New years can be both daunting and exhilarating with a fresh slate, new goals, rekindled dreams, and a long to-do list. But can we turn the daunting parts into exhilarating parts? I certainly hope so.
Let us share with you a few (13) of our go-to's when looking to muster up that motivation and to get inspired (in no particular order).
+ Find, or make, a creative space.
Maybe it's a corner of your living room or dining room, or perhaps that spare room which needs some sprucing up. Add a photo of your favorite folks and a live plant to give your space a little love. Or maybe it's a quaint coffee shop downtown where you can feel comfortable yet inspired. Either way, make it a priority to find that space that fits you well.
+ Make a vision board and keep it visible.
Vision board, "my why", 2k18 goals, whatever you'd like to call it - do it. Choose a word for the year or a theme you'd like to hone in on for this week, month, and/or year. Plaster it in your space, on your desk, in your phone, on your mirrors, in your mind + heart. Resolve to remember what you're prioritizing this year.
Over your dreams, over your giddy heart, over your goals -big or small, over your ideas, over your future, and over your steps. Bravely + expectantly, but humbly and knowing His goodness, come what may.
+ Break a big goal down into smaller, shorter, attainable action steps.
It's too easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed by the forest of your dreams and hopes and goals, and often difficult to find those little trees hanging out in the woods there. You want to read more in 2018? Me too! Stack all those unfinished books on your desk and resolve to have 3 chapters done by the end of THIS week. 48 books read in 2018 won't happen if you don't start with book 1, chapter 1, page 1. You got this!
+Name your 3 biggest inspo's
Maybe businesses, entrepreneurs, travel destinations, role models - but don't play that comparison game. Instead, write down 2-3 things (for each) you admire about them. Why do you admire those qualities? Remember they had to start all the way at the beginning too, and let their determination rub off on you.
+Keep your routine, plus just a little.
Add small changes over the course of time. You want to be a early bird? Me too! Avoid paralyzing inaction by making one change at a time. Resolve to wake up at the same time each day. Once you've got that, add in your reading/study time each morning. Once you have the reading routine down for the same time each morning, add in your workout at a consistent time each morning. Personally, trying to incorporate all of these at once typically ends in frustration for me, feeling a bit overwhelmed at the volume of it all. If you're like me in this way, give this method a try. A little goes a long way.
Don't beat yourself up, don't believe any lies about yourself or your journey, and focus on your progress. If you have to, ask for words of affirmation from your closest tribe, they want to encourage you. Write down truths about you and your journey, and remind yourself of these as often as needed.
+ Incentivize your goal-getting, if necessary.
If starting, or even accomplishing, a goal isn't enough satisfaction for you, give yourself a reward for a job well done. But don't sabotage yourself either. If your goal is the early bird thing, don't treat yourself with a couple of days of sleeping in! Instead, make yourself your favorite breakfast or even take yourself (and maybe a date) out to morning coffee or crepes.
+ Let a friend give you a pep talk.
Seriously, you're friends want to build you up and encourage you. That's one of the reasons you love them and one of the roles they're probably wishing to play in your life - let them. If you're like me, words of affirmation and verbal encouragement can be overwhelming and overstimulating to the emotions (haha, for real though). So let them know you're a lover of written notes and messages, that way you can go back over them on those rainy days. Maybe you're totally opposite and crave verbal affirmation and encouragement. So let you're closest friends in on the cloudy day you're having and allow them to speak Truth into your life and experience.
+ Write yourself notes for when your discouraged.
Honestly, I do this often. Write inspirational quotes, scripture verses, truths about yourself and your life, and prayers down on note cards or colored paper, or even right on your mirrors. Daily we're surrounded with lies - that we're not good enough, that we're unimportant or unwanted, or that we're can't/won't succeed. Countering these with TRUTHS about ourselves, our lives, and our God can help us combat the temptation to give up.
+ Give yourself a break.
Really, it's okay to take a seat and look back over where you've come from. This reflection will help you to see your progress forward and can encourage you to keep up your hard work. Most goals aren't attainable overnight and some won't get done in even a year, but the steps forward into catching those dreams and changing lives are the very process of success. So take a seat now and then, + give thanks for the mountains and valleys you've come through and for the perseverance for the ones ahead.
+ Ask your tribe for prayer, bravely.
When you come to the days, weeks, or even months when you've lost sight of your journey and of your hope, have courage, be vulnerable, stay brave. Your valley is not something to be ashamed of. Instead, it is an experience to be shared, a burden to be bore by more than just you. Let them in. Let Him in. Ask bravely for prayer, friends.
+ Practice gratitude.
Thankfulness and gratitude have a funny way of making all that we have more than we need. A grateful heart is a satisfied and full one. Nothing motivates me like a list of all the big and little things - people, experiences, memories - I've been given. Start a journal, write a list in your phone, make a public post, or just recount them in your nighttime prayers. You have been given much and you have much to be grateful for. Count your every blessing, name them one by one.