Its a New Year!
So 2015 has come. A new year with new opportunities. Here are ten suggestions for taking control of, or starting something new, with your habits/hobbies/lifestyle, etc., for the New Year. Resolutions never work, so I will stick with suggestions….and much of this is directed right back at me.
1. Evaluate your job situation
Are you working a job you hate? Is it a dread to go to work each day? First of all, don’t quit (1 Tim. 5:8), but re-evaluate it. Find your strengths, find your niche, set some goals, and pursue them. I’m with you. At my job, all signs point to us being outsourced in a year. My time is ticking. However, I see it as a great opportunity God has given me, not a time to panic. You should as well.
2. Get out of debt and start saving
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Prov. 13:22). Get to work. Make 2015 a new year where you live frugal and pay off that debt. It’s only a year. Free yourself from slavery (Proverbs 22:7).
3. Listen more, talk less
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). Take time to listen to others, and not always be thinking of the next thing you want to blurt out. Ask follow up questions and let others know you are listening. Take interest in people this new year. It means a great deal to some, and you will be edified by doing so.
4. Tithe faithfully
The church is the “pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). It sits as a light in its communities. It is the bride of Christ. Yet many are having to shut their doors or are unable to do a mighty work of ministry because of its lack of money, due to its members not tithing. We are still commanded to tithe. Be faithful this next year to do so. “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfriuts of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” (Prov. 3:9,10).
5. Sing the Psalms
This is something new to me, so new that I have dedicated a page to the ones my family has learned. Sing them before dinner. Sing them in the car. You will be blessed!
6. Grow your own food
Everyone has a little room in their yard. A raised bed can fit anywhere. Gardening is good for your soul, you know where your food is coming from, its fresh, and you can save money and trips to the grocery store.
7. Try to redeem small-talk
Small talk. When you are at that event standing beside someone you don’t know and everyone shifts away but you two, and you both feel you have to say something. “So what do you do?” “So are you from around here?” This also happens when you run into that old high school classmate that you were never friends with or making your way around a family reunion. I always feel like I should make an introduction sheet with my job, where I was born, etc., that I could hand out to anyone new that begins small talk, and we could just skip to better things.
But, here is what makes the difference. There is a person who engages in small talk just to pass the time or the moment. Then there is the person who engages in small talk and is truly interested in the other person’s answer and remembers them for the future. We should strive to be the latter, especially if we will see them again.
8. Take interest in promoting someone’s interest
I love hunting but my father never did it, so what I learned, I mostly learned on my own and in limited places to do it. However, this year an uncle of mine, who is not in the best of health, called me up and took me numerous times. I learned so much from him in this one year and I have to say it was a real joy spending time together, even though it was hard for him to get out and do all the walking.
There are people in our families, our churches, our friends that have interests. Some of us may be highly proficient in those interests and can step in and help them. It meant a lot to me, it will mean a lot to them.
9. Get a calendar, acknowledge people’s birthdays
Facebook birthdays do not mean anything, as it tells everyone when your birthday is. It even gives you a box to leave a birthday wish. You need to take a different approach with family, distant family, friends, etc. A text, an email, a call, a card, etc. will do. It just needs to be unprovoked and “random.” They need to know that no one “tipped you off” to acknowledge their birthday. Take time at the beginning of the new year and mark out your calendar. Life is short.
10. Brew coffee differently
Switch up how you brew your coffee. Try a french press. Get a percolator. Get my favorite drip machine. This Christmas my sister got me a Chemex. What a treat! I went ahead and ditched my $15 Mr. Coffee. Nothing better than the smell (and of course taste) of coffee in the morning.
What are some suggestions you have for the new year? Share them in the comments!
Your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all (Thomas Brooks)