Call them what you like—goals, resolutions, to-do’s, or aspirations. No matter how you slice it, a new year is the perfect time to reflect and re-calibrate.

We’re still at the top of 2019 and excited to see what the next season will bring!

But if you’re one of those people who just isn’t feelin’ the whole “new year, new me” vibe, then we have 9 super simple suggestions that may help this be your best year yet, without all the pressure of setting big, lofty, long-term goals.

1.       Make prayer priority #1.

First on the list because it’s seriously the most important thing you can do for your faith, family, career…anything! Here’s a goal that can be done in the car, while you’re brushing your teeth, or loading the dishwasher. Hit up our website if you need a resource to help you pray, or if you want to join Northgate’s passionate movement to pray 50,000 hours as a church.


2.       Compose a personal mission statement.

If you’re thinking “nerd alert!” think again. Curating a succinct personal mission statement can be a really powerful exercise. It’s one way to define your purpose and add focus to your life. Here’s a cool article to get you started. And remember, once you write it, you should memorize it and begin to live by it.


3.       Get your finances figured out once and for all.

A 2014 Gallup World Poll study concluded that only one in three adults is “financially literate.”  YIKES. That means it’s possible that one in three people in our church, our community, our workplaces is suffering under the weight of consumer debt or with no plan for their financial future. If this is you or someone you know, don’t waste another year (or paycheck) frustrated by money. A simple step is to sign up for Financial Peace University which starts in just a few days. Take the course, work the steps, and finally be free from financial stress.


4.       Surround yourself with great books.

Books make your brain a beautiful place to hang out and the super simple goal of reading more can help you in every area of your life. A stat circulating on Facebook asserts that if people were to put down their phones for two hours a day, they could read 200 books in one year. CRAZY! Here’s the math on that. But, you don’t need to try to crunch in a ton of books to see the benefit. Just grab a few good books to keep on your nightstand, get reacquainted with your local library, or do a book swap with friends and commit to reading a chapter a day.


5.       Get happy with a gratitude journal.

It’s Biblical. It’s scientifically proven. And it’s incredibly easy. To have an amazing year, simply identify a little “amazing” each day with a gratitude journal. Even if you’re not a big writer, jotting down just 3 short things in a notebook or app at the end of the day can have a significant impact on your mood and your relationship with God. Give it a try.


6.       Do some serious self-care.

While some folks are making bold proclamations about their impending weight loss in this new year, others have had it with all the fitness propaganda. But self-care isn’t just about eating leafy greens and lifting weights; it’s about consistently doing small things that contribute to your health and make you feel better. For you, it could be as easy as going to sleep a half hour earlier, trying a tooth whitening kit, deep breathing on your lunch break, taking a daily vitamin, or making that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off. And hey, small victories provide momentum to bigger goals. So pick one or two ways to begin taking better care of yourself today and see if that doesn’t make you feel better this year!


7.       Make a new friend.

Some of us are social butterflies with big friend networks. However, some of us still crave a sense of belonging and have yet to find community. If that’s you, take the simple step of looking at this group page. Is there something on here that appeals to you? Sign up! In two weeks, all these group leaders will be in our lobby at our Group Link Event so you can meet them and ask questions. Making one new friend may really lift your spirits and give you a good year.


8.       Instead of a new beginning, try quitting.

Author Bob Goff has famously said that he quits something every Thursday. It may sound crazy, but let that thought sit for a minute. Is there something in your life or your routine that’s taking up valuable bandwidth? Then quit it! Perhaps you need to quit negativity, quit your kid’s Highlights magazine subscription (that they never read anyway), quit fast food, quit a volunteer role you’ve outgrown in favor of a new one, or quit hanging your pants when just folding them would suffice. Whatever that looks like for you, consider all those things that take up valuable time or head space and see if there’s anything you can safely quit.


9.       When in doubt, drink more water.

If everything else on this list of suggestions seems too daunting, then just start drinking more water, okay? Because honestly, most of us probably ain’t gettin’ in those eight 8-ounce glasses each day. Let’s hydrate, people.


Happy 2019!