A different way to start the year

It has been one week since the new year began, and if you’re like me, you’ve read countless blog posts, news stories and websites that outline how to set and keep new year’s resolutions. But, if you’re like me, you also find setting year-long resolutions daunting and overwhelming. An entire year in which I have to do x, y, and z? Talk about pressure!

However, while reading last week I came across a post with an awesome idea, one that is reasonable and achievable: The 12 in 12 challenge.

Instead of deciding to conquer two, three or (as I would sometimes do) five+ massive resolutions in the year 2012, I would complete one commitment each month of the year. 12 goals in 12 months. Already sounds refreshing, right? At the end of each month, you get to decide whether you’d like to continue that behavior or move on.

Here are some examples:

  • Read for an extended period of time (30 minutes, an hour, etc.)
  • Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while
  • Go for a walk
  • Walk or ride your bike to work
  • Spend an hour totally unplugged
  • Give out hand-written Post-it note love letters
  • Pray or meditate
  • Write thoughts down in a journal
  • Be creative (write, draw, create figures out of Popsicle sticks)
  • Write a daily to-do list and stick to it
  • Drink 8 cups of water

You get the idea.

One of the things that I love about this idea is that it creates opportunities to add positives to your life: organization, healthy practices, free time, space to breathe and exhale.

For the month of January, my goal is to spend time with the Lord each morning. This requires waking up early and making moves in the a.m., but it has been absolutely fantastic so far, something I see myself continuing once the month is over.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I think people shouldn’t have plans or goals. Far from it! I definitely have over-arching goals for 2012, but this challenge is a great way to reduce the stress that may come with new year’s resolutions.

We may be a week into the new year, but it definitely isn’t too late to begin your 12 in 12! If you create a 12 in 12, let me know what you’re doing this January. If you have year-long resolutions, I’d love to hear about those as well.

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