Monday, January 23, 2017

25 Things Every Person Should Do for Themselves At Least Once a Year

1. Count Your Blessings--Taking time to count your blessings will remind you of all you have to be thankful for.  A bright outlook to start the day is priceless

2. Reflect on Your Friendships--Reflect on what you've want the most out of your friendships.  Then devise a plan to give that very thing in your friendships in the new year.

3. Purge--Purge your home.  Get rid of anything that you haven't used in a year.  The classic excuse is that you don't want to have to re-purchase something you purged.  But in truth, your already paying to store those items you aren't using.

4. Prioritize--Know your priorities.  List all the commitments in your life, prioritize and let go of the things that just don't line up with your vision.

5. Visit a new city-- Seeing new places and visiting new cities gives you a better sense of the world as a whole.  Whether a few hours away or a plane ride around the world, discover new places, people, and new adventures.

6. Learn to cook something new-- New year, new foods.  Learn to cook that favorite dish you always go out for, discover a new favorite dessert, or makeover your menu with a healthy twist.

7. Do something adventurous-- What speaks adventure to your soul?  Skydiving?  Road trip?  The Great Outdoors?  Seek out some adventure in your day to day life.

8.  Visit your hometown--Return to your roots.  Wander the streets you knew as a child and rediscover old treasures.  Remember the good times and gratefully return to the wonderful town you currently live in.

9. Do something extravagantly kind for someone else-- A friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, ... we all crave a little kindness in our lives.  But take this one beyond the random act of kindness, make a sacrifice, and give extravagantly for someone else.

10. Get in touch with an old friend-- Old friends are gold, as the saying goes.  They know us inside and out, and love us just the same.  Take the time to invest in those old friendships and remember what made you friends in the first place.

11. Go on a spending fast-- Challenge yourself to not spend unnecessarily for a month.  Pay your bills, of course, but put a freeze on all non-essentials.  This will give you space to consider your purchases and where you're spending your money.

12. Go to a live performance-- Whether a concert, play, or school production, experience culture beyond a screen.  Get caught up in the music and atmosphere that only a live production can provide.

13. Clean your closet-- Get rid of anything you haven't worn in a year. If you haven't worn it in the past year, you're simply storing it.  Is there anything worn, ripped or simply not your style?  Get rid of that as well.

14. Memorize some new Scripture-- Challenge yourself to a piece of Scripture each month.  Memorize the books of the Bible for easy reference.  Commit to key passages that represent the gospel.  Or find larger chunks of scripture that challenge your brain.

15. Forgive yourself for something you've been holding on to-- We all hold on to past mistakes.  Some of us hold on to them too long.  And the longer we hold on, the harder it is to let go.  But it's time to let go.  And if you can't, find someone to help you put it in perspective.

16. Adopt a new healthy habit-- January is traditionally the time to start eating healthier.  But any time of year is a great time to develop a healthy habit.  Start working out, eating healthier, doing yoga, cutting down on sugar... each small healthy step leads to a healthier lifestyle.

17. Find a place to serve in the church-- We all have gifts to share with others.  Find a place to use those gifts, whether it's serving meals, teaching kids, or playing on the worship team.  Don't attend church?  There are many organizations in the community what for you to share your gift.

18. Re-read a book that encouraged you in the past-- It's no secret that we love to read in this family and there's so many good books out there.  Sometimes we find a book that absolutely changes the way we view life.  Why not pick up that book again and see if there's more growth there for you?

19. Make a new friend-- Life is not meant to be lived alone.  Make a new friend in your current season of life.  Maybe another parent in Little League or another young married couple from church.

20. Read the biography of an early church leader-- Speaking of encouragement, reading about early leaders can challenge and deepen the way we look at ministry and relationships, encouraging us in how the Lord is moving today.

21. Do something that scares you-- Are you afraid of heights?  Friendships?  Cooking?  Find one thing that scares you and overcome it.  Nothing will make you feel more empowered or confident.  And it will deepen the way you look at life and others.

22. Buy a new pair of shoes-- I'm not talking about the fancy boots (although if you have the money, certainly treat yourself).  Rather purchase a new pair of tennis shoes for workouts, walking or vacations.  A new pair of tennis shoes will provide better support for your knees and back in the coming year.

23. Go to one really nice dinner-- That restaurant you've always wanted to try?  Now's the time.  Dress up, go hungry, invite some friends, and for one night, savor dinner.  Slow down and talk.  And by all means, order dessert.

24. Buy flowers-- Nothing dresses up a room like fresh flowers.  Bring the outdoors in with a vibrant bouquet of fresh flowers, any time of year.

25. Unplug for a day (at least)-- No iPad, no laptop, no phone... can you do it?  Unplug from your online "friendships" and plug into your real life.  What do you notice?  Who will you talk to?  How will you listen?

What would you add to this list?
What will you do for yourself in the next year?

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