Personal Development

Five Mantras to Carry You Through the New Year

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As January comes to an end, I’m still pondering the words, opportunities, and actions I want to define my year. What am I doing well? What do I need to change? What comes next? And while I’m not entirely sure what those answers are going to look like by the year’s end, there are a few overarching themes I know I want to embrace in the coming months.

1. Pray more.

If I could get back every minute I’ve spent overthinking, micromanaging, point-proving, and people-pleasing and trade them in for precious seconds spent seeking the Lord’s guidance, I’m certain I’d have more than a few less grey hairs sprouting out of this 25 year old head of mine. My efforts to be action-oriented often end in watered down conversations and uneventful outcomes all because I’ve shared my deepest worries and desires with everyone but Him. This year, I want to be intentional in those moments. I want to allow His word to quiet my thoughts, His love to comfort my soul, and His voice to influence my every move.

2. Stay grounded.

2018 was a year full of plans, but seemingly little progress. I found myself running from the past and toward the future, but with no specific direction. My days were filled with dreams of creative ventures, but each was fleeting and met with little follow through. This year, I want to be both intentional and realistic in setting my goals. I want to dig deep into what my true purpose is here on this Earth, and then I want to give it everything I have.

3. Stop comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle.

Oh, I am so, so guilty of this. In a world driven by layers of filters and social media, it’s no wonder we find ourselves longing for what everyone else has. It’s sad, but it’s human nature. We envy the woman with the beautiful babies, the one well-established within her career, the one with thousands of Instagram followers, or the one who makes her own schedule and gets paid to simply share her passions with the world. But what we don’t see is what those people went through to get to where they are. We don’t see their beginning, yet we feel as if we’ll never measure up to their middle. This year, I want to remind myself that God created me in His image, and He alone has written my story. A story that is both unique and perfect in each of its chapters and in every one of life’s beautiful seasons.

4. Be present.

Do you ever coast through an event or conversation with glazed over eyes and essentially no participation (on your part, anyways) only to spend the subsequent hours punishing yourself for squandering those precious moments with family, friends, mentors, or colleagues? I find myself doing this all too often, usually because I was too busy planning my next move or comment to let myself be present in the only situation that was actually within my control. Shame on me. This year, I want my people to enjoy my company, and I want to enjoy theirs. This year, I want to make the most of “right now.”

5. Develop a servant heart.

On a near-daily basis I am amused at how someone who is so obsessed with pleasing others can be so selfish. And yes, I’m talking about myself. If you’ve ever struggled with codependency, you can likely relate to the realization that your sacrifices are often driven by some self-serving outcome. In the past, I’ve been known to go well out of my way to do something (anything, really) for someone if it would in some psychologically-twisted way make them eternally indebted to me. But those routine tasks or effortless compliments which would likely make someone else’s day, those are the ones I struggle with. This year, I want to change that. Every day, I want do something kind for someone else with no ulterior motive. I want to give a compliment simply for the sake of boosting someone’s spirits. I want to help clean up after a gathering simply to alleviate the hostess’ burden. I want to abide by the Golden Rule without expecting anything in return. I want to develop a servant heart.

I hope sharing these mantras I plan to embrace in the new year have provided you with some inspiration to explore the desires of your own heart. Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the web and for giving me a space to share my passions. I truly appreciate each of you!

Until next time,

Catie

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