Okay. I admit that I love new beginnings. I love turning the calendar page each month. I love starting a fresh planner each year, and even a fresh new week in the planner. I actually enjoy Mondays—even just a fresh day, a new morning. Each is a chance for a fresh start; each is a blank slate.
So as we start 2017, I thought I’d share some fun and crafty ways to kick off the new year with intention. I included some dating-themed ideas as well.
I’ve always wanted to do this—the Pinterest sirens beckoned—and this year I decided to finally make one. Basically, you take a jar or any container, and each day write one nice thing that happened that day or something you’re grateful for. Then you fold the paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, you read all the happy things that happened throughout that year.
My dear friend in the country sends me homemade jam (I know—lucky, right?), so I took two mason jars, tied a ribbon around each one, and put a week’s stack of “starter” paper in them. On NYE, I presented one to my guy. Even if he doesn’t bite, it was still a nice gift. And some have “gifts” as their primary love language. (P.S. If you’ve never read The 5 Love Languages books, you should!)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
—Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Confession: I am not crafty AT ALL, well at least in any way that is termed “art” (drawing, painting, that kinda stuff). But a vision board is something anyone can do. And no, it’s not conjuring or magic or whatever. To start, you need a piece of poster board or sturdy paper (I collect the cardboard bases of water bottle cases for my vision boards), a pile of old magazines, scissors, and a glue stick. Then, you cut out pictures and words that speak to you. Finally, you arrange these and glue them onto the poster board.
You can do a more general vision board for the year, or you can take an area of your life you are trying to grow in—say, health, or faith, or hey! a healthy relationship!—and you cut out pics and words that speak to that. This is such an enlightening exercise. And to make it even more special, why not pray before you start? Ask the Holy Spirit to make more clear His vision for your year, your relationship life, health, or whatever it is you want to improve or find clarity in.
If you’re single, make a “healthy relationship” vision board. Cut out pictures and words that speak to you about the kind of relationship you desire and the attributes that are important to you in a partner (you may want to read “Writing Prayers to Your Future Spouse”).
If you’re in a relationship and your partner is game, you could make a vision board together for the coming year—looking for pics that show ways you want to grow, activities you’d like to share, dates you’d like to go on, etc. How fun is that???
Word for the Year
This to me is the coolest way to begin the new year. Basically, you ask the Lord to give you a word for the year. Think of a word for the year as your theme for the year. For 2016, my word was “rest,” and God was teaching me to trust in Him and not strive so much. The first few days of last year, I kept seeing things on Sabbath, Sabbath, Sabbath, and while I didn’t feel “Sabbath” was the word, my spirit finally clicked on “rest.” I think my word this year is “intention,” though I am still waiting to feel that final “click” in my spirit.
This year, my vision board is going to be centered on 2017’s word, and it’s going to be so fun to find images and words that speak to it. I’ve already looked up “intention” in the dictionary!
Why not pray for a word for the year for your relationship, specifically? And heck, if you wanna go all out, make a vision board together for that word. Can you tell I love to make these things???
(If you need some inspiration or more of an understanding of what “word for the year” is, I wrote a blog post last year on this topic.)
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
—John 15:15–16 (NIV)
I wish for you a happy and healthy start to the New Year! Our God is such a creative God! I mean, He did create the universe!!! Consider starting 2017 by praying for His insight into this new batch of 365 days; these are just a few ideas of how to begin this fresh new year with intention and a grateful, joyful, expectant spirit!!!
Fun article, my colleague friend. My word for the year is LOVE. I wrote a post on it today. I like the gratitude jar or “what is going right with my day today” notes to put in it. It is easy to forget the good in the day. It’s really a great way to look back and see how much light there is in your personal world that way. I had a prayer box where I put in people’s prayer requests and prayed over them. They were dated and I could see when a prayer was answered and I had a ox for answered prayers. You reminded me of that with your gratitude jar. Happy New Year.
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Ooh!!! I LOVE that tangible prayer-jar idea. I want to do a prayer journal this year and be more intentional with prayer. 🙂
These are three excellent ideas to start the year out right. I particularly like the included pictures to illustrate what you mean. Here’s hoping for a stronger and more intentional 2017 for both of us!
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Thanks, friend! Amen and amen!!! This is YOUR year!!!