2020 was one of the most unexpected years we’ve seen in our lifetime! We faced a national pandemic with COVID-19, and many of us are ready for the new year.
This year was challenging for everyone. I know so many people who were ready for 2020 to be over and for 2021 to be “their year.”
With the vaccine out and being distributed, we trust that normalcy will return. However, we all learned a lot in 2020. We re-prioritized our lives.
I want to encourage you to bring what you learned through Covid into the new year. Don’t default back to your old ways. Many of us were stretched beyond our comfort zones. You have changed and grown as a person, so don’t leave the good behind.
I want to share three tips with you on how to apply what we’ve learned through Covid to the new year.
1. Family is still important.
When life begins to pick back up, family time will be less frequent. Extracurricular activities will return, kids will hang out with their friends, and life will be back to its busy schedule.
It’s easy to always say “yes” to your children. As parents, we want them to be happy! But sometimes, what is in their best interest is not always what will make them happy in the moment. Set aside specific family time where you can spend time with your kids. Stay involved in their lives even when the demands of work and life pick back up.
2. Actively make changes this new year.
Our lifestyles were impacted by COVID-19. We learned what we valued and what we can live without.
At the start of every new year, people decide it’s time to change. They finally want to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, read more, serve more, spend more time with their kids, and be all-around better people.
Sounds like a great idea, right? It’s a new year, so it’s the perfect opportunity to start fresh. So why do so many people set New Year’s resolutions but don’t stick to them?
When you set out to do something, be specific!
One of the biggest issues is that they aren’t specific! If you want to exercise more, define how much more. Does that mean going to the gym once a week or five times a week?
My husband, Gary, always says, “If you can’t see it, how can you expect to receive it?”
Take a look at these same resolutions after I attach specific actions and goals to each of them.
Exercise more. ➡️ Go for a mile-long walk three times a week.
Lose weight. ➡️ Lose three pounds next month.
Eat healthier. ➡️ Eat fruits and vegetables four times a week. ➡️ Skip dessert twice a week.
Read more. ➡️ Read a chapter six nights a week. ➡️ Read eight books this year.
Serve more. ➡️ Get involved in the local church. ➡️ Volunteer in the children’s ministry twice a month.
Spend more time with kids. ➡️ Set aside one night a week for a family dinner.
By the way, the same goes for prayer.
Don’t just pray for “more.” What exactly does that mean? 🤷♀️ If you can’t define it, you can’t obtain it.
Instead, pray and believe for specific things: being debt-free, paying cash for a house, being able to save a down payment for a rental property.
First Chronicles 4:10 (NIV) tells us,
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
Does that sound vague? No!
Intention should be at the heart of every action. That means every resolution should have a specific action and the desired goal in mind.
3. Make time for the important things.
Was there anything you wanted to do during 2020, but COVID-19 kept you from it? Did you find yourself saying “I wish I could…” or “I wish I was…”?
Don’t just wish! Those things will likely become possibilities again in 2021. Did you wish you could visit friends and family from out of town? Time for a road trip! Did you want to take your family on a vacation? Start saving and get it on the calendar!
These things may not be a reality now, but they soon will be. We will come out of this pandemic, but don’t forget what we went through this past year. Figure out what is important to you, and make that your priority moving forward.
Take a look at your resolutions. Are they so that you will fit a mold of what the culture says, or are they for you? Are they things that are really important to you or things you feel like you “should” be doing?
Your life shouldn’t be about “shoulds” all the time!
Now, there are some things in life that won’t change. Nobody enjoys paying bills and filing taxes, but your life needs to be about more than “shoulds.”
Resolutions are a great chance to evaluate the areas of your life that you would like to improve and to set tangible goals to get there.
COVID-19 taught us what we really value. Suddenly, what the culture said didn’t matter as much. We were only surrounded by those closest to us. Don’t return to your old normal when Covid restrictions are over. Make changes, even if they are small. Remember what you missed, and make an effort to get it done.
Even little changes can make a big difference!
Prepare for the roadblocks.
You’ll inevitably face some obstacles with your New Year’s resolutions. Don’t give up when things get more complicated!
Instead of letting roadblocks be an excuse, plan for them. Start creating an offensive strategy to help you get ahead of any temptations.
Planning your way through the obstacles will improve your chances of having successful resolutions!
To read more