Terrified, exhausted, and running out of air, I desperately tried to figure out which way was up and break free from the crashing waves. In that moment, I remembered the warnings I’d heard time and again about getting ‘pounded’ (Hawaiian slang for caught in the undertow). All reasoning was lost and I couldn’t remember what I’d been told. All I could do was struggle for what felt like ages in a futile attempt to break free from my circumstances. At the time it felt like 10 minutes I was fighting to save myself, but looking back I know it was just a matter of moments. Not only that, in my effort to blindly fight against the waves, I actually made things worse! Getting caught in the undertow is a pretty good metaphor for life. You can get so caught up in the struggle and anxiety of your circumstances that you can’t think of anything else. On the other hand, with a bit of a change in perspective and a strategic plan, you can make this your best year ever, no matter what comes your way.
What Make it Your Best Year?
Raise your hand if last year was hard for you. Did you felt like all you did was get pounded by the never ending waves and try to break free? *raises hand*
Now raise your hand if you’d like this year to be different. Would you like it to be your best year ever? *raises hand*
Best year ever? What does that even mean?
A Year of Ups and Downs
First, it does NOT mean a perfect year that is nothing but roses and kittens. There will still be tough seasons. At no point did God promise us a life free from struggle. In fact, in John 16:33b Jesus clearly says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I know it seems like a downer, but it’s actually quite freeing to realize that hard times don’t make it a bad year. You don’t have to fight to stop hard times from coming. They’re just a normal part of life!
A Year of Growth
Second, your best year means a year of growth. Nothing can reach it’s full beauty and purpose without growth. Imagine a plant that never grew after it sprouted. There would be no blossoms or fruit. It wouldn’t be very beautiful or useful. If you want this to be your best year, you’re going to have to welcome the opportunity to grow. Not just welcome it, but intentionally seek it out. I’m so excited about a new online conference starting this week because it is going to give us so many opportunities for growth. A New Year, Your Best Year 2019 Conference for Moms has over 175 sessions on every topic imaginable to help you grow as a mom, wife, and person.
A Year of Embracing Your Life
I started re-reading Esther last week and I realized that having your best year also means embracing where God has you and what He’s trying to teach you and do with you. Esther had every reason to be mad about her circumstances and fight back. She was basically ripped away from her family and forced into the king’s harem. Instead of resisting her life at the palace, though, she accepted it. She embraced the opportunity to carry out God’s will and save her people! You could make such a difference in the world if you embraced your circumstances (yes, even the hard ones) and chose to ‘bloom where you are planted’!
How Can You Make This Your Best Year?
You need to choose to grow for this to be your best year ever. Start by looking for some areas to grow in. I’m going to pause here for a moment and point out that this is NOT me saying you are a failure, or that you aren’t ‘good enough’ because you need to look for areas to grow in. Short of Jesus himself, every human that has ever walked the face of the earth has had room to grow and improve. Instead of seeing growth as a sign that you aren’t good enough, see it for what it is. A sign that you are a normal human being, and an opportunity to become an even better person than you are now!
- Pray for God to show you areas to grow in. If you ask God, he’ll show you.
- Look at your biggest struggles over the past few years. Those are great areas to focus on.
- Consider new seasons of life that are approaching. Changing life seasons bring new opportunities for growth.
Making Growth Happen
If you’re like most of us, you make resolutions every January that quickly fall by the wayside by the beginning of spring. Why is that? Why do we have such a strong desire to change, yet struggle to make it happen? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not usually just a lack of willpower. Do these 3 things to make growth happen.
- Educate yourself
- Make a plan
- Find support
It’s really tempting to think we can make everything happen on our own. Resist that temptation! The Bible reminds us again and again about the importance of learning from others instead of stubbornly thinking we can go it alone. Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Heed this advice. Educate yourself about the ways you want to grow. Learn from others who are experts. Go read books, watch YouTube videos, and talk to friends and family who have been there and done that. The absolute BEST resource around for getting educated about changes you want to make kicks off on Friday, January 4th. It is a brand new, completely online conference starting Friday morning.
A New Year, Your Best Year 2019 Conference for Moms offers over 175 sessions for just about every category for moms and wives. Marriage, parenting, finances, fitness, and more. The best part is that it is TOTALLY ONLINE! That means no travel expenses, or sitters, or having to choose between two sessions happening at the same time. Plus, you get LIFETIME ACCESS. You can literally watch whenever and wherever you want for the rest of your life! Just click here to enroll now. If you enroll before the 4th it’s only $15. After that, the price goes up just a fraction to $20 (which is still a steal).
Make a Plan
Without a plan, your goal is nothing more than a wish. You need a plan to make growth happen. Having a big goal is great, but it’s only one step. Next, set up some mini goals. These are like little checkpoints on the journey. Imagine if you were planning to drive from California to New York. You would have daily checkpoints for how far you want to get each day, right? Otherwise it would be hard to tell how much progress you made.
Just as you need checkpoints to help see your progress, you need a plan for what steps to take to reach them. Think of these as your GPS. They tell you what to do and when. I lose my way in about 2 minutes trying to find a new place without my GPS (and I know I’m not alone). Don’t get lost. Make a plan!
Yesterday I was making breakfast for my husband while trying to convince my kids to eat theirs. Everyone seemed to be dawdling and needing me all at once. Aidan asked for a fork. I tried to reach across the kitchen to retrieve it with one hand while stirring the eggs with the other. I very nearly knocked the pan off the stove and send eggs flying! All of which wouldn’t have happened if I’d just asked for some help! The same is true for completing any task that lie before us, whether it’s making breakfast or making major life changes. There are many places to find encouragement on your journey to grow.
- Family and friends. You spend the most time around them, so turn to them first.
- Facebook groups. There are groups about just about everything you could possibly want to focus on.
- A New Year, Your Best Year 2019 Conference for Moms. Moms from around the world will all be working towards making this their best year ever!
Make This Your Best Year Ever
I’m not going to promise you a year of smooth sailing, without struggle or sorrow. We’re not aiming for a perfect year, because no such thing exists. Change your mindset to focus on growth and learning to embrace where God has you and what he’s teaching you. That will make this your best year ever.
Don’t forget to sign up for the conference. If you sign up through my referral link below, I’ll send you a coupon for 1/2 off any item in my store! Just click the photo to enroll now!