I am not one for New Year’s resolutions. I never have been. It’s too much pressure! What I do love about a new year though is the hope that it brings. Every December 31st is a time for me to reflect on the good and bad things that happened that year and give me hope that the next year will be even better. It’s always a time of self-reflection and anticipation. This year I decided to make a conscience effort to be intentional about making those hopes a reality. It’s true that you can’t control every situation and you most certainly can’t control what people do or don’t do. But I do believe there are ways that you can meet the hope of a better year with actions to turn that hope into daily reality. Here are 4 ways to start the New Year fresh and keep it fresh all year long.
1.Only Do Things That Are in the Direction of Peace and Joy
My husband and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on January 1st at the CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village. We were able to leave the kids with their grandparents for the night so that we could get away to celebrate how far we’ve come and dream about where we are headed. In that moment, with fireworks and a view of the city in the distance, I felt so much peace and joy. It was then that I decided that I want it to be like this all year long! My husband and I laughed, ate well, limited our time on our phones, and discussed a game plan for 2019 as far as finances, kids, family, work, and play are concerned. Although we were in the CityPlace Marriott bubble we left determined to keep those good vibes of peace and joy going. Well, it’s February and life has definitely gone on beyond the feather beds at the Marriott, but we are still going strong walking in peace and joy. How we do it is simple: Anything that doesn’t give us peace or joy, we go the opposite direction!
2.Discover Your Hometown
A lot of times we get caught up in the monotony of every day life. We drive down the same road to the same job, and eat at the same place for lunch everyday. I live in the 3rd largest city in America and there are times where I am left feeling like there is nothing to do. This year change it up by going out of your way to find new things and places to love about your town. You don’t need to spend your whole tax return going on a trip to Europe! No matter where you live there are places to discover right around you. And if you don’t know, reach out to people who do via social media. See a delicious cupcake where someone tagged the shop in your town? Check it out for yourself! Did you see an Insta-story with a friend visiting a local farmer’s market, get up Saturday and go! You will discover so many great things in the comfort of your own county!
Living right outside of Houston, I literally could spend a lifetime discovering gems all over Harris county. The food around me is incredible and so diverse. We started the New Year off right with breakfast at Switchouse right inside the Marriott followed by a 3-course lunch at Jinya Ramen Bar. There was absolutely no better way to kick off new beginnings than new food discoveries!
3.Do Life with People Who Wish You Well
There are so many things in this world that can literally suck the life out of you! Life is way too short to spend any time with negative people or people you know don’t wish you well. This is a tough one because some of those people are family members…ouch. I am keeping this new year fresh all year long by making a conscience effort to choose who I am going to surround myself with. Part of that is going back and remembering people that I may have lost touch with over the last year or so unintentionally. The people that made me laugh, the ones that gave really great advice, the ones that challenge me to do and be better, the ones that cheer me on in life. Yeah. Those people! Sometimes negative people are unavoidable. We all know the phrase “misery loves company” and some people just love for you to get down in the dumps with them. This year I am trying to be more aware when conversations start to head down the path of negativity and I’m holding myself accountable for redirecting that conversation toward positivity.
Last but certainly not least, pray. It’s so easy to pray when you are in a jam and you are desperate for answers or for rescue. But when you realize that prayer isn’t just a one way street where you just tell God all your problems, and complaints and expect him to just fix everything for you immediately, you can really start to focus on what the purpose is that God intended for your life. Yes, in prayer you talk to God, but He also wants to talk to YOU. That means you have to stop, be still and listen! I am the queen of telling God all the things that I want to do and my plans and expecting him to just co-sign on MY plan. This year I began the year by praying that HIS will be done even though His plan may be different from the one that I rattled off to him in 2018. And you know what…it was way different! How do I know that, because I stopped, and took the time to listen. The answers didn’t come in some mystical “voice”. They came by way of other people sharing their life with me. They came by certain situations from 2018 changing trajectory immediately after I allowed God to cancel any plans I had in exchange for His will. And this is how I will be guided all year, and hopefully all life long from now on.
Life will happen in 2019. But by taking the time to enjoy every moment, whether it is trying blue-corn pancakes for the first time, discovering a scenic spot to reflect while on your morning run, or re-connecting with your college roommate that had the most infectious laugh, you can keep the problems of life at bay.
Thank you to CityPlace Marriott at Springwoods Village for allowing me and my husband a comped evening away to kick off the New Year! Also thank you to Jinya Ramen Bar for your hospitality and amazing food that we are still raving about to our friends. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and we will be back!