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19 Things to Try This Year

It's never too late to spice up your year. I've compiled a list of 19 things to do bellow. I hope you find one or two things to try!

1. Start a Bible Reading Plan:
It's never too late to try a new Bible reading plan. There are many 30 or 90 day plans to chose from, or you could try to read through the Bible in a year. No matter what your Bible study game plan is, daily Bible reading can make a big difference in your life.

2. Keep a Commonplace Book:
Thomas Jefferson had one of the most famous Commonplace Books. It's basically a journal or notebook, which you use to write down quotes, poems, and information. They might not seem as relevant now that we can google anything in a few seconds, but they're still pretty cool. Can you imagine what one would look like after a few years of writing in it?

3. Write Some Thank-You Letters:
Chances are, someone did something for you recently that was especially important to you. Pay it forward and send them a thank you letter.

4. Pick One Skill to Learn:
We make things too complicated when we try to pick a gazillion things to try to learn. Challenge yourself to pick only one thing, and do it. Do you want to get better at Spanish? Maybe work on your cooking skills? How about master drawing with charcoal pencils? Whatever it is, pick only one thing and actually do it.

5. Write a Prayer for the Year:
My prayer for the year is below:
Lord, Thank you for all you have done this past year. Give me words to express to others your love for them. Teach me to sing Your praise on the highest hill and in the lowest valley. Give me direction so that I can walk in Your will. 

6. Try an Art or Writing Challange:
There are all kinds of neat 30 day or year-long challenges that I've seen several creative friends successfully do. Basically, it's a list of writing prompts or drawing ideas that a person does one of a day. These challenges can be difficult, but they build up an amazing portfolio of your work.

7. Purge your apps:
If you feel like you need to reevaluate your life a good place to start is with your apps. Chances are, the productivity app you downloaded isn't doing much for your productivity, your Google calendar depresses you, and social media isn't great for your mental health. There are both good and bad sides to apps, and winter is a good time to decide what is helping and what is hurting. The short days make too much screen time a temptation.

8. Clean Your Room: 
Cleaning your space can clear your mind and make it easier to focus. Take a few hours to pick up your clutter (and maybe throw away a few things). A good cleaning tip from my mom is to pick up the big things first. Don't start with your basket of random stuff, pick up the pile of laundry in the middle of the floor.

9. Memorize a Bible Passage:
Memorization is not my strongest skill, but over the years I've enjoyed being able to go back to the verses I've memorized. Find a Bible verse that speaks to you and work on committing it to memory. It's something that will benefit you the rest of your life.

10. Pick a Word for the Season: 
 Pick out a word to focus on for the season. The concept of a yearly word is called a "one little word", but you could also pick out a word seasonally. You can take this idea as far as you want to- simply doodle out your word on scrap paper, or write it out in calligraphy and find Bible verses and quotes to go along with it.

11. Start a Book Log:
No matter what your reading habits are, having a list of what you read is great. Once you have several books written out on your log, you can see what genres you're reading most. A book log is also really helpful when recommending books to friends, because then you have the title and author written down, instead of just trying to describe the cover art.

12. Take a personality test:
I'm trying not to become one of those people who hands out personality tests to everyone they meet, but the Myer-Briggs can give you some interesting insights into yourself. Try a personality test, and own 2019 like a boss with a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

13. Count Your Blessings:
Not literally count, but take five minutes and look at all the ways God is working things out. You will be amazed! Okay, maybe you can literally count.

14. Make a Vision Board: 
If you are a visual person, then a vision board can be a great idea. Use some cardboard or a corkboard and put things that on it that inspire you, like quotes or magazine cut-outs and put it somewhere you can see it. You could make it super scrapbook-y or keep it minimalistic.

15. Set up an A5 Planner:
An A5 planner can be anything you want it to be. It's like a binder in a smaller, more manageable size. Mine has tabs for things to remember, Bible thoughts, my blog, journaling, and planning. It's a hodgepodge of stickers and washi tape, but I really enjoy it!

16. Make a Bucket List:
A bucket list is a good place for all the things you want to do but don't have planned. Where do you want to travel? What hobbies do you want to try? The things on your bucket list may or may not happen, but at least you have them documented for the future.

17. Write a Letter to Your Future Self:
This is a fun writing exercise that would be really neat in a few years, no matter how old you are. You could use writing prompts or just write out what's on your mind.

18. Do a Random Act of Kindness:
Like sending a thank you card, what may seem like a small thing can actually be a big deal. Bake cookies for someone, send a nice email or card, give a stranger a compliment- doing kind things for people can make their day and brighten yours!

19. Remember His Mercies are New Every Morning: 
Every day is a clean slate. If you feel like you didn't make the most of today, then remember that His mercies are new every morning. Don't wallow in failure when you mess up, extend to yourself as much Grace as God has given you.

Encircled by Grace,

Do you plan on implementing one of these ideas? Comment below with your favorite!


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