It’s a brand new year! So what are you going to do with it? If 2016 wasn’t a great year for you, let it go. It’s over. We all have the power to make changes by the choices we make.
We all have a clean slate and the Picky Peaches are focused on making 2017 our best year yet! We’ve come up with a list of 10 choices that we plan to make habits this year. Join us in the journey of making ourselves and our world better in 2017. Here’s to becoming the best YOU that YOU can be!
1. Love others. There are so many ways to love those around us. Simply, be kind to everyone. Serve food at a homeless shelter or rock preemies at the NICU at the local hospital. Let someone get in line in front of you; both of you will be glad you did. Take a meal to a lonely or sick neighbor. (It doesn’t have to be homemade.) Declutter and donate the items to your local mission’s thrift store (atlantamission.org).
2. Live a balanced life. Many of us spend far too much time browsing social media or watching TV when we could be doing something constructive and satisfying like learning a new language (Free at duolingo.com) or reading to our children or cleaning out our closets or going for a walk. Maybe you’re focused on money, either making it or spending it. Is that distracting you from the truly important things in life? This video on life, time management and priorities may be helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKYP8YYe-Yo. Maybe your hobby has become an obsession. Take an honest look at how you spend your time. Are you focusing on food? Too much of anything can be harmful.
3. Avoid using foul language. It has permeated our culture so much that we hear it on a daily basis. Try reining in the emotion that elicits that language. I still remember my mom’s threat to wash out my mouth with soap!
4. Take a day off every week. Attend church or synagogue. Recharge your batteries. Rest your heart and mind.
5. Spend more time with those who truly matter to you. Put down the phone or tablet and really spend time with them. If your elderly parents or grandparents are still alive, ask them about their childhoods. Use technology to record their stories. Ask their advice.
6. Make amends with those who’ve hurt you and those you’ve hurt. Apologize. Life’s too short to hold a grudge. Gossip is cruel and sarcasm is its evil twin. My mom always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.”
7. Love your spouse. Make him/her feel special every day: listen to each other; hold hands; always kiss each other hello/good-bye and good morning/goodnight; show respect for each other; say kind things to and about each other. Set aside time to date each week, whatever that may look like to you, just make it a priority to continue to pursue each other. Put it on your calendar and treat it like the very special appointment that it is.
8. Get out of debt. Pay off the smallest debt first to get a feeling of accomplishment. Consumer guru Clark Howard suggests putting credit cards in the freezer and using only cash until all debts are paid. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace is another good resource. (daveramsey.com)
9. Tell the truth. It may sound clichéd, but honesty is the best policy. Embellishment is a form of dishonesty. As Detective Sergeant Joe Friday always said, “Just the facts, ma’am.”
10. Avoid envy. The green-eyed monster is a dangerous beast. When you find yourself jealous of someone’s possessions, remember that possessions never make anyone happy for long. Shift your focus to the goodness in your own life.
We hope these ideas will help you make better choices in 2017 and that the by-product will be a happier and more fulfilled life.
In addition, have fun! Try something new. Once a month, go somewhere you’ve never been: a restaurant, a park, a small town, a museum, a theater. Get out of your comfort zone. Run a 5K. Join a singing group. Plant a garden. Cut your sugar intake in half. Focus on the positive. Count your blessings. Follow the Picky Peaches each week for more ideas on making 2017 the best year yet!
Join us next week for the fourth installment in the Picky Peaches’ Hidden Gem Restaurant Challenge. Quality comfort food is their specialty.
Until next time, love and peaches….