The days before every New Year are usually a time for introspection and other activities that help us prepare for a better year ahead. Amidst the merrymaking of the holidays and the precious time spent with loved ones, it’s always good to strive to welcome the New Year with hearts, minds and bodies that are ready for what is to come.
Here, some parents share how they prepare for the New Year — hopefully, those of us who need some inspiration as to how to go about it will glean some useful insights from them:
1. Set your goals. A new year means new goals, dreams and aspirations for most, if not all, families, so it’s best to decide what they are ahead of time.
“I'll be writing down our 2016 goals and schedule. It's my ritual before the year ends, sitting down with my new planners!” —Roxi Roman-Santiago, blogger and mom to Jacob, 4, and Joaquin, 1
2. Aspire to grow in faith. Many parents include growing in faith among their New Year goals and aspirations. May De Jesus-Palacpac, writer and homeschooling mom to Pablo, 10, Lukas, 6, and Judah, turning 5 in January, shares, “I go through my last year's faith goals and write down my faith goals for 2016. The first week of January is our church's annual 5-day prayer and fasting so we try our best to prepare for it physically and spiritually.”
Roxi also shares about “exciting things” that will be happening in a week’s time: “My husband and I will be doing our first prayer and fasting. It may not be exciting for others, but it's special for us because we've never done it. God pushed me to ask him if he'd be willing to do it with me. Hubby said, ‘Yes!’”
3. Count your blessings. The end of the year is a great time to recall all the good things that came our way during the past year.
“I list my top ten blessings for the past year, and go on a personal retreat to come up with goals for the coming year and/or to tweak my identity statement,” Rita Magallona, mom of one, and freelance writer and editor, shares.
4. Make a vision board. A vision board is also known as a dream board or inspiration board, and is a tool you can use to help you be motivated to achieve your dreams or vision. Usually, it’s a collage of images and words that make you feel empowered and inspired.
Ginger Arboleda, entrepreneur, blogger and business coach, and mom to Zeeka, 2.5 years old, uses a vision board for her yearly goals. “ I update my vision board and excel sheet for my goals every new year,” she shares.
5. Prepare your home. This is something many parents do before the New Year rolls around — get their homes ready. Mariel Medina, owner of Sitting Pretty Crafts Studio, and mom of four, shares, “I clean my house, do a major decluttering, then hold a garage sale.”
Ginger does something similar too: “I declutter my home, fix our files and throw away unimportant stuff.”
6. Encourage your kids to join your New Year preparations. If your kids are old enough, you may want to include them in preparing for the New Year, like family psychologist and resource speaker Ichel Santos Alignay.
“I do my own planning,” Ichel shares, “but we also have a day for the kids — Migo, 9, and Maia, 6 — to make their ‘grateful list’ and ‘prayer list’!”
7. Share your blessings. Every year that passes usually has its share of blessings both big and small for every family, so it’s only appropriate that we try to share those blessings with others.
Sandee Lopez-Sanares, a part-time financial consultant and professional teacher turned homeschooler to Savanna Summer, 13, and Sisley Spence, 9, shares, “Aside from introspecting and reflecting on the year that is 2015, I clear out the closets of hardly worn but relatively new clothes to donate to Caritas Manila. Next are the toys and books that our girls would like to share with other kids. Blessings abound throughout 2015 that we believe we need to pay it forward! Thanks be to God!”