“Back to Basics” is a monthly series that focuses on preparedness and simple practical life skills to help inspire you on your natural living journey.
Well, here we are again at the start of a brand new year! Can you believe it?! I know, I can’t!
Our littles aren’t so little anymore and quite frankly, growing older has taken quite an interesting turn as I enter into the next phase of womanhood. Let’s just say that it’s been an adjustment! But not so much in a bad way. Just different. More on that on a future post.
No matter what age you are currently, or what season in life you find yourself in, I believe that we can help build a community of encouragers that would help cheer each other on. My hope has always been that this little space would be a place of inspiration and blessing to you, when you visit.
Today, I am sharing some simple strategies that I have found helpful over the years when leaning into the new year in anticipation for all the possibilities, lessons learned, and blessings we have to look forward to.
SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR THE NEW YEAR
KEEP IT SIMPLE
I’m going to let you in on a little secret! After countless failed attempts at making multiple resolutions and trying to stick with them without success, I made the transition to simplify as much as possible, years ago. And I am choosing to keep it simple again, this year!
That’s why I love taking things “back to basics” because it is a great starting point to re-evaluate our priorities and set realistic goals that will help us continue to lean forward, learn new skills, develop the skills we have, strengthen our faith, and to grow as a family.
It’s like when spring cleaning or fall clean up roll around. You clear the clutter, clean everything from top to bottom, and then only put back what you absolutely love and what works best for your family.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
As usual, the start of a new year brings LOTS of resolutions and goal setting. I know that I have some goals that I would like to reach this year!
Unfortunately, sometimes we tend to go overboard and set goals that are not achievable or put practices that are not sustainable, in place. Only to find ourselves tossing our goals and sometimes our hopes and dreams of achieving those goals, out the window within the first couple of months.
Trust me, I have some experience in that area! (sigh) BUT that doesn’t have to be our constant outcome! If we are mindful of the goals that we set for ourselves, we can either set ourselves up for success, OR we can choose to set ourselves up for disappointment.
Setting realistic goals can help encourage us to tackle the next big thing with confidence and assurance that we will meet our goals.
GAIN A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
Our homestead is far from being done and there are plenty of projects and home improvement ideas that we can turn into reality in the next thirty or so years, as my father jokingly pointed out. (wink)
Today, while I was doing some of my farm chores, I took a minute to drive our mule around the main area of our homestead. It had been several days since I went outside because I was nursing a cold. It had just rained, so parts were sloshy and slightly flooded. The water in the pond was up. As well as in the creek.
At every turn, there was a stillness in the air. And as I looked around the different areas and outbuildings, with a fresh set of eyes, I could appreciate all the work that we have done and the projects we have accomplished over the years, in making this place our home.
Sometimes, taking a step back and looking at the situation with a fresh perspective can make all the difference in our attitude towards the goal or challenge, set before us.
RE-EVALUATE WHAT CAN GO
One of the top New Year’s resolution goals that folks make, is to get healthier. As I have mentioned before in previous posts and monthly newsletters, our overall health is NOT a one-size-fits-all kind of a deal.
There are many more areas in our lives that can negatively or positively affect our health that have nothing to do with the food on our plate or the amount of hours we spend in the gym each week. That’s not to say that eating healthy nutrient dense foods and staying active are not important. That is just pointing out that along with these, we all need to cultivate relationships, grow in our faith, manage our finances, deal with stress, get adequate sleep, and make time for creativity.
When we ignore the other important areas in our life, this can play a HUGE role in negatively affected our overall health. And likewise, when we make time to nourish these other areas, we can stand strong when life throws us a curve ball.
Pairing down things on our daily lists, can help us find the energy to work on the areas that still need some more attention.
PRIORITIZE WHAT MATTERS MOST
One of my main priorities is to focus on my daily walk with the Lord, first and foremost. Because if my relationship with the Lord suffers, then all the other important areas in my life will also suffer.
When I am at peace and fellowship with the Lord, the other areas in my life seem to run more smoothly. Not perfectly, but when challenges arise, I am better equipped to deal with them in a positive way and not in ways that I will regret. It’s the difference between walking in the Spirit versus walking in the flesh.
Cultivating relationships (especially here at home) is next on my priorities list. If I have learned one thing during our regular military moves and our time living in the country away from family and friends, God created us to be in fellowship with others.
When we fellowship with like-minded folks, we are able to encourage one another, hold each other accountable, and help each other grow.
AVOID THE COMPARISON GAME
Let’s face it! Since the advent of online technology and platforms where we share behind the scenes glimpses of the BEST part of our lives, we, as a society have become more obsessed with keeping up, or in many cases, surpassing the Joneses. Am I right?!
I’m guilty of scrolling through hours of “magazine-worthy” images and then looking at our life in the hollow and feeling unaccomplished and uninspired. I know that I am not alone!
I don’t know about you, but I am going with the latter of the two! When I get sucked into the comparison game, I can get pretty down on myself and even others. We definitely don’t need to add to the negativity out there!
So, we have two choices. We can either continue to stress ourselves out about the little things like “staying relevant” and growing our numbers (audience and income) for my fellow bloggers out there, OR we can CHOOSE to be more present in our own lives and keep our lights from being snuffed out by all the unimportant distractions in the world.
OUR GIFT TO YOU
With all of life’s challenges and responsibilities, we can easily get off track without a plan or a good system in place to help us achieve our goals. Funny thing is, my number one priority happens to be one of the most challenging areas in my life, as well. Often times, spending time in God’s Word can take the back seat as appointments, responsibilities, collaborations, commitments, and other things, pop up.
So, I created these simple printable daily Bible reading plan worksheets to help stay on track this year.
There are 12 unique and seasonally specific sheets that contain a different Bible verse for each month to help us dive deeper into God’s Word.
There are a many free daily bible reading plans to choose from on the internet that offer specific verses to look up daily. They can be useful and help along the way. But, I wanted to challenge myself to practice listening to the Holy Spirit lead me to just the right verses I need to read, at just the right moment, to help me grow and mature in my own spiritual growth.
Maybe you are feeling the same way too! Sometimes, it is easy to forget when the Lord intervenes or gives us the perfect verse to help us with a specific challenge, or the verse that gives us comfort, and that peace that transcends all understanding.
Let’s use these printables to help us stay accountable and have a way to record how the Lord has been working in our lives this year.
PIN IT FOR LATER:
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Along with these monthly printables, we will continue to share highlights of blog posts that you may find helpful or encouraging for the home, heart, and health. Something NEW we will be adding to the newsletter is a homesteading monthly CHALLENGE!
After all the things that the last couple of years have thrown our way, it’s safe to say that more folks are re-evaluating how prepared we are for unforeseen circumstances and how our dependence on outside entities may be setting us up for disappointment.
So, whether you are new to natural living or a seasoned veteran. Whether you live in the city or the country. You are invited to join us to learn and grow your simple and natural living skills with one challenge a month. After the year is over, we will have learned 12 new practical life skills that will help better prepare us and our families for whatever the future holds.
We hope that you will join us this year in making it the BEST prepared year yet!
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.