A few years ago I adopted the mantra “best day ever”. I decided that “today is the best day ever because if today were my last day I would want it to be my best day. Therefore, today is the best day ever.”
The simple answer is Jesus, of course. It is only through His strength that I choose to make each day the best day.
Recently, a tribe of over 120 friends and I have made a pact to make 2019 the Best Year Ever (sign up and join us here!). As we are stretching and growing together as a tribe, I thought I would share some of the practical ways I am going to push myself to make 2019 the BEST YEAR EVER.
- Spend time in the Bible, devotions, and prayer EVERY DAY. I know and understand that what I PUT INTO my heart is what comes out. So, in order to get the strength I need to CHOOSE JOY for 2019, I need to put in PLENTY of Jesus.
- When I’m spending time with Jesus, be in a DESIGNATED PLACE. For me, it is in our prayer room. Trying to spend time with Jesus at my desk at work, by my computer, near my “MUST GRADE NOW” papers makes quality time impossible. I need to be in a space AWAY from distractions.
- Write my gratitudes. I have a small baby Moleskine journal that I ALWAYS keep in my purse. I’ve started writing daily gratitudes in that journal so that when I’m discouraged, I can look back at the GOOD that has happened in my life.
- Track prayer requests. In that same journal, I write down when someone has asked me to pray. I want to ACTUALLY pray when I’m asked, so I’m writing it down to remember later. But I also want to see my gratitudes right along side my prayer requests. And then when prayers are answered, they become GRATITUDES!
- Pay it forward. When I feel most discouraged and am having trouble CHOOSING the best day ever, it always helps me to DO something for someone else. Often, in the morning before school, Kayden and I drop by a local grocery and pick up flowers or a fun little gift for someone unexpected. It always gives me perspective and helps me to think about someone else besides ME (maybe even try the #dollardifference).
- Stop the hamster wheel. The hamster wheel is a term coined by a friend of mine. It’s my thoughts. The over analyzing and the over thinking and the worrying. The best way to stop the hamster wheel is to REPLACE those thoughts with scripture, gratitudes, and prayer.
- STOP COMPLAINING. Every year I give myself a 30 Day No Complaining Challenge. And I tell you what, it’s a game changer. If you want to have life transformation, just try to intentionally stop complaining. You’ll be amazed at how GOOD things really are.
- Do something you LOVE. I am exhausted of hearing the phrase, “I don’t have time for that”. Simply put, that is a LIE. I do the things I want to do. One of those things is READ. Another is RIDE MY BICYCLE. In order to choose to make 2019 the BEST YEAR, I need to do the BEST THINGS. And that means making time for what’s important.
- Stop expecting. What is the NUMBER ONE RELATIONSHIP RUINER? Expectations. Your friend, husband, wife, sister, brother, mom, or dad IS NOT JESUS. So quit expecting them to fill the holes you need filled. When we treat friendships with EXPECTANCY instead of EXPECTATION, we have better, stronger relationships.
- Find your FIVE. I have five people whose opinions really matter to me. Am I surrounding myself with people who tell me the truth and love me too much to leave me the same? If not, then I need new people. We can be friends with lots of people. But the FIVE? That’s super important. Finding those people will help me be a better Best Year Ever tribe member.
- Commit. We live in a society that is very consumer driven. If I don’t like the music at this church then I will just find a new one. We need to commit to our church communities by attending EVERY WEEK. Commitment is a long lost art that we need to BRING BACK.
- Be accountable. Join a small group of people who read and study the Word together. Above ALL ELSE, you should have personal daily time, weekly community in a church, and weekly community in a small group. We need Jesus and we need each other. Period.
- Serve. It’s hard to hear, but the world does not revolve around you. Or me. Or any one person. I have been learning a lot this year about serving my loved ones and what that looks like. Putting others before myself is such a humbling lesson to learn.
- Find health. A few years back, God called me to a fast. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (read about it here) but it changed my life. Recently, I’ve had some heart issues, and I know it’s because I’ve let some bad habits slip back into my life. God doesn’t just want part of me. He wants all of me. And physical health is JUST as important to Him. The Best Year Ever means commitment and discipline in health and wellness.
- Stretch your comfort zone. There is SO MUCH to be found outside of your comfort zone. What is ONE area of your life that you could push yourself? How can you make yourself better? How can you love YOURSELF too much to leave yourself the SAME? This life is meant to be LIVED and LIVED WELL. 2019 can ONLY be the Best Year Ever if you are willing to commit to being your Best Self Ever.
Let’s do this together, shall we? Let’s make 2019 the Best Year Ever!