3 Essential Tasks to Jump Start Your New Year

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Back to Life

Well, the holidays are over and we officially made it to the 2021 a few weeks ago! Yay! Back to life. Back to reality. How do we go about our daily lives making sure we are being the best version of ourselves and reaching our full potential? These are important questions to ask and often times as parents, especially as mothers, we forget to seek out these answers on a daily basis.

My Reflection & Hopes

I’ve given a lot of thought on how to make 2021 a better year than 2020 even with the challenges that have already presented themselves so far including still being in a pandemic. It’s very easy to get weighed down by the weight of the world and the craziness that has been going on in our country, but as parents, it is our responsibility to raise our children to love God, themselves, their family, their friends, and those that they don’t necessarily agree with or get along with!

It’s my hope and goal to encourage you by providing you with a few ways to get your new year started off in a positive way to help you reach your potential and to be the very best version of yourself. These suggestions can be utilized at any point of the year even if you didn’t start working on them January 1st.

What Will be Covered in This Post

Here are the three things I will be covering in this post:

  • Choosing a word of the year
  • Choosing a saint of the year
  • Exercising regularly

Let’s dive into the list and get started!

Word of the Year

In the past, I’ve set a myriad of New Year’s Resolutions and done okay with them, but I tended to fizzle out and feel like there was a much more effective way to approach the new year. If setting New Year’s Resolutions is what works best for you, then definitely stick with that, but if you want to try something new that could be more effective in the long term, then keep reading!

I’m in a sisterhood group with fellow Catholic women with the majoirty of them being in the vocations of being wives and mothers. It’s been such a huge blessing and a major support system for me. God has blessed me with such beautiful friendships which I am forever grateful for.

I was first introduced to word of the year in my sisterhood group a few years ago and immediately fell in love with the concept. This year, I’m making more of a conscience effort to follow through with the word I have selected. My word is mindfulness, which according to google is “a mental state achieved by focusing on one’s awareness of the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

Wow, that’s a lot to unpack, but my goal is to live in the present moment and acknowledge my feelings in order to do a self check and see how I am doing. What is going well? What needs to be changed? Why am I feeling happy? Why am I feeling frustrated? What can I do to feel better? What can I do to live as a daughter of Christ and to be the best wife and mother that I can be?

How do you go about picking your word of the year? No, it’s not too late to pick a word of the year! It’s really up to you, but what I did was google Catholic word of the year and also word of the year. There are several lists out there and here are just a couple I recommend: https://jenniferfulwiler.com/2017/12/i-made-a-word-of-the-year-generator-just-for-you/ and https://funhappyhome.com/word-of-the-year-200-ideas/.

Next, decide on action steps to help you incorporate your word of the year into each day. I bought a book called Catholic Mindfulness, which can be purchased here https://amzn.to/2Yrj6nz I’m also using the Hallow Catholic meditation app, which I absolutely love and use daily! Find more information on it by clicking the link: https://hallow.com/

Let’s move onto Saint of the Year!

Saint of the Year

This is another big step to starting off the new year on the right foot! I have chosen St. Therese Lisieux and can’t wait to learn more about her! How do you choose your saint of the year? Once again, it’s a mater of personal choice. I’ve wanted to learn more about this influential saint so I actually didn’t end up needing to do much for the selection process. I recommend this site if you are looking for a name generator option if you don’t already have a specific saint in mind: http://saintsnamegenerator.com/. You can always ask for recommendations from family, friends, priests, nuns, and other religious people if you want. You can also Google or pick a specific saint you’re interested in learning about.

Next, decide on action steps you are going to follow to make sure that the saint you have selected is actively involved in your daily life. I’m starting out by reading a book called Simply Surrender by St. Therese of Lisieux. It can be purchased here: https://amzn.to/3ahvwUd. I’m excited to learn more about her “little way” to God.

After that, I’ll probably read another book about or by this great saint and possibly purchase a St. Therese of Lisieux medal or something that is a concrete way to remind me of her teachings.

Let’s move on to the third important task that often gets overlooked, but is just as critical as the first two tasks mentioned above.

Exercise Regularly

Chilly weather didn’t stop us from getting outside for a brisk walk!

This one seems like a no brainer, right? For me, exercising regularly is something I can do well with in the beginning, but then I don’t always do it consistently. Once again, I need to create action steps to accomplish this task.

Being pregnant has caused exercising to be even more challenging, but now that I’m well into my 2nd trimester/almost 3rd trimester, I’m ready to jump in and give it a go again! First off, when and where will you exercise? How often? What will you do when the weather isn’t cooperating?

For me, when the weather doesn’t involve freezing temperatures, rain, or snow, and when it’s not 100 degrees outside, my favorite way to exercise is to walk for at least twenty to thirty minutes. My goal is to exercise daily or at least three to five times a week. Pushing a stroller, especially a double one, while walking, is an effective and challenging workout! Throw in some hills and you really have your work cut out for you! I really enjoy being in nature with the girls and on the weekends with Kenny and the girls. During the week, I often listen to a Catholic podcast or app. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Daily Rosary Meditation-School of Faith (app)
  • Hallow (app)
  • The Messy Family Podcast
  • Diapers & Disciples (podcast)
  • What to Expect (pregnancy podcast)

I’m also trying out a long list of podcasts and will try to update my list of favorites as I discover new gems.

What about when the weather isn’t cooperating and/or you want to add to the walking/outdoor exercise? I was recently recommended to try BodyFit by Amy which can be found on Youtube. She has a ton of free videos to choose from and even has prenatal ones that are safe for pregnancy. I tried a 25 minute prenatal cardio one the other day and I’ve also tried an eight minute stretching one. Both definitely workouts for sure! I’ve really enjoyed BodyFit by Amy and highly recommend it!

An important thing to remember is to make sure that you are cleared by your doctor before you exercise during pregnancy and never push yourself too far. Listen to your body, take breaks, and drink lots of water! Also, make sure you get cleared by your doctor before you start exercising after your baby is born.

Action Steps

What are your next steps? Do you have a task that is catching your eye or one that you would really like to focus on? I’d love to hear about your plan and what action steps you intend to take!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon! Good luck and God bless you!

The One Blessed Mama,

Marie

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22 Comments

  1. This is great! My word of the year is Expand 🖤🖤🖤

    1. Thank you! Expand is such a great word! How are you using that in your daily life?

  2. Arrica Hess says:

    My word for this year is discipline. I pray that I am disciplined in all areas of my life to truly honor the Lord in all I do.

    1. That’s a really important word! I’ll pray for you as you work on being disciplined in all areas of life to honor the Lord!

  3. I have done word of the year and tried my hardest to exercise more. I have not done saint of the year though. Sounds interesting!

    1. How have word of the year and the exercise gone for you? Saint of the year has been challenging for me but I’m going to try to keep going with it!

  4. I am also trying to exercise regularly. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes a day, it really does make a difference in your mood!

    1. Yes! I agree! Even something as short as 20 minutes a day makes a huge difference for me, both physically and mentally!

  5. Love all these suggestions!

    1. Thank you! Hopefully you found them helpful!

  6. I had a word last year. It was “joy.” It was starting off well as I went on a cruise in January 2020. The ship’s name was “Joy.” And then Covid hit…
    Joy was hard to have, but we made it. Actually got Covid last November. Just so you know…
    I am not doing a word this year. Haha. God seems to give us a trial to produce the word. Ugh.

  7. Great ideas! I like to have a word of the year as well. It keeps me motivated!

    1. Thank you! What words have you been working on?

  8. I just found out I am gluten intolerant and now have to take the steps to eating healthier, gluten free food. It is going to be extremely hard, but I have to be mindful and committed. This was a great post!

    1. That does sound hard but it sounds like you are very mindful and committed! Best of you luck to you! I’ll be praying for you!

  9. I know that exercise makes me feel more ‘human’ on my bad days, but it is definitely the hardest to find the motivation to do!

    1. Yes! I totally agree with you!

  10. I love the goals you listed! They can do so much to focus us throughout the days and weeks. I know I feel a lot better when I’m able to get out and go for a walk (when it’s not -17 out like it has been). I picked out a word for this year and then forgot about it. Time to get back on that!

    1. Thank you! It’s been freezing cold here too! Ready for warmer temperatures! I need to get bank to working on my word of the year too! What is yours?

  11. Tanya says:

    My word of the year is Adapt. Exercise is so important to me as well, and I aim for five workouts a week. Great post!

  12. That is a fantastic word of the year. Mine is light. So far, 2021 has challenged that choice…

    1. Thank you! Light is a good word and very fit for 2021. How have you been trying to make it part of your daily life?

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