Yes, it has happened again! The year 2022 is now over, and 2023 has descended upon us. So, is it time to make a list of all the things we want to accomplish in the year 2023? Is it time for a bundle of resolutions? I don’t know about a bundle of resolutions, but I get really excited about lists and strategic planning. So, I make lists of what I hope to see completed by the end of the year. Lists with headings such as health, home, travel, friends, personal growth, and ministry. I believe it is so important to write it down and make it plain. So, I create lists, but I also do strategic planning.
I start my list over the Thanksgiving holidays, so I have time to mull it over for a few weeks, get a sense of what feels right, and remove unrealistic things. The list for “health” would have all the appointments I need to make for body maintenance, such as wellness checkups with my doctor, eye appointments, teeth cleaning, and naturopathic doctor appointments. I see my physician once a year, who then makes referrals as needed (such as dermatologist or ophthalmologist). I see a naturopathic doctor four times a year and take vitamins. A health team of professionals you trust is essential to living a long and healthy life. Our bodies, just like our cars, need regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
Under “home,” I have listed projects I would like to see accomplished in the year. This year my list for home includes: cleaning out the furnace room, replacing the fireplace insert with a gas fireplace, replacing water-damaged plasterboard, and organizing the garage. When our homes are organized and clean it is less stressful for our brains.
Now, my furnace room is scary; my husband keeps teasing me that I will get lost there. It holds all the trappings that go with an artistic and creative person. (Dried weeds, vases, candles, a tub of Easter bunnies, wrapping paper, woven pumpkins, and on and on.) So, this year it is at the top of the list! It is somewhat of an overwhelming task, so I am enlisting the help of a friend with a gift of organization. Bring a friend for moral support for a project like cleaning a scary, overwhelming furnace room!
Under “friendship,” I have a list of all the friends and couples I want to spend more time with, girlfriends I would like to have over for lunch, go for a walk with, meet for coffee, or travel to see. There are several couples I want to have over for dinner or go on trips with. Spending time with friends is so vital for emotional and mental health. We must be aware of activities and people that fill our emotional tanks. Friends take time and energy so choose those in your inner circle with care and thoughtfulness. We want those who are emotionally mature and kind and those who return our love.
Under the category of “travel,” I have four trips I want to take in 2023. Two of those trips are already thoroughly planned with lodging and airline tickets. During the covid restrictions of the past two years, it became clear to me how important it is to have vacations to look forward to. It’s a key element in keeping the “joy of life” alive. The Bible says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Let’s not take the “merry” out of life! Joy and hope are very healing emotions!
Now you might be wondering about the categories of personal growth and ministry. These two areas are vital to maintaining a healthy life.
It is important to continue our personal growth until the day we take our last breath. We need to continually give to others through some form of ministry. I seek God and ask Him what He has in mind for me each year in these two areas. Sometimes what He has in mind is entirely different from what I’ve been thinking.
So, now you get the idea of how I plan a year. I write it down to make it clear. Then I can refer back to the lists for redirection or to delight in how many things I’ve already accomplished. I start planning the following year at Thanksgiving of the previous year. At the beginning of the year, I make many calls to schedule medical maintenance appointments. I have a calendar that I write it all down on that hangs in my kitchen. (My kids use their phones now, but I am “old school,” and my calendar is made of paper.) On this master planning calendar is reentered each year’s significant dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. Travel plans are recorded on the calendar, as well as the travel plans of my children. I fill in dates with friends and entertaining around the other appointments. Seeing this all entered on my calendar keeps me from overscheduling. Planning brings clear direction to our lives and much peace to our hearts and homes.
Wishing you a very prosperous New Year, filled with good friends, fun, and an abundance of peace!