Can you believe how quickly the last twelve months flew by? Happy New Year, everybody!
I grew up in a family that always ate black-eyed peas “for good luck” on New Year’s Day. But as an adult, I’ve found more helpful ways to jumpstart a great year. Here are my top six — with some printables to help you implement them! 🙂
6 Smart Ways to Start the New Year Right:
Read Your Bible
One way to get off to a good start is in the Word. There are lots of great Scripture reading programs that will take you through the entire Bible in one year. The plan I like best is this one. You can sign up free online, and they’ll email each day’s reading passage directly to your inbox.
Prefer your faithful leather-bound volume to reading the Bible online? You can still try this one-year schedule by using these handy bookmarks to help you keep track of what to read each month:
Say Your Prayers
Another way to start the New Year right? On your knees.
I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. No problem is too big that God cannot fix it. And no matter is too small that He’s unwilling to attend to it. I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year right than on your knees.
One of the most important things you can do for your spouse and children is to pray for them regularly. I’ve created several printables to help with this endeavor. One of the most popular is this head-to-toe prayer guide for wives to pray over their husbands:
If you like this one, you should also check out my other prayer guides, as well. They are all replete with Scripture, so you can be sure your requests are in line with God’s heart on the matter:
- Praying for Your Husband – This is a head-to-toe guide (pictured above) for wives to pray over their husbands.
- Praying for Your Wife – Here’s a matching head-to-toe prayer guide for husbands. Print one for each of you to use in this new year.
- Praying for Your Children – Parents will appreciate this head-to-toe guide for children, as well.
- Praying for Your Unborn Child – Establish the habit of interceding for your children early. Here are some appropriate verses to pray from the moment you learn you’re expecting.
- Praying for Your Teens – The teen years bring new challenges for parents and children alike. Be sure to cover your young people well with prayer during what might otherwise be tumultuous years.
- Praying for Your Parents – As one reader was quick to remind me, parents need prayer, too. This guide will help you pray more specifically for yours.
- Praying for the Sick – The Bible speaks to the importance of praying for those who are ill (James 5:13-15). Here are some great verses for doing exactly that.
- Praying for America – Our country needs prayer more than ever.
- Praying for Your Pastor – Remember to lift up your church leaders, along with your governmental leaders. Your pastors and elders will appreciate your prayers.
- Praying for Myself – While your on your knees, do not neglect to pray for yourself!
Write Down Your Goals
Start the New Year right by clarifying your goals. Concrete goals that are committed in writing stand a much better chance of getting accomplished than vague goals that are just floating around in the back of your mind. So put your goals on paper, then post the where you can review them regularly.
I use a similar chart to set goals for my kids. To break my own goals into smaller, more manageable chunks, I make daily and weekly charts, as well — but probably the simplest, most straight-forward way to track progress on an individual goal or new habit is to print out my year-at-a-glance calendar and mark off each day as soon as you’ve completed what you set out to do.
Clean Your House
When our house is dirty and cluttered, it stresses the entire family out (with the possible exception of the very youngest members, who are making most of the messes to begin with). As much as I would like to have had every last closet cleaned and drawer organized going into 2016, that didn’t happen.
The next best thing beginning the New Year all caught-up on chores is to kick it off with a good game plan for cleaning and organizing, then stick with it. I’m planning to get an early start on Spring Cleaning this year — starting today.
My #1 clutter-busting tip is to send anything you don’t need to Goodwill as soon as you know you no longer need it (a conclusion that admittedly takes me a little longer to reach than it takes my husband). My New Year’s goal: Donate at least one full bag per week.
Plan Meals Wisely
If you are anything like me (and lots of other Americans), then at least one of your goals for the New Year deals with diet. Here again, what gets planned gets done. Here’s the chart I’ll be using this year to map out our family’s meal plans:
Get Some Exercise
Of course, exercise goes hand-in-hand with diet on many people’s list of New Year’s resolutions, but it’s hard to stay consistent unless your exercise program is convenient, enjoyable, and well-integrated into your lifestyle.
That’s why I wrote the book, Get Up & Go. It’s chock full of fun (and easily doable) ideas for getting fit as a family. Especially if you have kids at home, it’s just the thing to start your New Year off right.