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Happy New Year, friends! It is 2021. How are you feeling? I am hopeful. Hopeful that 2021 will get us closer to the end of the pandemic. And hopeful because no matter what these next 362 days have in store for us, God will continue to be faithful. Also, the start of a new year always fill me with excitement. I love setting goals and to make plans. And there is so much potential for growth and joy and peace in all these days ahead.
Joy is something I want to cultivate more in 2021 – it is my word for the year. I wrote a whole blog post as to why I chose this word last week. Today I want to share some of the goals I have set for 2021. Specifically, goals that will help me to pursue joy in the everyday.
There is joy to be found
Maybe some of these goals will work for you as well. Exercise for example is something that releases endorphins and helps us feel happier and more content. Others might be more individual – sewing is something that brings joy to me, but you might prefer to paint instead.
It is possible to forget or to be unsure about what brings us joy. Life is often so full, we have many responsibilities and we can lose a bit of ourselves in all the hurry of life. If you are trying to find something that brings you joy – maybe ask yourself the question: What did I love to do as a child? Maybe it was reading or making up stories or playing football. It might be worth giving these things a go now, even if you haven’t done them for 30 years. Who knows – you might have fun!
Also, I believe that God is the author and source of all joy. I want to heavily rely on listening to him this year in my pursuit of joy. He knows you better than anyone and also what brings you joy. You might feel prompted to go on a cycle ride, feel the wind in your hair and be reminded of how much God loves you. Or you call a friend who makes you laugh. Maybe you re-read your favourite book.
I think it will be an exciting journey.
But for now, here are my goals for more joy in 2021!
- Exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes. This could be any type of exercise – walking, running, cycling, yoga, a HIIT class – hopefully a wide variety! Ideally those 30 minutes will involve getting out of breath and sweating a little. (I think it is more fun if you do!)
- Starting the year with 30 days of Yoga. Adriene Mishler, or Yoga with Adriene, as she is known on YouTube offers free 30 days of Yoga every year in January. This year will be my third time participating. Today is day 3, so there is still plenty of time to join!
- Switch my phone off (or put into airplane mode) at night and don’t turn it back on until after having spent time with Jesus in the morning.
Make time for hobbies that bring me joy
- Read 45 books. I love reading, being in a different world, learning and forgetting about everything else. And finishing a book is very satisfying to me.
- More writing! Writing brings me so much joy. Communicating my thoughts and experiences and the things I am learning is something I love more and more. My goal is to publish two blog posts each month and send out one newsletter. (You can sign up here!)
- Make a little quilt. For my 30th birthday my parents gifted me a new sewing machine which will be able to stitch through more layers of fabric and I am excited to have another go at making a quilt.
Look for joy
- I want to take time each day to recognise the good. It is so easy to focus on the negative but I want to train my mind to see all of the gifts God gives us everyday and thank him. I might bring back the “Highlights of the week” posts.
- Call a friend every week. When I look back to 2020, the thing I struggled with the most was loneliness. Times I really enjoyed were the ones when we were able to hang out with friends. In the midst of this pandemic it is unwise to meet too many people but I want to get into the habit of calling people more. And soon we can hopefully make plans to catch up face to face again.
- Last but certainly not least, I want to continue to spend time with Jesus every morning. There is no lasting joy outside of him. And with him, everything else becomes so much better.
Right, these are all of my goals (for now). I would love it if you leave a comment and tell me what brings you joy. Maybe there is something I should add to my list…!