New Year's Day is my favorite holiday. Maybe it's my nature as an Enneagram One, but there's something magical to me about a brand-new year with no mistakes in it yet (Anne Shirley would understand, I'm sure!).
There's something for everyone in this list! Whether you want a framework that's light-hearted or serious, relevant to the whole family or perfect for a silent retreat, something that will take you to deep places spiritually or zero in on the super practical, you will find it here.
1. Your Best Year Ever by Debra SearleI first encountered Debra on an episode of the Robcast where she described how she started a trans-Atlantic rowing race with her husband (having never rowed before) when her husband abruptly quit the race and she decided to row the remaining 2000+ miles solo. The story of how she persevered and the strategies she used to hold onto positivity in the face of tremendous exhaustion, discouragement and loneliness is incredibly inspiring. If you need some motivation to crush your 2019 goals, you should probably stop reading now and go listen to her talk :) I'm excited to use her framework for my goal setting this year.
2. Taking Time for a One-Woman Retreat to Start the New Year Well by Sally ClarksonLast year I did a one-woman, one-day retreat based around Sally's questions, and it was a deeply satisfying experience. More than anything, I appreciate Sally's encouragement that God longs to restore us, to bring us rest and refreshment. His desire is to lead us beside still waters and restore our soul if only we will give Him the time and space to do so.
3. 20 Questions for New Year's Eve by Tsh OxenreiderThese questions are equally great for chatting over with friends and family while you wait for the ball to drop or taking some quiet time to journal. Tsh also has questions geared for kids and a PDF download called 12 Months from Now! to help you focus in on key areas of your well-being including Inward Health, Physical Health, Financial Health, Family Health, and Your Children's Health.
4. Developing a Rule of Life in the New Year by Holly PackiamIf you've never crafted a Rule of Life, this is a life-changing exercise. Holly's clear step-by-step process will help you develop a rhythm to your life that will keep you centered on God and loving others well. This idea can be traced all the way back to the monastic communities of the 6th century and was most famously articulated by Saint Benedict and his followers. In our modern day and age I think this practice is more needed than ever.
5. 18 for 2018 (or 19 for 2019) by Gretchen RubinThis is a fun way to make mini-resolutions. I find this works great for getting the ball rolling on nagging tasks that tend to get overlooked like trying a new class or updating our will. I enjoyed trying this for the first time last year and I'm already planning my 2019 list.
6. Soulful Year-End Questions by Mandy ThompsonIf you'd like a framework that is "more soul-focused than goal-focused" and won't require a lot of time, this resource urges you to draw from your True Self and your unchanging values for a reflection exercise that is rooted in who we are not what we do (or wish we did). While you're there, check out Mandy's beautiful artwork!
7. How Reflection Can Help You Make Better Decisions by Emily P. FreemanThis episode of the Next Right Thing podcast is a wonderful audio resource where Emily chronicles exactly how she maintains a regular rhythm of reflection. Covering where, when and exactly how she engages in her reflection practice, you'll be refreshed and inspired, all in under 20 minutes. Emily also offers free printables to hone your thoughts if you'd like to join her in capturing what you've learned each season.
Thank you for sharing in my enthusiasm for year-end reflections. I pray that as you reflect and plan and listen to your life, you enter the New Year with intentionality and inspiration.