I think we would all agree that we want a better 2017 than we had in 2016. You might have had a fabulous 2016 or it might have ended with a thud – either way, nobody wants to be worse in 2017. So here are six quick tips to making 2017 a little better than 2016.
Number 1 – Sleep Better
I know how much sleep I need and how much sleep I get. Lately I have been able to find equilibrium with the two. But there are a few days each week that I get less sleep than I would desire. But typically we need (as adults) between 7-9 hours of sleep each day. The reality is we don’t always get it. For me, each Tuesday I lead an early morning Bible study (6am at the church; which means I need to be up at 4:30 to get there, make the coffee and open the building). I usually wake up at 6am, so when I have to be up at 4:30 it really takes a toll on me later in the day. So I have learned I need to sneak a 5-15 min nap in later in the day and I have to go to bed earlier (usually an hour earlier) on Tuesday or Wednesday night. I have learned what my body needs with sleep and if I want to be healthy and accomplish everything I want to with excellence then I need better sleep. Are you have problems sleeping – then get some help, go see a sleep expert. Make it a goal to get healthy and start with better sleep in 2017.
Number 2 – Drink Water
I’m not 20 anymore and I cannot live on Coke or Mountain Dew as my primary beverage. In fact, I don’t even want to waste my time with those empty calories anymore. The research is out there and we all know we need to do it – Drink More Water. My body screams for it. When I don’t have a good intake of water during the day I start to get headaches and my energy levels start to wane. My FITBIT app has a clever water intake gauge on it, I use to measure my daily water intake. This little app has helped my to track my health compared to my water intake. So make it a point to drink more water in 2017 – You WILL Feel better for it.
Number 3 – MAKE Time for Family
In my Fast Five post from last Friday I mentioned how the kids have said that I have been “grouchy” all the time. So for a healthier 2017 I want to commit to MAKING time for my family. And it doesn’t have to cost anything. We have hiking and biking trails nearby. I can build legos with Aiden, Coloring or reading with Addy and spending time with Morgan shooting basketball or exercising. What’s more, I want to be intentional about developing their CHARACTER. Helping them to become their best. I also want to be intentional about my time with Jen; MAKING Time for her and not giving her my left-over time. God has blessed me with a great family; I need to make them a priority.
Number 4 – Exercise Daily
You will sleep better, think better, function better, if you exercise on a regular basis (at east 5x a week). Seriously, this is not hard stuff to grasp. Turn off the TV. CUT THE CABLE. Get Outside or to the gym. Every gym right now is offering incredible deals for the New Year. Our family has a Family Membership at the Local YMCA. Jen goes to the Y several times a week to take classes. I go to the Y at least 4x a week during the off-season (the time of year that I am not riding my MT Bike) and I love it. I also take the kids to the Y at least 1x a week to swim and play in the pool – WE LOVE IT and it is great for our Mental, Physical and Emotional health.
From the Center for Disease Control website, it list 8 benefits to regular exercise, it includes: Weight control; reduced risk of heart disease, reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, reduced risk of some cancers; Stronger bones and muscles; improved mental health; and improve your ability to do more things you enjoy. Bottom line: GET OUT AND EXERCISE!
Number 5 – Meditate Daily
Daily prayer and Bible reading (not just reading it but actually doing what it says) will bring a tremendous amount of peace to your life. I BELIEVE that GOD is my provider of LIFE and everything pertaining to life. HE loves me unconditionally and HE is a perfect FATHER. Whenever I go to HIM in faith and pray for a need in my life HE provides. I am learning more and more about the importance to take the time DAILY to pray to God (I talk to Him about my day, what’s doing on, what my frustrations are and what I’m happy about. I also pray to him on behalf of others). Often, when I am at the YMCA I will go sit in the sauna, while there I will read my Bible and pray (I will print off sections of the Bible to take into the sauna so that my Bible doesn’t get dripped on). PLEASE MAKE A GREAT EFFORT TO MEDITATE DAILY IN 2017.
Number 6 – Serve
Finally, make it a point in 2017 to serve others. When you serve others you will feel better! If you already do this, great; now invite someone to join you in your serving. If you are not serving others already then I have good news – it’s easy to start. Start with your neighbors; I live in the midwest and we get snow – this past week I took just 15 extra min. and shoveled the snow for my neighbor after the snow plow went by. In the summer I will mow part of her yard (she is a widow and she doesn’t have a lot of time to do all of the mowing). You can go to a food pantry and help stock or collect food. Serve at a community meals program. Help out with single-moms organizations. Serve. If you are struggling with knowing where to serve then try doing this, pray this prayer:
Father, please open my eyes to the needs around me and motivate me to serve others. I do not want to be a self-absorbed person; I want to help others and serve them. Please open my eyes today to their needs. I pray this in the name of Jesus; AMEN.
Have a great 2017 and let me know if any of these six tips motivated you!