Any day is a good opportunity to spruce up certain areas in our lives, but there’s something very special about the dawn of a new year. It’s 2018 and folks all over the place are setting goals and making plans to become a better version of themselves. What’s your motivation? Are your fitness goals fueled by a 20 year class reunion? Or perhaps the passing of a loved one has you thinking about how you can be more present with your family. While it’s great to be motivated, you may also benefit from a little help, some useful tools, and support from communities of like-minded folks.
Keep reading to discover a few ideas that may get you past the initial excitement of the new year and keep you on the road to accomplishing your goals.
Goal: Read the bible in a year
Idea: Download the Bible App on your phone
If you’ve ever wanted to read the Bible from cover to cover but got bored/overwhelmed/confused/tongue-tied by Old Testament genealogy listings, do I have an App for you! The Bible in One Year devotional includes daily reading from Psalm or Proverbs, a New Testament, and the Old Testament, along with an insightful introduction that helps tie all of the day’s scriptures into one theme. Depending on how fast you read, you can get through each day’s reading in 30 minutes. The app also comes with great features like reminder alerts and a variety of published versions you can read and/or listen to. The app is also forgiving, allowing you to use a “catch me up” feature if you fall behind schedule. Finally, you can connect with friends in the app for added encouragement, accountability and (if it helps) competition.
Goal: Improve communication in your marriage
Idea: Invest in a marriage seminar
When my husband and I were engaged we chose to attend a marriage seminar at a local church. It was a great experience and one of the things I remember most was the number of couples present that were NOT recent couples; these were men and women who were investing in their marriage long after the “I do’s.”
Just like your car, marriages and relationships need a tune up. Investing time to address small issues before they become big problems is a wise move. A seminar or workshop can typically be just a few hours over a weekend for less than $100, unlike counseling which is typically more intensive and more expensive. If you’re looking for something a bit more focused, look for a marriage retreat in your area or make a vacation of it and travel to an interesting destination.
Goal: Talk to my [insert family relation here] more
We’re all busy, but that’s no excuse to loose touch with family members near and far.
Idea: Schedule monthly calls
Use your phone to your advantage and schedule calls with family members.
Idea: Call long-winded relatives while you’re stuck in traffic.
Even if you don’t say much, they’ll appreciate you taking the time to call and you’ll get caught up on whatever’s happening in their life.
Idea: Write a letter or send a card.
Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail? Or an unexpected card?
Goal: Lose weight
Idea: Accept a short term challenge
I love Facebook for it’s ability to connect me to groups of like-minded strangers. I’m in a group that basically functions like an online garage sell. I’m in a group for African American international travelers. I’m in His and Her Money’s Smart Couples Money group. And until last week I was in a group for people using BodyBoss, a 12-week home-workout program (I left the group because there were so many members, my profile page was flooded with their photos and posts).
Facebook groups ABOUND and if you have a fitness goal in mind, my guess is there’s a group of people who have the same goal in mind. Participating in a short-term challenge can provide accountability, competition AND fun without costing you a dime.
We pulled this post out of archive to give you more motivation to get fit!
Goal: Save money
Idea: Create a monthly budget
Prior to 2017 I never had a financial budget. I would pay my bills every month and work with whatever was left over. That changes in January 2017 when my husband and I committed ourselves to creating a budget every month. We now sit down together twice a month - once at the end of the month to review the previous month’s spending and plan for the next month, and once mid-month to pay bills and see how well we are managing our spending. The results have been incredible and one of them has been an increase in our savings account.
Trust me - you can not wing your budget. Even if your income doesn’t fluctuate, your expenses will (think gas prices, the cost of milk, and birthdays). Do yourself a favor and write it down, preferably BEFORE you spend it all, and include savings as a line item. If you really want to save like a boss, consider using a budget software to make things easier. There are a lot of options out there but if you’re a newcomer to budgeting, start with EveryDollar.com budgeting tool. It’s free and simple to use, plus you can download the app to your phone.
Now it’s your turn to share! What are your goals and what ideas, resources or tools are you using to help you succeed?