Spend time reflecting on 2019 and all its wins, accomplishments, joys and progress. See how far you’ve come?? Celebrate that! You might even look at the last decade to appreciate the journey you’ve been on. A lot happens in ten years!
2: Grab paper and write down the things you want to let go of from 2019. Someone might have hurt you. Maybe a project or relationship failed. It’s possible you even let yourself down. It’s time to release it. Burn up that paper! Then it’s time to dust off your feet (Matthew 10:14) and move on.
3: Remind yourself there’s no rush on setting your goals and intentions for 2020. I give myself all of January! I love how versatile vision boards are. You can create a mood board just to give 2020 a certain “feel.” You can take a more left-brained approach and set goals that you can check off as you meet them. Or you can simply create a visual of the dreams in your heart. However you approach it, take your time.
Check my Tab’s bookshelf page for my favorite resources.
4: Unless you feel strongly called to, don’t try to reinvent yourself this year. The whole “new year, new you” concept is one marketers use to urge you to buy their products. During one vision board party we did an exercise before we got started when I received a very clear message: “I already have everything I need.” I’ve carried that with me ever since. We don’t always have to be acquiring and striving. I don’t need to keep growing my network or adding new services. Your “everything” will look different but the concept is the same–sometimes it’s time to reap what we’ve sown. (Ecclesiastes 3:2)
What if you consider the idea that you are who you need to be…right where you need to be…with everything you need…to do what you need to do?
There is also an exercise I do at the end of each year that helps me decide what to cut. I have no problem adding–I only risk getting overwhelmed and stretched too thin. Or simply involving myself in things that aren’t the best use of my time, energy and talent.
I like to write these out on index cards so I can see them all and move them around.
- write down the seven key areas of life and rate them: family, friends, finances, health, hobbies, business and giving back. I would add faith to that list, too, especially if you are involved within your faith community
- look at your calendar from the previous year
- write down all the BIG obligations, commitments and activities you will still be participating in for 2020. Include things like serving on a non-profit board, volunteering at your kids’ school, chairing a charity event, hosting book club, etc.
- map out what you do in a typical week. Start with your personal activities like exercise or a daily Bible study time. Add obligatory activities like errand running, meal prep, sitting in car line
- add anything you’ve wanted to do but didn’t prioritize. Mine would be regular dates with my hubby, working on my book, crafting, and gardening.
- add any 2020 goals or focuses you determined with your one word/vision affirmation exercise (if you need the worksheets, go here). Mine are growing my MOPS group, mentoring women, cooking more for my family and getting stronger. I also want to do more photography and learn to sew!
Without writing it all down, it’s too easy to wonder where our time goes or why we can’t seem to attend to the things that really matter to us while growing to resent the things we signed on for but no longer enjoy. The idea is to have a clear picture of how your spend your time and what’s missing that you WANT to be doing. You can’t keep adding, either, without taking away.
It’s too easy to let “the tyranny of the urgent” dictate how we spend our days. Just like budgeting money, we have to decide WHERE we’re spending our time.
Once you have a clear picture, take out the excess and add in the top priorities. Then get them on the calendar. Making lists is great but the things we value must but be on our calendar to happen.
I hope these ideas for starting a new decade are helpful.
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I’m embracing a year that’s slower, simpler, sweeter and softer. How about you?