I feel like Christmas is a distant memory now and I'm happy the new year is here; there is still that feeling of expectation and new beginnings. Like anything can happen as it is a fresh canvas awaiting me to draw the picture of 2016.
To be honest I came into the new year without too much thought of what the year ahead would hold and what goals I should be thinking about. I'm really not into New Year's resolutions and I just assume they will be broken, so I stopped making them some years back but I do believe it's good to have a focus and change is the only constant.
Over the last couple of weeks I've spent quite a bit of time in prayer and quiet contemplation of what I should be doing this year and a few focus areas have made them self apparent to me. First off I really need to get a grip on my health. I've been on too many diets in the last thirty odd years since I started to try to lose some weight. The evidence from those last three decades tells me that diets do not work for me, I now realise what I need is small, gradual changes. So I am working on changes a couple of things each month and making them habits for life. It is going to be slow and I'm sure at times boring but it is so necessary and if I can establish all the better behaviours as my norms then the weight cannot fail to fall off and my health improve.
I've been surprised that in the last few weeks one of then things that has come up a few times is that I should be working with at least one elderly person to befriend them and offer practical assistance. This is not anything that has ever occurred to me before but it has come to mind enough times for me to know it is of God. I've no real idea where to start this with, but a good first step will be to accompany a friend of mine to a couple of her 'Golden Days' meetings that she runs for lonely elderly people in a town close to where I live. Watch this space, who knows what I might get up to.
Working with my husband
Over the last year I have become more and more involved with supporting my husband at work and I am loving it. It is not always easy to work together and there are challenges coming up along the way but when we moved to East Sussex nearly three years ago God gave me a clear message that my focus for this season was to mother and support my husband. I feel our relationship is being strengthened by the challenges we are having to work out and I pray it is helping him to feel less overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that falls within his remit.
Cutting down on needless spending
Also important this year is keeping a close eye on our spending and making sure that I am not spending frivolously. Thankfully we already have a savings plan as it may come about this year that if I help my husband more then I will stop being self-employed and earning income from my blogging. So we will be a one income family and believe me we do not do this work for financial reward. So I have created a spending plan to make sure that each month we have enough and can also afford the extras like insurance, car problems, small holidays and gifts. Although talking of gifts I vow to spend much less next Christmas as the kids just do not need all they are given and it is forgotten and unused far too soon after Christmas ends. I found a useful TSB article about New Years Spending Resolutions that it is worth having a read of if you need to tighten up in this area like me.
Quality time with the kidsThen lastly, I need to up my game in regards to my focus on mothering. I do spend lots of time with the kids, but I need to make sure there are more small nuggets of quality time with each of my children alone. That half hour or an hour is so important to them and that is when you really connect and develop their trust in you. Every child is different and it takes some practise to be able to adapt your parenting style to suit them individually but that is what I need to do this year, so I'm going to read the five love languages of children and see how I can better connect with each of them.
I think that is quite enough to be focusing on in one year but ho about you, what changes are you making?
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