Top Ten List: Practices I Promise You Won’t Regret Starting This Year

As we start off the New Year, I’m thinking about some habits and choices that  I want to do or already have done in years past — choices that have the power to really enhance my relationships and life for the better! I want to share ten of these practices in the form of one of my very favorite things: A LIST!

  1. Sponsor a child or sign up for monthly giving! I highly recommend the following ministries: worldvision.org, compassion.com, empowerhaititogether.org, embracinghopeethiopia.com, lifesongfororphans.org, ijm.org, and persecution.com
  2. Work to memorize Scripture! Aim for one chapter or one really meaningful passage, or verses about a particular issue with which you struggle.
  3. Ask God whom to put on a daily prayer list. As you pray for them, send a card sometimes to encourage or at the end of the year, let them know you prayed for them all year!
  4. Read aloud a devotional or inspirational biography at dinner or bedtime or before school at least once a week as a family.
  5. Make a change in your diet, even if it is to only add one beneficial food and remove one harmful food for the year. And can I squeeze into #5 to exercise at least 15-30 minutes per day?
  6. Put on your calendar a quarterly, if not monthly, ladies’ night/men’s night or coffee date with a friend! No one is going to do this for you; make it happen!
  7. Plan 12 dates with your spouse if you are married. Even if they are “couch dates”, write down the ideas and put them in a jar to pull out or put on your calendar once a month. Get the sitter a month in advance. We can do this, y’all! When we are old, we’ll be sorry that we didn’t…It’s good for the kids to see us date, too!
  8. Live in community, inter-generationally! Seek out relationships with older and younger people; write down the story and advice of at least one older person this year and seek to serve them this year.
  9. Pow-Wow! Give the closest people in your life a chance to share their heart daily, in two categories. Ask them what was great about their day, and listen (this is their Wow!) Ask them what was difficult and what they’d like to sort through, and listen (this is their Pow!) You can do this with friends, roommates, spouses, and definitely kids and teens. I do this as I put my kids to bed each night and if I “forget”, they do not. 😉
  10. Plan a day or weekend anywhere from 2 to 12 times a year where you get away from people and re-think schedules, goals, relationships, health, etc. Read, watch inspiring movies, be quiet, journal, be in nature, and let God renew your mind, heart, soul, and strength in solitude.

We are responsible to take care of ourselves (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually)…our immediate family, our marriages, our kids that won’t be kids for long…the least of these among us, close by and around the world…the elderly…but we get busy and sometimes just live on autopilot! Whatever your choices are this year, let them be YOUR CHOICES. Whatever you spend your time on, whatever you commit yourself to do, let it be thought out and deliberate. What you decide today is a little bit who you are tomorrow. 🙂

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