Friends, we've been talking about a fresh start for months. Months! While it's absolutely true that a fresh start is in reach for us any day - any moment! - of the year, we are creatures of systems and habits, and we are part of a culture that says a new year begins on January 1. So, let's embrace it! Let's use this week to sweep out the old and welcome in the new. From your heart to your home, from the mental to the physical, we've compiled a list of 12 easy (and almost all free!) ways to make a fresh start this week.
So, if you're craving a fresh start in your...
...HOME | Clear up one spot. Just one! It's tempting to set out to conquer whole rooms or floors, but start by identifying just one pain point you deal with every day that would leave you feeling refreshed if it was streamlined. Your bedside table, kitchen counter, bathroom counter, or desk are all good candidates!
...ROUTINES | Choose a new bedtime. Getting enough sleep lays the foundation for almost everything else in our lives. Move your bedtime up, then layer in some simple ways to make sure you hit the hay when you say you will - for example, showering or washing your face earlier in the evening, putting your phone "to bed," or winding down with a cup of tea or a book.
...ATTITUDE | Go for a hike. In a funk? Need to clear your mind? Bundle up and head to the woods (and leave your phone behind). The fresh air, space to think, and physical movement will leave you feeling lighter.
...FRIENDSHIPS | Encourage a friend. Maybe there's some lingering hurt, discontent, or comparison in one of your friendships. Instead of dragging that forward into the new year, reach out proactively to either clear the air (if that's needed) or just offer her encouragement. If nothing else, it will leave you feeling good - spreading happiness always does!
...WORK | Clear out your task list. This is a practice Team Cultivate uses before major holidays and work events. Whatever project management system you use, whether pen and paper or digital (we use Asana!), it's easy to let tasks roll over from day after day. Instead of letting them linger indefinitely, set aside 30 minutes to be ruthless with your task list. Either get them done or cut them - if they've been lingering this long, they're probably not that important!
...RECREATION | Plan for refreshment. While you might not be able to pin down every vacation day for 2022, this week is the perfect time to look ahead and proactively plan out your vacation days in the year ahead. Compare schedules with your significant other or kids, if needed, and consider what would be life-giving and possible in the year ahead (including "ordinary" days off!). After all, half the fun of an adventure is in the planning and anticipation!
...SOCIAL MEDIA | Be the boss of your apps. Instagram, Facebook, and the rest are far too addicting to be left to their own devices. Instead, make proactive decisions about how you'll use them in the year ahead. A few suggestions: put "social media vacations" on your calendar now (weekly, monthly, quarterly - whatever works for you!), decide to log on just once a day (and what time you'll do so), or mute and unfollow people who leave you feeling icky.
...TIME | Buy a clock and move your phone charger. If you're one of the MANY people who sleep with their phone beside their bed (and therefore look at it first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening), move your charging cord out of your bedroom. If you're worried about waking up on time, buy a simple alarm clock.
...RELATIONSHIPS | Plan for quality time. If you have kids, proactively planning just 10-20 minutes of undivided attention for each one each day can pay off in spades. Start today (nothing fancy - just let them pick what you two do!), then consider how you might be able to incorporate it on a daily basis going forward. (If you don't have kids, this works for significant others, too!)
...HEALTH | Clear out your pantry. Always reaching for the junk in your pantry? Clear it out and it will no longer be an option! Unopened packages can be donated, and the rest can be offered to friends. If you're not able to get rid of something, try this: pop it in a lidded container and move it to a high shelf. Move the healthier options to the front!
...FAITH LIFE | Write the Word. We know of no better way to ignite your faith life than by diving into God's Word. Try writing out 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 in your own handwriting on a piece of scrap paper. (If you love the practice, we've got just the thing for you!)
Friends, which one of these fresh starts will you try this week? As you choose, remember: being an overachiever and trying ALL 12 of these suggestions will not lead to the fresh start you're craving - it will lead to overwhelm! If they all appeal to you, spread them out over several weeks in your PowerSheets.