New Year’s resolutions don’t really work for most of us. It’s really more about the slow and steady changes we make in our lives, those little habits that really make difference. But, I do love this time of year and setting new goals for the coming year energizes me! Today I’m sharing 5 good habits to cultivate in the new year – things I’ll be focusing on for my own life!
The chapter of Proverbs 31 is filled with wisdom and can help us visualize good habits we can develop and work on! Be sure to download my free printable Goal Planner and Habit Tracker at the end of the post!
The truth about new year’s resolutions: they don’t really last more than three weeks. In fact, only 8% of the population manages to achieve their new year’s resolutions. Is that crazy? Maybe you’re thinking at this point. “why bother?”
Even though January 1st is just a date on the calendar and really no different from any other day of the year, it does feel like a new beginning. I look forward to this last week of the year and reflecting on the past year – which naturally leads me to set new goals for the coming year.
2020 was a pretty awful year for most of us. Do you agree? In our house we started off with pretty high hopes and by the end of the first week of January 2020 everything started going wrong.
Not to mention the crazy March that seemed to change the course of the year and nothing has been the same since.
After experiencing such a trying year, I’m definitely ready for some good news and serious motivation. So before I talk about 5 habits to develop in the new year, I want to talk about how to develop good habits.
How to Develop Good Habits
Okay, so if new year’s resolutions don’t work, is it even worth working on new, good habits? Yes! Actually it is. But let’s not call them new year’s resolutions, okay?
#1 Pray about it. Before you even choose which good habits to develop this year, ask God for wisdom and guidance in your goal setting. Write down your thoughts and vision for the new year and new habits.
#2 Unrealistic expectations make goal-setting feel overwhelming right off the bat. It’s important when trying to develop good habits that we don’t set our expectations too high. In other words, be realistic about what you can accomplish.
#3 Don’t try to change your whole life all at once. It’s just too overwhelming. Choose one or two small things to work on and as you make those new habits a solid part of your routine, add in more. Start with the easiest new habits first.
#4 Take baby steps toward your new goal. Think about the small steps you need to take to create a good habit. For instance, if you want to get in shape but you’ve never exercised in your life, going to the gym for an hour every day might be an unrealistic goal. Instead, commit to taking a 15-minute power walk three times a week. Get used to that goal and then add in more.
#5 Ask a friend who’s doesn’t mind telling you like it is to hold you accountable. Explain to your friend your goal of creating a new habit. Ask them to check in with you on a regular basis to help you reach your goal.
#6 Make a plan for when you fail. Let’s face it. If you’ve been struggling with a bad habit or just not doing something you know you should be doing (i.e. that new habit you want to develop) you’re going to mess up along the way. And that’s normal and okay!! Instead of beating yourself up, accepting your fate and quitting, decide now what you’re going to do when you fail. And write it down.
James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits, says, “Slipping up on your habits doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you normal. What separates top performers from everyone else is that they get back on track quickly. Make sure you have a plan for when you fail.”
That’s great advice!
#7 Reward yourself. Determine how you will reward yourself along the way. Set small goals within your bigger goal and reward your progress as you go! Remember the reward should match the goal – so if you’ve met a small goal, the reward should be small. And if you’ve met a bigger goal – the reward should be bigger!
5 Habits to Develop Like the Proverbs 31 Woman
#1 Reading your Bible every day.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
This is the single most important habit you can develop. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, your faith is the foundation on which every other aspect of your life is laid. Be a woman who fears (reverences) the Lord.
Reading your Bible and staying close to Jesus will change your life. It helps you be a better wife and mother and all around person. If you are new to reading your Bible and studying God’s Word here are few ideas to get you started:
- Best Devotions for Busy Moms
- How to Study the Bible
- Bible Study Methods for the Proverbs 31 Woman
- How to Start Reading the Bible Every Day
#2 Keeping a Tidy Home
“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
Homemaking is a precious gift you give yourself and your family. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, you can be a good homemaker and seek to look well to the ways of your household.
It’s my desire in the coming year to help elevate the role of the homemaker. Homemaking can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to. Keeping a neat and tidy home doesn’t have to take all of your time if you develop a few good habits:
- Pick up clutter and put things away every time you enter and leave a room.
- Follow the one minute rule and teach it to your family.
- Clean as you go when cooking in the kitchen.
- Make your beds every day.
- Always go to bed with a clean kitchen.
If you struggle with cultivating good habits at home, my 30-day course, The Disciplined Homemaker is designed to help you create little habits that make a big difference in your homemaking!
#3 Take Time to Plan Every Week
“She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.” Proverbs 31:21
The passage of Proverbs 31 shows us many different ways a woman cares for her home and family. To do it well takes planning!
Planning your week on Sunday can help ensure that you’re making the most of your time. Not only can you schedule items from your to-do list around important appointments and events, but you can ensure the most important things get done and that your priorities are met.
Sunday is the day that works best for me. I usually sit down sometime on Sunday afternoon to make plans for the week and work on prepping for the coming week. However, if another day works best for you, that’s okay! Just try to make your planning time consistent.
Planning your week doesn’t have to take a long time. I like to sit down with my Purpose 31 Homemaking Planners and write down those tasks I know I have coming up. Ask my girls what I always say and they’ll tell you, “If it’s not written down it doesn’t happen. Write it down.”
Each of my homemaking planners helps you keep track of what you need to do to keep your home neat and tidy. With daily and weekly checklists, you don’t need to wonder what needs to be done each week.
Here are a few ideas you can use to help you get started planning each week. This list is merely a suggestion. Choose the ideas that work best for you!!
- Reflect on your previous week.
- Plan for the coming week.
- Set your goals for the week.
- Write down your to-do list.
- Plan your weekly menu.
- Plan your outfits for the week.
- Check and plan your budget.
- Plan when you’ll exercise and write it into your schedule.
#4 Practice Gratitude and Choose to Be Content
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” Proverbs 31:25
The Proverbs 31 woman’s joy comes from the Lord. Contentment is a practice of the heart.
Practicing gratitude for the life you have and learning to be content right now isn’t always easy. But practicing gratitude, cultivating a spirit of contentedness is something you can learn to do. By making it a habit to show gratitude, you’ll feel happier!
“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV
Being content with the life you are living right doesn’t mean you can’t plan or have new goals. But it does mean that you are living in the here and now instead of always pining for the future.
Another one of my favorite Bible verses is: “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 ESV
To mean it speaks volumes about living a life of contentment. Living a quiet life, working hard, being content with the life you have. Developing the good habit of contentment is a worthy goal to have! But it also means you must be intentional with your day. Writing down those things you are grateful for each day can help you keep gratitude and contentment in front of you.
#5 Eat Healthier and Move Your Body
“She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.” Proverbs 31:17
Making good food choices and moving your body are two good habits you can start in the new year. Like the Proverbs 31 woman you can make small changes in your daily habits to make your body strong. God wants you to live an abundant life and making healthy choices helps you do that.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV
Some of the things I try to do each day are:
- Eat raw veggies every day. I like to eat a fresh salad or other fresh veggies every day. It helps me feel better!
- Don’t go back for seconds. One plate of food is usually enough. Resist the temptation to go back for seconds. Instead, portion up that really yummy dish you’re dying to have a second taste of and save it for tomorrow. I even do this for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ll make a second plate and wrap it up for the next day so I don’t feel like my family of 24 is going to go eat all the food I want to eat again!
- Don’t eat late at night. I try to eat my biggest meal of the day early. Eating after 6:00 is a surefire way to gain weight.
- Choose healthy snacks. I like to snack on fruit instead of less healthy options. If I’m really hungry between meals I’ll grab a handful of almonds or walnuts and a piece of fruit.
- Move your body every day – even it’s just for a few minutes. Whether it’s taking a walk, going for a short run, swimming, lifting weights, or stretching on the floor doesn’t really matter. Just do something. God made us to move. It’s important for your physical and mental health.
Actions Steps to Take Today
- Pray and ask God to help you choose a few good habits to work on in the coming weeks.
- Write down your new goals and be intentional about creating good habits.
- Ask a friend to help you stay accountable.
- Remember, baby steps are the key to developing lasting good habits.
- Download my free printable Goal Planner and Habit Tracker below, if desired.
Free Printable Goal Planner & Habit Tracker
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