Everyone’s talking about New Year’s resolutions. Have you set any? Maybe your resolution is to set a resolution. Or have you resolved to not make any resolutions?

Making New Year’s resolutions is definitely a common trend. What’s the point of making these resolutions? No, no…it’s not just to break them. I’d like to suggest the practice of New Year’s resolutions can actually be quite transformative if you go about it with an honest heart.

I love taking a few moments during this time of year to reflect on all the changes, blessings, challenges, and triumphs of the year. It helps me to first and foremost reflect on God’s provision.

Reflection on the past year can help identify what you were really proud of and things you wish that you could change. In the process of reflecting, you then have the opportunity to look forward into the next year with a sense of opportunity for something new.

Rather than setting goals to eat less sugar or exercise more (which are great goals), I’m setting an intention this year to be more mindful.

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future” (Psychology Today).

What does it mean to be more mindful? How is it practical? How can I make it a SMART goal?

I don’t have that goal fully developed yet, but here’s what I’m starting with to be intentionally more mindful this year:

  1. More quiet time.
  2. Less TV time.
  3. More reading time.
  4. Less negativity.
  5. More journaling.

Let me explain each aspect.

More quiet time

I recharge when I’m by myself. I don’t need to explain how important it is to be energized, clear minded, and ready to jump into action when God calls. With three little miracles, a business, and a husband, it’s difficult to find quiet time, but it’s paramount to centering myself. At this point, I’m best able to put first things first.

Less TV time

During the day I expel so much mental energy that I feel like TV is an escape from my mind. There’s nothing wrong with TV, but when I choose to turn it off in the evenings more often than not, I spend more time with my kids, I cook more, I feel better the next day, and I am more mindful about how I spend my time.

More reading

I was once told that “my character will be shaped by the books I read and the company that I keep.”   I have a reading list a mile long, and I love to read. This is the year to continue shaping my character.

Less Negativity

I always thought I was a super positive person, the glass half-full kind, but I find myself saying “no” to people, ideas, my children, etc. more often than I would like. I have resolved to be more open to people and ideas, even when my first reaction is to say no. I’m going to be mindful with my attitude, beginning with my thoughts.

More journaling

This one is just for me. I don’t necessarily enjoy journaling, but I always enjoy reading what I’ve written later. In the evening, right before bedtime, works for me to write for a few minutes. I’m not going to set a goal to write every day or even every week, but I’d like to be more mindful to journal this year.

Let’s realize each day as an opportunity to start over and be more mindful. Lamentations 2:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Each day is in the palm of the Creator.

Whether you’re into making New Year’s resolutions or not, my hope is that you can take a moment to reflect on this year and what you’d like the next one to hold.

In 2018, I’m ready to be more intentional, living mindfully in the moment.

 

*This article was originally published on the Living Wellness Blog

Ashley Darkenwald

Author Ashley Darkenwald

Ashley Darkenwald is an inspirational speaker and the author of Living Wellness, the book encompassing her 10+ years as a fitness professional, club owner, and nutrition fanatic. Ashley enjoys homeschooling her two children, leading worship at the WHY church in Elk River, and playing sand volleyball in the summer. Ashley’s favorite speaking topic is FREEDOM through the practice of exceptional health.

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