It's hard to believe that 2019 is now coming to a close, and that means welcoming in a whole new year: 2020 - and I'm sharing 6 encouraging ideas to help you start the new year out right.
With it being the end of a year, I like to reflect, say goodbye to the year, and have some habits for then welcoming in the new, fresh, upcoming year. Looking to do the same? 6 ideas below, because a new year should be exciting.
The thing is, so many of these principles can be applied any day throughout the entire year. However, sometimes a new year can be a simple foundation for this for us to build upon by starting these habits at a time where we are entering a fresh new season, and hopefully continuing and building habits for an entire year to come.
1. Look Back on the Year Ending
Sometimes this can be happy, sometimes sad, sometimes both - depending on the type of year you had and the memories you have from it. Regardless, looking back at the past year can be a helpful way to reflect on the good and on the hard times of the year that is now over.
You can recognize your growth, achievements, and things that have went well in the year. Many times it can be hard to notice these things and instead just be excited for a fresh new start, but often times there are many good things about the year ending that we can easily over look.
Try journaling your favorite memories, looking through photographs, remembering the songs that meant a lot to you, or reflect on what you've achieved.
2. Count Your Blessings
Now don't get me wrong - this should happen much more frequently than just at the start of a new year! However, I love starting a new year by just recognizing all that I am blessed to have and thanking God for what He has blessed me with. Because even among any hard times or struggle, God is so good.
What happened this year that you are thankful for? Who are you blessed to have in your life? You could journal if it will help organize your thoughts, which I find it usually does for me. Reflecting on Bible verses, prayer, and listening to worship music are some ways that I like to count my blessings and give thanks to God as well.
3. Make Goals for the New Year
Making goals for a new year can be an exciting and motivating way to welcome in a new season and find joy in welcoming in the new season. While there are many goals one may set for themselves, my favorites are goals that encourage me to be kinder or more loving.
For example, a goal to do one act of kindness each day. Like I mentioned above, this type of goal setting, just as counting our blessings, can happen so much more than just at New Years. It could be as simple as making an effort to go out of your way to greet someone or show someone you care about them by asking how they are, and really paying attention to what they share with you.
4. Make a Playlist to Motivate You
I don't know about you - but there is something so special about an encouraging playlist, especially for moments when we are feeling discouraged and unmotivated.
One of my favorite new year habits is to make a playlist of songs that encourage me or help me to become who I want to be, or meet goals I have for myself. Listening to it in the morning while I get ready for the day, or at any time I need a little more encouragement, can be such a special little reminder.
Some of my favorite encouraging songs at the moment include Dream Small by Josh Wilson, You Say by Lauren Daigle, and Getting Good by Lauren Alaina.
5. Reach Out to Loved Ones
Christmas & New Year's already tend to be a time for being with loved ones, but sometimes we aren't able to be with everyone we want to. Whether its distance, busyness, or another factor, it can be hard to not see loved ones at this time of year.
I aim to try to reach out to any loved ones I am missing and just wish them a Happy New Year and try to plan a get together with them soon, and hopefully build & carry on a strong relationship throughout the year as well - something as simple but significant as a standing coffee date once a week, or month, to stay in touch.
6. Start a New Book or Journaling Habit
This is another one of my favorite intentional new year habits to start. In following the new year's fresh start and open book, what better way than to start reading a new book that inspires you and teaches you something that could help you this year?
Or, starting a new journaling habit to spend a little more quality time writing each day. Not only are these nice habits to have, I have found that they also help myself to unwind and spend less time looking at a screen. I recently finished the book The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp and I would highly recommend it - an amazing read and written beautifully.
If you're looking to get more organized this new year, worksheets can be an extremely helpful method. I wrote an entire post on 5 Simple Habits for Daily Life Organization.
A New Year is a fresh start, a new chapter, a new season - and it can be a good time to implement some intentional habits to continue throughout the next season. So there you have it - a few encouraging habits I hope will inspire you this new year!