Are ya ready kids?
Welcome to part two of my top 6 ways to have a great year! I really appreciate all the support on the last few posts - it's truly wonderful, God is so good. This post is going to look at more of the practical things I would do to improve my year. Hopefully this post won't be as long as the last one BUT I do like to talk so we'll see how that goes! Hahah, let's get right on into it.
YOU ARE WHO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH
Hands up if you love your friends - I sure as heck love mine. To me my friends are beautiful, inspiring, thoughtful, hilarious, kind, soldiers of God, and I'm so excited to see where God takes them. Without a doubt, they've made me who I am today.
If I was to go back to this time last year and see who I was surrounding myself with, it would be completely different. Don't get me wrong, I loved those people (still do!) but isn't it funny how friend groups change so much over time? During high school, you would chop and change groups all the time, and everyone did it, it was so hard to keep track. It's quite amazing because you slowly start seeing people realise who/what they need in their lives.
"Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'"
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
I barely see my high school friends now. There'll be the occasional FB message, or we might just happen to be at the same place at the same time, but I've found that no real effort goes in to actually meeting up with them anymore. Maybe it's because I'm lazy or maybe I just think they don't want to see me so I don't reach out to them, but whatever it is, it's a two-way street. You've got to make effort. To my high school friends reading this right now, please do not take offence - let's hang out! I'd love to catch up.
Anyways, in all friendships, you have to make an effort. You can't just sit back, contribute nothing, and expect the friendship to be strong. With that being said, choosing your friends is such an important step in life. I've had my fair share of crappy friends who just let me down time after time and bullied me more than loved me but I've also had my fair share of friends who were always there for me and cheered me on. These are the people that have shaped me and I don't regret any friendship I've ever had.
I struggle making new friends - and that's totally okay. It's okay if you struggle, it's part of life. The girls in the picture above have been in my life for almost 7-9 years now. Obviously I've made friends since I've met them, but that's just an example that if you find gold friendships, they'll stick around for a while. Also don't be afraid to make friends who are older/younger than you! The girls in that photo are all older than me. In fact, a lot of my friends are older than me because I'm a baby haha. For real though, I have some younger friends too and they're great! Don't feel like you need to stick within your age group. Each friend will have different opinions, thoughts, views, and wisdom to share with you. You'll learn something different from each friend group, and that's truly beautiful.
God places people in your life for a reason, and we won't always know what it is. So if you're going through a rough patch with your friend, keep your head up and eyes open to whatever God is trying to show/tell you. If a friend suddenly leaves your life for an unknown reason, don't stress, maybe God took them in another direction. Keep your eyes open.
Surrounding yourself with good people is so so so important. These are the people who influence the way you think and speak. If you're surrounding yourself with people who swear constantly and are always saying negative things, you're going to find yourself doing exactly the same. You've got to keep your guard up, it's so easy to fall into peer pressure.
Surround yourself with people who turn your face back to God when you've lost your way. Surround yourself with people who motivate you to be your absolute best, who pray for and with you, who laugh with you and not at you. Surround yourself with people who always want to listen to what you have to say and who constantly radiate positive vibes. We can't do life alone - so choose wisely.
To anyone that knows me, you know that I am an admin freak. I love organisation and I love planning and doing behind the scenes things. To some of you, this may be the first time you're hearing this. I love stationary and I love writing notes even if it's simply just to remind myself to wash my hair that day. When my mum found out my love for organisation, she thought it was strange. She questioned how a girl who loves organising so much could have such a messy room? You heard it here first folks, I'm an unorganised lover of organisation.
"But all things should be done decently and in order."
1 Corinthians 14:40 ESV
Here are some practical ways to stay on top of things this year:
1. PLANNERS / CALENDARS / APPS
Who else makes their New Years resolution to use their planner more and they smash it for the first couple of months and then it slowly dies down? Yup, been there, done that. The past couple of years though I've been loving my planner! Planners are a gift and I seriously can't imagine how I lived my life before planners. I'm sounding like a total organisation nerd right now, just bare with me haha. Planners come in different sizes, colours, patterns and layouts. You've got your wall planners, weekly planners, monthly planners, and my personal favourite, daily planners. I got my planner from FRANK Stationary this year and I've been loving it. I write in it daily. How else do I sell planners to you? They're awesome.
Calendars are also a great tool to planning out your year. I always like to have a calendar above my desk with all my important things (birthdays, shift times for work, concerts, holidays, etc) right there so I can see them and be constantly reminded about them. The calendar app on my iPhone is wonderful too. I put the dates of things I need to pay alongside any events and work times on my phone app (and in my planner!!) because I get notifications about them so I can never forget about important things I need to do. It's especially great for people on the go.
Apps are a wonderful organisation tool. My top 3 favourites are:
- TeamUp: This is another calendar app, with a twist - it's a shared calendar! This is so helpful, especially when working in groups constantly. My internship team use this calendar and it's so nice to see what things everyone has on at one time - I seriously recommend this for teams, or even families!
- Todoist: This one saved my life. I'm an avid list lover - I seriously make lists about everything. Todoist is an app you can get on your phones + your Macbook (if you have one, I'm not sure about Windows computers). It's honestly just an app where you can make as many lists as you want. If you desperately need to be reminded about something you need to do, they'll send you an email!
- Evernote: If you're in school, you'll adore this app. I use this to plan blog posts and it's wonderful because you can make folders of the different topics and it syncs to all your devices so you can have your notes with you wherever you go.
2. GET RID OF CLUTTER
Make sure the area where you're working is constantly clean. It's so easy for it to get chaotic and that can cause a lot of stress. Throw out the papers you don't need, the pens that don't work, and wipe off the dust off your desk. A clean working space = a clear and sound mind.
3. LISTS & GOALS
I love my lists, as you know. Each day I wake up and write a list of things to do. I constantly carry around a pen and paper in case I think of another list and if not, then I use my notes app on my phone. Lists are so useful and it's so easy to write down everything you need to do at once so you won't forget it, and you can see everything at once. Plus ticking things off of a list is so satisfying.
Goals are great for getting you motivated. Make big goals, and small goals, and don't let anyone tell you that your goals are stupid.
God's creation is so beautiful and it deserves to be adored! Hands up if you spend days upon days stuck in a room and you don't get outside enough (guilty!). I love getting outside. I love looking around and see the things that my God made beautiful in their own way. Breathe in the fresh air - God created that to keep you alive!
"Take a good look at God's wonders -
they'll take your breath away.
He converted the sea to dry land;
travellers crossed the river on foot.
Now isn't that cause for a song?"
- Psalm 66:5 MSG
"Now isn't that cause for a song?" I simply love that line. Even though this scripture talks about God parting the red sea, it's still relevant. I mean, who else can turn the sea into dry land? David you are correct, that is cause for a song.
We tend to easily get distracted - especially by social media. One thing I've been doing lately is turning notifications off for every app, except messenger. I've loved this because I won't be getting notifications on my lock screen every minute, and I won't feel the need to have to look as soon as it pops up. This gives me the freedom to visit each app as I please, and I honestly haven't missed anything! It's really helped me be present in the moment.
Human interaction is SO good for you! How about once this week, you and one or two (or all) of your friends spontaneously hang out. Sure I like planning things, but I find that spontaneous hang out with my friends always provides some of the funniest memories.
Last thing, switch up your workspace once or twice a week! Get out of your office and head on down to your local coffee shop. Take your homework out of your bedroom and sit in a different room of the house. I'm currently sitting outside as I'm writing this and it honestly helps me feel so inspired! Just little things like this can really flip your year around.
And there you have it folks! Part two of my top 6 ways to have a great year. I hope at least one thing I've said has inspired you in some way. Let me know in the comments how you're going to glorify God this year! Hope you have a fantastic week, and I'll talk to you soon! 😊