Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’
~Alfred Lord Tennyson
Every January is a divine gift of newness. No matter what the previous year brought into your life, a new year is a grace gift where you are reminded that it is possible to author a new chapter, paint on a fresh canvas, or sing a new melody.
It has been said, “You can’t fix a problem with the same thinking that created it.” So, here are 21 practices that will clear the way to engage and create a greater future and present.
- Start each day with 10 minutes of meditation and/or prayer.
- Refuse to check your electronic devices until you have centered your soul after you wake up.
- Before you leave your home, ask God to make you a blessing to someone each day.
- Talk less, listen more. Pause and think before you respond to make sure you are truly listening to the other person, perhaps you will choose to respond far less.
- Commit to writing down at least one gratitude a day in a journal before you go to sleep. This will help you wake with gratefulness and less stress.
- Practice the ancient art of smiling every day, your soul will thank you.
- Own your mistakes and say “I’m sorry” quickly when you blow it.
- Ask yourself why you respond the way you do to people’s behaviors before you respond. I call this a moment of holy curiosity. Your reactions tell you more about you than you realize.
- Exercise a little every day, even if it is a few short walks during your day.
- Determine to get 8 hours of sleep each night, “game-changer alert!”
- Consider a Whole-30 type diet, eliminating sugary food and drinks.
- Drink water-water-water, half your body weight in ounces. Water is life.
- Grow in your generosity. Donate to charities and humanitarian groups that work to eliminate poverty. I’d recommend http://www.planetchanger.org 🙂
- Read a book every month. I like Sacred Space 🙂 I will be posting my list of recommended reads soon!
- Write down your top 3 goals. Post them where you can see them. Do one thing each day that connects to those goals.
- Choose kindness over rightness
- Choose grace over judgmentalism (pull that log out of your eye!)
- Choose to assume positive intent towards others when things get dicey.
- Limit your screen time. Break your smartphone addiction. You don’t need it in the bedroom. Turn it off, and check it in and leave it alone! You’ll be okay I promise. In fact, you’ll be better.
- Learn to say “NO” Life is full of many good things that keep you from the best things. Does the opportunity align with your top 3 goals? If it doesn’t just say no,
- Love. Pray daily that you motivation which fuels your actions would flow from love and compassion.
Grace and Peace to you in 2018
Wendell Berry’s words have been a constant refuge for me.
Tonight I needed to digest some of his words…here are some great WB quotes.
“People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”
“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”
“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”
“So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute…Give your approval to all you cannot understand…Ask the questions that have no answers. Put your faith in two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years…Laugh. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts….Practice resurrection.”
“Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus’ commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective “Christian”.”
“As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here. Well, you can read and see what you think.”