The New Year is a great time to reflect on the past year, and dream about where you want to go in the future. This year consider taking some time to sit down with your family and talk about your hopes and dreams for the new year together.
Ask your kids, what would you like to learn if you could learn anything? Where would you like to go? What would you like to do? While not everything may be feasible this week, think about how it might be done in the future, and start taking steps to get there.
Dreams aren’t just for kids – ask yourself these questions as well! You only get one life, so live the life you’ve dreamed. Not only is this good for you, but it will show your kids how to pursue their dreams and passions. What an awesome example that will stick with them for a lifetime.
Look at your schedule
If there are things you’ve always dreamed of doing but haven’t yet, it’s likely that something in your life needs to change. Maybe it’s something simple like going to bed sooner and getting up earlier so you have the time (and energy) to exercise, write or practice music, or whatever it is you want to do before your kids are up for the day.
Be ruthless with your schedule – are there unnecessary things taking up your time on a consistent basis that you could cut out? Are there little things you do that add up to more time than you realize? Scrolling through the news or your social media feed for 10 minutes here and there can add up to a lot of time over the weeks and months!
The same is true for spending money – could you cut back on eating out or something else to save for travel or art classes?
Sometimes you have to say no to good things in order to prioritize the most important things.
H. Jackson Brown put this into perspective when he said,
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
Remember that you can do anything, but not everything.
So often we find our New Year’s resolutions are forgotten by the time February rolls around. To help you reach your goals, schedule time to intentionally check in on your progress. Add a reminder to your calendar on the first of each month to evaluate how it’s going. Make regular plans to meet with your family and discuss how everyone is doing. Make it fun!
You could have your monthly check-in over breakfast on the first Saturday of each month or over dinner on the last Friday. Making this part of something you already do like having a meal together, and at a consistent time, each month makes it easy and something to look forward to. Use this time to find ways to help each other and build each other up!
If you don’t have kids at an age that they can participate, find a friend who’s pursuing their own goals and set up regular meeting times to discuss your progress and encourage each other.
Stay in focus
Whatever you’re dreaming to do, keeping it in focus will help you to reach it.
If you want to eat healthier meals, put together and print out a list of good ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinners to put on your fridge so when you’re hungry or making a grocery list it’s there to remind you.
If you want to exercise in the mornings, get into the habit of setting out your workout clothes & shoes before bed each night.
If you want to read more, keep your books in sight and with you so when you have unexpected downtime you can get some pages in.
If you want to spend more quality time together with your spouse and kids, have a time you sit down each week and schedule a date night, family game night, whatever is important to you.
Aim for progress, not perfection
Life happens. Kids get sick, cars need to be repaired, babies won’t sleep, amongst other things that come up that disrupt our best-made plans. When they do, it’s important to have grace for yourself and others, and remember you’re aiming for progress, not perfection.
Are you closer to your goals today than you were 6 months ago? Are you moving in the right direction? That’s what’s most important.
Live the life you imagine
As we welcome in this new year, think of all the things you’ve always wanted to do. Now go and do them.