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Monday, December 27, 2010

Avoiding the After-Christmas Letdown

Let me first begin with the fact that I had an amazing Christmas week. The days were full of delicious cookies and tender family moments.  I enjoyed opening my wonderfully thoughtful gifts and watching through the eyes of others as they unwrapped mine. But now, Christmas is over. Folks that were exchanging pleasantries on Saturday are now forcibly shoving their way through the Christmas clearance section of Target. The blustery snow is not too magical anymore - instead, it is a reminder that we New Yorkers have three more months of this sunless, frigid weather to go. Soon, depression and lethargy can set in and we end up in a slump all the way until Spring.

That's the way it happens to me, anyway. :)

At this point, I find it extremely beneficial to insulate myself for a few hours and focus on my goals for the upcoming year. Looking ahead always encourages my spirit because I can develop a practical, step-by-step plan for getting where I want to be in the next 12 months. How am I going to tackle this upcoming year? What have my priorities been in the previous year, and should I rearrange them for the next? How can I deepen my relationship with Christ? How can I be a more gracious wife? What financial goals do we hope to accomplish as a family?

It may appear to be a daunting task, but it really puts your whole life into perspective. Thinking about your priorities in this way can guide you in the right direction. It is so incredibly easy to get lost - believe me, I know! And looking at your future objectives plainly written down on a sheet of paper is the first step. It can give you the energy you need to start and the excitement of crossing them off will encourage you to complete them. (The latter is my favorite part!)

If you do not think even one hour of quietness in your home is possible for you to do this, or you are easily distracted by all the cleaning and organizing there is to do after the Holidays, make an afternoon date with yourself and visit your local Starbucks or quaint cafe. Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for your mind and will stimulate a multitude of different ideas.

I am planning to work on my goals this week and will share them on Friday! I also encourage you to do the same - I will be providing an opportunity that day for you to link up with your own goals for 2011.

And just remember, these are goals that you want to be able to complete. Take your personality and objectives into account and make sure they communicate with each other. You do not want to purpose to wake up at 5:30am every morning to do your devotions if you are not a morning person. Make sure you have attainable goals and the practical steps to complete them. No one likes getting discouraged in March when you realize you cannot possibly complete what you wrote down.

I really dislike New Year resolution platitudes such as, "I'm going to lose weight this year, or I'm going to become more organized......" How are you going to do those things? Be specific. Is 10lbs an achievable goal for you to reach and maintain throughout the year? Is a Home Management Binder a way for you to start organizing your home? Make sure you always have a plan so you can follow through with your intentions - it makes it so much easier and less disappointing!


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