I love the New Year and each year brings an optimism of new things and fresh starts with endless possibilities. It is a natural time for us to create new goals and habits to better ourselves, our workplaces and our homes. However, studies show that by mid-February more than 50% of people have already fallen off and have given up on their goals. Why? I would argue that it is because we set goals without implementing daily changes to reach those goals.
To be successful, we must adjust our daily rhythms in small increments that move us forward towards our goals. Regardless of the goals you have for the New Year, here are two rhythms everyone should add to help achieve any New Year goals.
1. Implement a Wind-Up Rhythm
If you are the type of person that jumps out of bed, rushes to get ready and runs out the door to start your day then you may need to add a wind-up rhythm to your routine. Adding a little extra margin to start your day can drastically improve your pace and productivity.
I am not a morning person. I have always been told that great leaders get up early, but it has never stuck for me. I am a night owl and most of my creative work happens after work hours. Even though I don’t love the mornings, I try each day to have some wind-up time. My wind-up time is just a little bit of margin before I start the tasks of my day to think through my schedule and plans.
Here are some ideas for a productive wind-up time:
- Do a devotional (try this Parables of Jesus Devotional)
- Pray (click here for guided prayers)
- Make your lunch
- Make your bed
- Stretch or workout
- Tidy up the house before you leave (Kids CAN too)
A wind-up routine doesn’t need to take a lot of time. It can be simple yet effective. Controlling the pace of the day in the morning provides a framework for productivity and success throughout the day.
2. Create a Wind-Down Rhythm
After a long day, lounging on the couch and watching TV or scrolling your phone may sound more appealing than a disciplined wind-down routine. However, creating a wind-down rhythm at the end of a day helps improve sleep patterns and prepare for the next day. Intentionality goes a long way here!
A wind-down rhythm might include:
- Read a Psalm each night
- Play games as a family
- Spend time with your spouse
- Pray (40 days of prayer)
- Read (x) amount of pages
- Put your phone on the charger in another room
- Stretch or workout
Focus on the greater vision and purpose of your goals. Write yourself reminders and leave them throughout your house to help motive you to commit to doing the small, intentional routines. I want to spend less time on my phone this year, so part of my wind-down rhythm is to set an alarm at 8:30pm each night. When the alarm goes off, I plug my phone in and leave it alone until the next morning.