9 Simple New Year’s Resolutions

resolutions

Even though it’s the dead of winter, New Years is the ideal time for new beginnings!  New Year’s resolutions are exciting, but the question is: what resolution is right for you?  Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly needs to be done in your life to have a personal revolution.  But why do New Year’s resolutions have to have such high stakes?  If you’re looking for some change with the new year, but not a drastic plan of evolution, consider some of these simple but effective resolutions.

Read More Books

I used to be an avid reader when I was in grade school.  I was absolutely obsessed with several different book series.  I really love reading, but so many things get in the way.  Usually, I make the excuse of not having enough time on my hands, but I can’t really say that when I’m filling it with Netflix and Youtube videos.  I think reading one book a month is a good goal to start off with.  I’m taking recommendations now!  If you’re a blogger (or any type of creative) I would highly recommend Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  You can read my review here.

Try Something New

I think this is a pretty common resolution for people.  Trying to expand your horizons with something new every month, or every week, or every day is an admirable goal.  I think we can simplify this just by changing our mindset towards new things.  Teach yourself to be more open about trying different things and look forward to change in your life.

Be Healthier

This is probably the #1 resolution for many people, but it’s probably the #1 failure as well.  Instead of sticking to a rigorous diet or exercise regime, commit to simply adaptive your daily routine and habits.  Hardcore changes in lifestyle almost always fail, so just make yourself more open to healthier options.  Start by drinking more water!

Use Less

Brainstorm some ways that you can cut back.  Try to take shorter showers or not charge your phone for longer than you need to.  Throw away or give away things that you don’t have a use for or a place to store.  It always feels good to know that your are playing a little part in cutting back on waste.

Pick a Word

I’m a fan of picking a word for a particular season of life I’m going through.  What better time to start a new season than New Years?  I am in the habit of picking one word to let go of for the year as well.  You can read about my focus words for the last season of my life here.  I have found that picking these words have given me something to cling to when my mind and energies are spent elsewhere.  How much simpler can you get than one word?

Go to bed earlier

This happens to be a particular favorite of mine!  I love being in a routine that gets enough sleep with a quiet evening at home.  Who couldn’t benefit from waking up earlier and feeling more rested?  If I had my way, I would be in bed by 10:30pm every night, however, this isn’t always possible for full-time students.  I think turning out the lights before midnight with a good half hour of quiet time beforehand is a good alternative.

Read the Bible More

A New Year is a new opportunity to get into the Word more!  Start this year by making a commitment to spend more time with God, and the best way to do that is to read more of the Bible.  Some other things you can do to have a more rewarding quiet time is journaling, drawing, listening to or playing music, and reflecting on what you’ve learned.  I even have a post about how getting into the practice of reading your Bible can make you a better student.

Reflect

The Honors Program at my college has instilled in me the benefit of reflection.  This is totally up for interpretation.  Maybe you would like to keep a journal, or draw your life, or start a blog.  2017 is a great year to start a blog!  Either way, putting your thoughts into words has always been a beneficial practice for me, especially through this blog.  You’ve got thoughts and feelings that mean something, why not share with others?

Be Friendlier

Sometimes friendliness means going above and beyond what you would normally do as a friend or acquaintance.  Support others and be more open minded.  Be more generous, more encouraging, or more willing to help out.  It doesn’t hurt to be kind!

 

6 Verses to Combat Worry

I think it is my best kept secret that genuinely I get really worried sometimes.  I like to be the one person that stays cool when everyone else loses their heads, but I have certainly have my moments of gripping panic.  In the midst of a normal day, I will suddenly get suffocating thoughts about who-knows-what.  Can you relate?

-managing money

-time budgeting

-keeping my grades up

-reputation and success in general

-friends and family

-am I good enough?

In these moments, it’s important to turn to God.  That’s what he asks us to do actually, it’s a huge exercise in faith, but it is such a relief to know that the creator of the universe wants to take care of our problems.

worry

 

Some of these are a bit longer than a single verse, but that’s because they’re important!  They are also all out of the NIV.  Let’s dive in!

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.”

I love this.  This verse straight-up tells us that we don’t have all the answers to solve our problems.  So don’t put that pressure on yourself!  As long as you follow God, he will take care of the things you worry about.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow.  “Peace that transcends all understanding.”  Can you even imagine what that’s like?  And of course, our hearts and minds are where most of our worries lie.  Do you ever worry about something and then realize you were just over thinking it?  (#me)  Well, that peace of God will guard our hearts and minds from exactly that.

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

There are a lot of things in this world that claim to offer us comfort.  Money, health, relationships- and even though these things aren’t bad, they cannot give us the peace that God is offering.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that reaching you next worldly goal is the key to being happy, and drop the worry that comes with it.

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

This is something I clung to when I was searching for the right college.  Talk about worry there!  In truth, it doesn’t matter so much what you do and where you go as long as you commit yourself to God.  You will surely be a success to Him.

Psalm 55:22

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall.”

This is definitely the source of Finding Favour‘s song “Cast my Cares”, which I love!  If you haven’t heard it, listen to it!  Both this verse and that song give us a strong message about how we should handle our worries.  Actually, God wants us to give Him our worries, that’s how he sustains us.  It is not always easy to let God handle your worries, but if worry is something you struggle with, use it as a tool to draw closer to God rather than letting it drag you down.

Matthew 6:25-34

Ok, this one is obviously a lot more than a verse or two, but it’s honestly so good!  Please pick up your Bible and read it right now.  This passage contains my favorite verse of all time, which I thought need a bit more of a presentation.

Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more important than they? -Matthew 6:26

Are you not more important than they?

My friends, there is an all-powerful God that cares enough about the insignificant little birds to feed them.  Do you really think he would neglect those who He’s created in His own image?  This passage does a great job of putting that into perspective, I’d even say it makes whatever worry we have look silly and small.

Worry is not fun.  It’s not.  I’d say it is one of the most miserable things we can experience as humans.  So why hang on to it?  Here we have the all-powerful God asking us to surrender our worry to him, won’t you take him up on this?  I’m not going to lie, it takes practice to surrender your worry, and there is always room for improvement.  But combating the worry in your life has long-lasting benefits.  No matter what, God always wants the best for you, so take a stand against worry.