“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~ Melody Beattie
We’re nearing the end of 2023 and the new year 2024 is around the corner, as of this post’s writing. I hope you had a great Christmas with your family and your friends, and have a wonderful, new year overflowing with God’s blessings.
I usually do several things at the end of each year and before the start of the new one:
- Reflect over the past year and pray about the coming new year. I set aside a quiet time alone to seek God to ask His forgiveness for any sins I may have committed in the past year, and to ask for His direction, wisdom, guidance, and protection for me and my family. I no longer do new year’s resolutions (breaking them too fast). For the last several years, I’ve asked for a “one word” and a Scripture as an anchor for the coming year. The one word has worked much better, and it serves as a theme for the year. I really liked this video on resetting your life and just “dreaming” about the coming year and writing down what comes to mind (although I still think goals are a great and wise idea!). My motto is “Dream big because we serve a big God!” God makes dreams come true, as my life is living proof!
- Declutter, organize, and clean. Marie Kondo said, “Tidying is the act of confronting yourself.” So true! Have you ever just really LOOKED at your house, rooms, closets, drawers, yard, garage, and car and thought, “What IS all this crap? Why on earth do I have it?” (Or you wonder why your spouse or kids do!) Decluttering and organizing is an endless task, but such a necessary one. I try to do this several times a year, but especially at the end of the year, to have a fresh new start. It’s SO freeing to give away, throw away, or sell things. You just feel a weight lifted off you, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. “When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then the chaos becomes internal as well as external.” (Myquillyn Smith)
- Do a digital clean, too. One great way to do this is to trade in your phone and you will have much more storage (if you don’t transfer all of your data). It’s not quite time for ours yet, but I’m looking forward to the new iPhone 15. Meanwhile, I can work on deleting old pics, videos, and video clips from my iPhone now. You can back up pics and videos to the Cloud, too, and delete them from your phone or laptop (just make sure they’re there in the Cloud first!).
- You can also uninstall apps that you don’t really use and need on your phone and your desktop. Deactivate and close the accounts associated with the apps before you uninstall them. Recently I also went through my email inbox, deleting and filing emails until I got them almost down to zero again – a huge feat! I unsubscribed from newsletters, etc., that I don’t read any more.
- Buy new office supplies and equipment. When school starts in September, that’s a great time to stock up on pens, computer paper, sticky notes, tape, and other supplies. Sometimes you can also find some on sale at Christmas or afterward. My husband Ray shocked me recently by buying me a new laptop. This not only will give me relief from some of the major problems I was having with my old laptop, but it immediately gave me much more storage space! Initially, he bought me a Google Chromebook, but I couldn’t install several different software programs on it that I need, so we exchanged it for a Lenova Thinkbook laptop with Windows. I was able to install the programs on it that I use each day for my speaking and writing (the books I write, blog posts, podcasts, vlogs, etc.).
- Buy a planner/calendar for the new year. Again, this gives me a fresh start! My favorite one for years has been The Happy Planner, available for sale on Amazon. I just ordered this one today and can’t wait for it to arrive soon. The beautiful beach-theme front cover has the inscription, “The most important project you’ll ever work on is you.” Love it! I use my planner for speaking events; book goals and deadlines; scheduling podcasts, vlogs, and online events; my writers’ Progress Pod; dreams; verses; to-do lists; health and fitness aspirations; bill payments; lunches or coffee with my kids or friends; and more. A previous biz coach of mine used to call hers “My Brain in a Binder.” The Happy Planner is small enough to carry with me wherever I go in the car, but it has room to write down so many things to stay organized and productive. It is my “Hope” book. 🙂 Mandy Hale said, “So, I close my eyes to old ends, and open my heart to new beginnings.”
Amen to new beginnings – like open doors and TRAVELING in 2024! How do you end the old year and start the new one? What are your plans, goals, and dreams? Please leave your comments below! I’d love to hear!