When the clock struck twelve, signaling an end to 2018, I wasn’t at a party counting down the seconds or at home watching the ball drop. I was actually with my husband and some friends playing video games after putting our kids to bed.
As always, it felt good to unwind, to laugh, and to be in good company when I was used to the daily grind that often left me tired and craving time to recharge. I welcomed the break. We all enjoyed it. So much so, that no one said a word about the new year or noticed the time until it was about five minutes after midnight. From there, we wished each other a “Happy New Year” and continued enjoying the night.
New Year, New Opportunities
I think that moment spoke volumes about the way I’ve come to view the new year. I realized the beauty of it isn’t as much about the minute or day of celebration as it is about the actual year of opportunity to come. Opportunity to be more intentional, more humble, more bold. Opportunity to dream, hope, believe. Opportunity to reach goals, right wrongs, and learn from mistakes. In other words, opportunity to continue moving forward to become a better steward of all I have, as God transforms me into the person He’s calling me to be.
When this new year began, I admit I wasn’t ready for a fresh start to anything (I am rarely ready to do anything new after the holiday season). There were so many things I started last year that I felt I needed to continue focusing on. In the past, I would have beat myself up for acknowledging that—for not being in a position to anticipate the year to come and welcome it with brand new plans and brand new goals. But now, I know that it’s okay to ease into the new year while figuring out its rhythm.
There’s freedom in knowing that the things we didn’t do last year don’t have to stop us from fully embracing the beauty of a new year. We can just keep going. There may not always be a fresh start to something, but there is always a chance to refocus and continue. And I love that.
Ways To Get Inspired In The New Year
Whether we’re starting something new or working to reach goals we’ve had for a while, getting focused and staying focused isn’t always easy. We have to find the inspiration to do it. Here are five ways I’ve found that help me get inspired and motivated to move forward in a new year:
Pause for reflection.
When we think about any of our past successes, it can get us fired up to accomplish even more in the future. In the same way, reflecting on the struggles and failures, what we learned, and how we survived it all can serve as motivation to change or right the things within our control.
Make a resolution.
If we want to see change in a new year, making a resolution and telling others about it is a good way to hold ourselves accountable for something we intend to do. It serves as a reminder to keep our word and push through any desires to quit.
Write a goals list.
No matter what we want to do, writing it down can help remember to stay focused and keep going. With lists, we also have a place we can constantly come back to—to keep track of the progress and remind myself that accomplishing even the smallest goal is worth celebrating.
Create a vision board.
Seeing images and words that encourage us and remind us of our goals can help motivate us when days are hard and we need a pick me up. Whether you do it digitally or go the traditional route by cutting from magazines and displaying everything on a paper or a board, it’s always fun to get a little creative while getting inspired.
Consider having one word for the year.
Choosing one word allows us to be intentional and focus on one thing that can make us a better version of ourself. It can be a simple action like create or something more complex like a feeling or a state of mind.
Declare a scripture to focus on for the year.
Like having one word, selecting a scripture can help us focus on something that resonates with us and works to encourage us and build our character. Having any piece of God’s truth to study and meditate will also strengthen our faith on the journey.
The wonderful thing about these methods is that you can use as many as you like. For years, I made resolutions before deciding to consider one word for each year (You can check out some of my past words here, here, here, and here). Now, I also write goals lists that I update and followup with a vision board. What do you do to get inspired in a new year?