Don’t get caught up in the January frenzy of diets and grand resolutions. I’m sharing some New Year’s goals everyone should have that won’t leave you stressed and burned out by February.
I’ve been making goals for myself every year for quite some time. At first they were so lengthy and detailed because my life was a mess and there was so much to work on.
Every year I scale back as I get healthier and can take more time to just enjoy life.
This year I decided to change things up again and create goals not just for myself. Instead I came up with new year’s goals everyone should have!
My goals do not include dieting, reaching a number on the scale or trying to be more crafty. Those are fine if that is what you like to do.
But for most people they just leave you burned out and feeling defeated and stressed by February.
Here are my New Year’s goals everyone should have.
Get more rest.
This can mean sleep or just down time. Either way, we are all overworked and overstressed. Take a day off each week or aim to get to bed earlier a few nights a week. Rest and sleep are so critical for good health.
No restrictions or diets.
Make this the year to stop following the latest food trend (i.e. paleo, primal, GAPS, Whole30, HTM, low carb, high fiber, low fat, Atkins, etc.) and start listening to your body. Nobody can tell you what to eat to feel your best. Only you can figure that out.
Really pay attention to hunger signals and nutritional needs. This changes with each season of your life and even day to day. No prescribed diet can tell you if your body needs some extra protein or starch today.
Listen to your body and make choices each day based on how you are feeling and what your body needs. Restricting (whether particular foods or calories) whether it’s for a few months or just a few weeks or even days will have an impact on your metabolic health. Each time you restrict you are creating more work for yourself down the road to get your metabolism back to full strength.
If you need help with knowing what your body really needs I highly recommend HTMA.
Move your body.
Notice that I did not say exercise. Try to move your body more each day. Movement incorporated throughout the day is more effective than sitting all day and then jogging for thirty minutes.
If you have a desk job get up every hour and take a little walk. Or keep pedals at your desk and pedal while you work. If it works for your job a treadmill desk is very effective for moving while you work (and is on my wish list!).
Strenuous exercise is just that – stress. And any stress on your body will have an impact. So don’t strain yourself and force yourself to work out. Just add movement to your whole day. A moving body is a healthy body.
Also move according to your health and ability. If you are nursing a little one or recovering from adrenal fatigue now is not the time to push yourself. Simply working around your house and taking a slow walk is sufficient movement without burdening your body.
I tend to sit a lot during the day whether I’m writing or playing on the floor with the kids or driving kids here and there. But I notice that on days where I put away laundry or grocery shop and have more movement all morning I feel so much better. I am not forcing myself to jog five miles. Just moving.
Yoga, walking and weight lifting are all great ways to move your body.
Strive to nourish your body every day.
Pick one thing you can do each day to add nourishment to your body. Try adding one food like liver, egg yolks, probiotics, sardines, gelatin or broth each day.
Make sure you are getting a good balance of protein, carbohydrates (including starch, not just sugar) and fat that works for your body and your current health status. Figure out your metabolic type and pay attention to how different ratios of macronutrients make you feel. Then aim to get the right balance each day.
For me, that means a lot of carb/starch right now. Being a sleep deprived mom that is still nursing a 16 month old full time and being a slow oxidizer I need a LOT of starch in my diet. So my meal may look unbalanced to you since I’ll have two or three big slices of sourdough bread that make up half my meal. But if I don’t eat that way I feel rotten and cold all day and have no energy. I do balance that with lots of vegetables, pastured meats and healthy fats for all of my vitamins and minerals.
Give your body the balance and the nourishment it needs each day.
Make time for yourself and for others.
This year make people a priority. Whether that means self care or setting aside the to-do list to play with your kids or making time to connect with your spouse. People are what matter. Build relationships. Cherish them.
Extend grace to yourself and others.
We live in a very critical society. We judge others. We are bombarded with ideas of what you should or shouldn’t look like in the media. Pinterest images make us feel like we should be whipping up a new craft each day.
Let’s stop the criticism and instead show love. We all want to feel accepted and loved. So start by loving yourself and extending that grace to those around you. You can’t control how other people behave but you can be a light to others.
This also means being vulnerable. Stop hiding behind masks. Be real. Nobody is perfect. We all have flaws. And we’d all be a lot happier if we let those flaws show, accepted help where we are lacking and helped others with our strengths.
Take time for reading God’s Word, prayer and listening.
I go in phases with making devotional time a priority. But every time I do I am amazed at how I see God at work and feel so much more at peace.
But the thing I haven’t always done is taken the time to really listen. Read your Bible and pray. Then just be silent. You can’t hear God if you don’t listen! I encourage you to slow down and keep eyes and ears open to hear God throughout the day.
Make time for fun.
There is so much pain and trouble in the world. It is important to take time to do fun things and see the good and beauty around. Go on dates with your kids. Have a family game night. Go for a walk in the woods with your spouse. Read a good book. Try something you’ve never done before. Life is often very serious. Make time for fun.
Take joy in the little things each day.
Don’t get so busy that you miss out on the little things each day – your child’s smile, a special note from your child, a beautiful sunrise, a refrigerator filled with food, drawers full of clean laundry, running water. There are so many things to be thankful for.
This year we could all complain less and find more joy each day.
Put down the phone!
I try my best to keep my use of electronics to a minimum when I’m not working. But I’m sure I could do even better. Put down the phone or tablet or whatever is in your hand to be able to follow through on the other goals – making relationships a priority, finding joy, having fun, listening to God.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want my kids’ memory of me to be with a phone in my hand staring at a screen instead of playing with them.
Let’s put that phone down and talk to people face to face.
It’s all about balance.
After writing all of these goals I realized I made quite a list! Which is kind of the opposite of my intention. But they are all great. Pick the ones you like or maybe just one and see if it helps you feel better in 2016.
It all boils down to balance in all areas of life. Slow down, focus on gentle movement, take time for rest, eat balanced meals without extremes or restrictions, enjoy life, pursue passions, take time for others and for God.
Pick your word.
In addition to goals, every year I choose a word to focus on. Something God lays on my heart. Last year was GRATITUDE. The year before was LOVE. And before that ACCEPTANCE.
This year I am choosing to focus on PATIENCE. There are so many things I want to do and accomplish. There are so many things to try to squeeze in each day. I usually feel so overwhelmed by all of the need-to-dos and want-to-dos in my head.
I am working on patience and trusting in God’s plans and timing. I pray he will develop my passion for his purpose. And that I will be more patient with my children. I don’t usually enjoy a season of waiting. But I feel like that’s where I’m at right now in so many aspects of my life. So I’m going to be patient. I know God has big things planned for me when this time of waiting is over. But he has work to do on me yet while I wait.
Try picking your own word this year. What would it be?
I do have a few personal goals this year. I am writing my first book and my goal is to finish it. It is something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS. But wasn’t sure exactly what to focus on. Now I know. And I’m excited (be on the lookout!).
I also want to focus on healing for my kids. They each have a ways to go to be at full health.
Finally, I want to work on my character. I want this to be the year with no more shouting and being vulnerable and letting people see the real me.
There it is. My list of New Year’s goals everyone should have. Plus a few personal goals (notice that I kept that list short so I can actually do it!).
What are your goals this year? I’d love to hear them!
This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.