As I think about the year ahead, I realize that there are a few things I'd like to do that aren't included in my New Years resolutions. More than anything, they are just minor challenges to myself. Some are "important" and some are not, but I think they are all good. Hopefully some of these will be helpful to my readers as well :)
1. Engage with Strangers
When we step foot into a restaurant, go through a drive-through, a store, a coffee shop, or even a church, there are always people that we don't know much about. We can assume we know about them because of their "look", their posture, or even the way they spoke to the cashier a few minutes ago, but we don't really know them. We have no idea what they are going through.
The thing is, even if we smile and say "hi", we aren't really engaging them. We don't have to sit down and share our testimony or life story in order to impact someone, but we do need to be more direct in engaging people. Start with a smile, yes, but move on to "how are you today?" and maybe offer a compliment. If it progresses and you are able to talk to them further, that is absolutely wonderful, but at least with this method, you've encouraged them in some small way. Everyone needs encouragement. Who better to give it than you and me?
* Tip: Don't be annoyed or offended if a stranger treats you poorly. Remember that their attitude is not about you, nor is life. Encourage them anyway. That is much more important.
2. Explore the Outdoors
Living in the mountains provides a plentiful range of places to see and explore. There are a plethora of hiking trails, watering holes, parks, and even just cute neighborhoods fairly close by. The problem is, I can never just get myself out of the house. I much prefer my comfy chaise chair and my laptop, despite the fact that I'd get a lot more out of exploring. It's called being a home-body... but home-body's miss out sometimes.
So let's get out and explore. Find a new path or trail, a new creek or lake, a new neighborhood, or a new dog-walking route. If I were still living at the beach, I'd probably try to go to all the different nearby beaches that I've never been to before, but now that I'm in the mountains, trails and hiking are the new beach and swimming. I don't particularly like hiking, but maybe when it warms up I can find something that I enjoy.
Where do you most enjoy exploring?
3. Read more Books
When I was in high school, I was not forced to read very many classics. The only thing I remember having to read was The Great Gatsby, which I hated. Everything else was up to me, and I never chose any classics. Then when I got to college we read classics, but they weren't necessarily the one's that interested me. So this year, not only do I want to read more than I have the past few years, but I want to read some classics. At the top of my list are: Frankenstein, Sense and Sensibility, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I also want to read the entire Narnia series and re-read Inkheart.
What is on your reading list for the year?
4. Go Paddle Boarding
This past summer I fell in love with paddle boarding. I'm not good at it, but I really enjoy it. Now that I am not working at the lake anymore, it is no longer free, but I don't want to let that stop me from doing it at least a few times!
If you haven't tried paddle boarding, you definitely should. You don't have to stand up on the board; you can sit or kneel, so don't be afraid of balance! I have the worst balance ever, but I still did it and was able to stand up!
I spend a lot of time on my laptop and phone, especially now that I am blogging more. But when I'm not blogging or doing goal-oriented activities, I need to learn to put down the gadgets. I tend to pick up my phone and play games, which is fine every once in a while, but not as often as I do it.
There are much better things to do with down-time. I can create a craft (Pinterest has a ba-zillion options), go for a walk, or bake something delicious. I can also work on that book list above, or spend time with God. The list goes on and on.
What would you enjoy doing in your spare time (besides being on your phone)?
I would love to hear what stuck out to you most. What do you want to improve on though-out the year? Let me know in the comment section below :)
Have a happy Jesus day!
*This post is linked up with The Nectar Collective and their Weekly Goals link-up. To view the link-up and this blog, click here.