One of the only certainties in life is change.
What do you think about that statement? Do you agree or not?
If you’ve lived in the world for any length of time, you’ve experienced tons of change. In fact, I would venture to say that there are major changes in all seasons and stages of life! And, if the change isn’t forced upon you as it is for some people, all of the major areas of your life can be improved with change.
To kick off the New Year, I’m sharing eight areas in need of change. These are eight areas that I suggest you consider often. And, even if you don’t see the need for immediate change, set some goals and work towards minor changes in all areas.
Grab a free handout at the end of this post that will walk you through all eight areas and my goal-setting process to see true change! This is good stuff!
Eight Areas in Need of Change This New Year
Area 1: Spiritual
Did you know that you can actually strengthen your spirit like you strengthen a muscle? You can grow and change so that your spirit becomes stronger. First, we practice our physical behaviors, then we start working on our thoughts. A big part of growing in your spiritual journey is working toward discovering your primary purpose in life. This work is deeply challenging, but it is also the most rewarding. By growing spiritually, we position ourselves to tackle change in all of the other areas of our lives.
Area 2: Family & Home
You cannot control how the people in your life will act and think and be, but you can control yourself. Start by working on your external relationships — how you interact with the people around you. This might require difficult conversations and apologies. Remind yourself to live with grace for others every day. After some time of working on your external relationship with people, address your internal behavior. Replace any ugly thoughts with reminders that the people around you are created and loved by God.
Another aspect of the family and home area is improving practical things, such as installing new carpet in your house or fixing a deck that is sinking. At the beginning of each new year, I categorize practical goals like this in my journal. Try doing the same sometime today, and check in next Christmas season.
Area 3: Financial
Do you want to change your finances? Where would you like to be financially? What kind of life do you want for your family? You need to come up with a plan! The good news is there is a lot of free information online to help you educate and inform yourself. Take a class about investing or read a book on debt free living. The hungrier you are for knowledge, the more value you will end up bringing to the marketplace.
Area 4: Mental & Educational
Stretch your mind and grow your skill set. I always suggest that to continue growing mentally, you should read one book a week. If you do so, in ten years, you will have read more than five hundred books! There are many resources for growth: podcasts, a degree, books, seminars — the list goes on. Sort out your personal goals and get started.
Area 5: Physical Life & Health
Proper weight, exercise and nutrition are important factors in your life. We need to control our blood pressure and stress levels in order to flourish. If you are not concerned about these things, you should be. If your health deteriorates, how can you enjoy what you accomplish in any of these other areas? Every year, countless people make New Year’s resolutions that include weight loss and health goals. But how many of us actually keep those resolutions? Try to focus on the reasons for your health goals, not just the goal itself. This will help you stay focused.
Area 6: Relationships
Maybe you need to change an unhealthy dynamic in your marriage or need to spend more time with your children. Identifying what needs to be changed is the first step toward actually making those changes. Friends and spouses can encourage you on this path. If you need to find a community, ask a good friend if he or she will go with you as you try out various small groups. Finding new friends and a new community can be challenging as it may bring up insecurities you had forgotten about. That’s why it’s a good idea to have someone with you to encourage you along the way.
Area 7: Psychological & Emotional
This can be the easiest area to neglect in many ways. Sometimes, spending some time alone is the best thing you can do for yourself. Taking some time each day to go on a quiet walk or sit in the sun can dramatically improve your mood. Perhaps you have negative behaviors that need to be broken. It might be time to admit that you aren’t getting better on your own. Maybe you need counseling to help you overcome some past hurts. There is no shame in seeking help.
Area 8: Fun & Adventure
Yes, seriously! You should have goals for this category as well. Jot down all your desires, regardless of how unrealistic they may seem at the moment. Have you always wanted to cruise the Caribbean, watch whales in Hawaii, learn to drive a race car, or attend a Broadway play? Identifying these desires is the first step toward making them a reality. Have fun with it.
Once you have identified your specific desires in these eight major life areas and have written down your goals, you are ready to take the next step toward preparing yourself for change. Download the free handout by signing up below (it dives even deeper than this blog post), and join us for the rest of the New Year as we tackle other topics like this!