January Ideas and Resources

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The ideas you think of (rather than ones I might suggest) are often the best suited to your life and circumstances.  But here are a few more to get you thinking.  Feel free to adjust them to what works for you:

  • Could you use some quiet time at the beginning of January (or even in December) to really think about your life and about the coming year and what would be some meaningful goals for you?  Think about different areas of your life, such as career, family, spiritual life, friendships, hobbies, and so on.  (Good tip:  it’s best not to focus on all your goals at once.  Choose just a few to work on each “quarter” of the year or even each month as we are doing in this challenge.  This will help you focus on a few things and feel like you are making progress.  If you have goals that don’t fit well into our monthly challenge, or you want to work on them in different months than we are, perhaps choose one or two goals for the Loving My Actual Life challenge and then make the other one or two goals your own.)
    • Suggested Resource:
      • The Sparkle 2017 Goals Planner by Marva Smith of www.sunsparkleshine.com–this helpful downloadable workbook is wonderfully simple, yet powerful and will help you set goals for this 2017 and keep track of them during the year. I definitely recommend it even if you just have snip-its of time here and there to work on it.  The printable for the month can be put up on your wall during that month to inspire and remind you of your goals.
  • Would this time in your life allow you to have a  “retreat” (whether for a few days, a whole day, or a few hours here and there) to rest, recharge and refocus?  If you have kids, maybe someone could babysit them for at least a bit of time?  You could use this retreat to think about your life and what you’d like it to be about.  You could also think about this coming year, and what you would love to accomplish in the next 12 months.
  • Could you get up earlier and sit in a quiet place in your home to watch the sun rise and read something inspirational, pray, and just enjoy the silence?  Or perhaps there are other times in the day that would work book-1760998_1280better for you, such as in the evening or during a child’s nap.
  • Perhaps you could take a break for a moment at periodic times during the day to rest, reflect on what you are thankful for or other truths, and reset?
  • Maybe you’d like to get out into nature this January and visit a park (if weather in January allows where you live) or other quiet natural area.  Or perhaps you’d like to take a quiet walk a few times a week.
  • Could some quiet music help you relax and create a quiet space?
  • If a great deal of your “down time” is spent on technology, you may want to do a full or partial “technology fastor “social media fast”–say, not going on Pinterest all of January or replacing a certain TV show with quiet time this January.  Don’t commit to something unrealistic, but you might want to prayerfully think about what might benefit you. Alexandra Kuykendall (the author of the Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me book) did a social media fast for her first month.
  • Perhaps you are in sore need of a holiday and you could use this month to plan for a break sometime later in the year and even book off work for that time so that it will happen.
  • You may want to try writing out your prayers and what you think God may be telling you through your circumstances, other people, and some of your own thoughts.  You may want to read portions of the Bible or a devotional and then reflect on what you’ve read.
  • Would you like to learn from others about ways to hear God’s voice better in the stillness?  Remember that this is something that takes patience and persistence, so don’t get discouraged… but you might be amazed that it is possible.
    • Here are some suggested resources to help: