I have tried every practice you can think of going into the new year. Goals, intentions, vision boards, a word for the year, habits, resolutions. As an enneagram 3, those things are my jam;)
Even as a pretty self-motivated person, they never lasted for me.
After researching the science of change and habit for years now, I have figured out what actually works.
I don’t do goals anymore, perse. I focus on systems and rituals.
Something I’ve learned is that goals don’t make you into the person you will be in 50 years, it’s creating systems and rituals in your daily life. Goals are about “doing,” systems and ritulas are about “becoming.”
I am far more interested in becoming the best person I can be verses checking off a checklist.
Step One: Decide Who You Want to Be and What Matters to You
First, I decide who I want to BE
I want to. . .
- Be spiritually fit: Have God be my first thought and #1 priority so that I am always growing closer to him, hearing and exploring him more every year so I can know and do what only he created me to be on the planet to do and follow his leading each day.
- Be mentally fit: resilient, serving, positive, loving, joyful, peaceful, and self-aware so I go through day to day life creating goodness instead of reacting to what may come. I want to thrive in whatever may arise. I will respond, not react. Trials will only make me better. I want to radiate love and joy.
- Be physically fit and healthy: Have boundless energy and health so I can do what I was created to do
- Make each day a masterpiece: Live each day intentionally and create a home and atmosphere of peace, productivity, and play.
- Create and invest in community and relationships
Step Two: What Daily Rituals and Systems Do You Need to Become That?
To do that I need. . . .
- Have a set of daily systems/rituals
- Have a set of weekly systems/rituals
- Have a set of yearly systems/rituals
Megan Kelly’s Systems and Rituals
1. Morning and night sacred time
2. Daily cleaning and decluttering
- Follow daily/weekly cleaning schedule so I don’t have to think about when something will get done.
- Have a place for everything and put back in place each time – if it doesn’t have a place, get rid of it or make one.
2. Daily eating and moving
- 32oz water in the morning + 2 more liters though the day
- Healthy life-giving food
- Breathe and pray before each meal
- Move every day
- Grounding and Sun every day
3. Each part of the day is planned so no time is wasted. Including times of rest, play, prayer, connection, homeschool, work etc.
3. Gratitude with family before dinner
5. Plan the next day night before
- Sabbath- Friday night to Saturday night. No technology. No Social Media. Special dinners. Focused family, friends, and God time.
- Weekly prayer and talk time with my husband, catching up on
- Weekly community time
- Celebrate Biblical Holidays
- Colorado Vacation – Schedule at beginning of the year
- Travel Vacation – schedule at the beginning of the year
- A few days alone to craft and pray about the next year – do this in the time between Christmas and new year
Step Three: Each New Year
So the above are the daily, weekly, and yearly systems I have formed over the years that have almost become automatic. It’s the main template that I work with.
But every new year, between Christmas and News Years I take some time to think and pray about the next year. I look at what I need to burn away and what I want to strengthen.
This year, the changes I wanted to make:
- Read the entire Bible in 2020
- Not use social media mindlessly
- Not eat mindlessly
Those may sound like goals, but I am going to go about it in a different way. To make those habits who I am forever, not just something I check off and I am done.
So first I start with identity:
- I am the person that loves reading the bible and I read the whole thing in year
- I am the person that only uses SM mindfully. I don’t scroll. I choose intentional 1 time a day where I look at it for 20 minutes, then I delete it off my phone and let it go.
- I am the person that eats mindfully. I put food on a plate and eat it with pleasure.
Then I create systems to integrate these new changes in my life
- I read the Bible every morning in my sacred time
- I create a ritual around every time I eat. I put it on my plate, pray and breathe before consuming.
- I go on social media only 1x a day for 20 minutes, and then I delete it.
Systems / Rituals > Goals
Instead of goals, focus on crafting systems and rituals you can do every day that you never plan on stopping. Rituals bring joy, play, and pleasure to your day. They make you intentional instead of mindless. The ground you instead of scrambling your mind (like social media does).
Start with just 1-2 systems or rituals you can do every day for this year. Then add 1-2 more next year. Before you know it, your daily, weekly, and yearly life with be intentionally crafted and filled with systems and rituals that make you spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially fit and healthy.
Happy New Year My Friend! The best is coming!