I don’t really make New Years Resolutions. More like improvement plans and I pick a word or a phrase. What’s one way I could improve something somewhere in the new year that would make it even better than last year? This year I challenged myself to LET JOY RISE. To let it rise above the chaos and noise. To let it rise above the voices of not enough and too much. To make an intentional effort to experience more JOY. To do more things that I enJOY. One of my favorite things about 2021, when I looked back, was the joyful times I had. The time I set aside to enjoy and live.
For instance, over the summer when the kids were home, I intentionally got up early and worked for the first several hours of the day so that I could just enjoy the rest of the day with them. Intentionally planning time to have fun with them at the pool or with the neighbors in the yard or getting out to do a fun activity made all the difference in how much I enjoyed the summer with them. I was intentional about spending as much time with Lily as I could in the smallest ways because I knew that her time at home in the nest was slowly getting away from me. I also made it a point to change my mindset around the busy travel weekends of 2 kids in travel sports to look at them as little weekend adventures. I sure had a lot of fun. I also put my Christmas tree (Well I call it a Thankful tree) up even earlier last year because I knew it made me Joyful in preparation for the holiday season. I also did a lot more art last year than I have in a long time.
You see, it’s easy for me to get stuck in my to-do lists, the snow-ball effect of my chores, our crazy schedules, and the chaos of 4 kids, plus work. And when I get stuck there I wind up feeling exhausted and burnt out and angry. That will squash some joy real quick. I noticed how a little change in perspective and attitude combined with a little intention helped me to experience more joy last year. So much so that I wanted more for this year. So I sat down and made a list of things that help me to find joy. I challenge you to do the same. Here are some questions/prompts to ask yourself along with my journal page of answers.
Make your list and check back with it every once in a while. Especially when you find yourself in a funk. You will find that if you do something on that list it will likely get you out of it. I challenge you to LET JOY RISE above all else this year. We all live better and love better when we have more joy in our lives.
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