2023 has started off to be a year to remember and we’ve only just begun. Both of my parents have ended up ill, one in the hospital (and safely home). An uncle who needs additional help is also in the hospital, and a challenge on the farm due to the mud that necessitated the help of several neighbors and the fire department (all with good outcomes).
It literally brought me to my knees with gratitude that things turned out ok and while life is not always that way, the lens through which I see things has definitely changed. Too often, I travel through days, weeks, and months without really appreciating the moments around me.
As we begin 2023, I’d like to challenge all of us to become more mindful of each day as a gift. A day that we will not have the privilege to relive. The tasks that we do or not do, the words that we speak, or not speak and the manner in which we treat those around us will pass by as the day ends and another one begins.
Much will dawn on you as the number of mornings are counted
In the book “7” the author talks about life with the number of mornings we are given. If, we live to the age of 84, we have about 30,000 mornings to live life. Each morning we take one away and at this point in life, for me I’ve lived way more than half of those gifted days. We live our life, by how we live our days.
While we may not understand the reasoning behind some of life’s challenges, for many daily tasks we have choices to make. We can choose to take care of ourselves by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and being physically active. With each choice we model for our children the behaviors that are important to us and give them a foundation to build their lives upon. They will practice what they see.
So, what it is that you are looking forward to in 2023? What plans, or projects or goals do you want to set to make sure that happen this year? With material things, that are concrete, it’s fairly easy to set particular steps to reach the goal. For instance, if I want to save $600 by June, that means I need to save $100 a month or $25 a week. To save the $25 I might need to look at my spending and begin to pack my lunches or limit shopping or plan meals so that going to the grocery doesn’t spend extra money for the week.
If you have your goal or project in mind, try the following steps to put it into action so that you can make sure that it happens in 2023.
Specific, measureable, attainable goals
Specific - Identify what you want with details, I want to save $600 or I want to lose 20 pounds.
Measurable - how will you know if you achieve it? I can save $25/ a week or I can lose 1# a week
Attainable - is this possible in my budget? Do I have wiggle room in my budget or am I committed to sticking to the routine to lose 1 pound a week?
Realistic - How committed am I to making this happen? Will I give up some things to make sure that I can achieve others?
Time Bound - by setting a date, I am holding myself accountable and at that time I will re-evaluate my progress. That way I can tell if I accomplished my goal or if I need to reset my timeline.
If I don’t set goals, I won’t know when I reach them. Write them down and post them on the car visor, bathroom mirror, kitchen window, refrigerator or anyplace where it will be seen several times a day to reinforce what I’m working towards. If it’s a goal that the family is working towards, be sure to have frequent conversations about how close we are to reaching it and ideas of how to be successful.
Life, purpose, and perspective are molded in part by our faith, our actions, our values and the recognition to begin each day with the mindset that what we contribute, makes a difference. May this year be a great year for you and your family. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722 or email@example.com
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This article was previously published in The Daily Record