7 Positive Habits for the New Year

New Year

The start of a new year allows us to reset and rethink our actions and attitudes. It’s a great time to stop and consider our hopes and dreams, as well as what we may want to change or do differently in the coming year. Resolutions or setting goals may not be your thing, but a few positive habits added to your daily routine can potentially last a lifetime. Here are seven doable daily habits that will help your attitude and your overall well-being in 2018.

Focus – It’s easy to focus on the negatives in life, but it takes a deliberate effort to look at what is good, true and right. We can change our focus by creating new habits such as writing in a gratitude journal every morning as we enjoy our first cup of coffee. Another way to turn our thoughts toward the positive is to read and memorize scriptures from the Bible. Choose one Bible verse to memorize as your focal point for 2018 and review it every day.

Fuel – Consider the types of foods you are putting into your body – is it life-giving fuel or will it have a negative effect on your health? Food not only affects us physically, but it also has an impact on our mind and emotions.  Start a habit of a healthy breakfast to set your day in motion. Instead of strict diets plans that rarely work, think in terms of more and less. Determine this year that you will eat less of the unhealthy foods, like sugar, white flour or processed foods, and you will fuel your body with more of the healthy goods, like greens, whole grains or berries. Make your motto, “Eat clean in 2018.”

Fitness – Exercise is a stress reliever. A brisk walk or work-out can do wonders for you both physically and emotionally. Discover ways you can add exercise to you daily routine five to six days a week. Begin small with something that you enjoy and gradually increase your time and intensity. As your find a time and place each day that you can exercise, commit to it for at least 21 days to form the habit of fitness. Have an accountability partner to help you stay on target.

Faith – There is great comfort in knowing that we are not alone – that the Lord loves us and is with us. As we grow in our faith through prayer and reading the Bible, we begin to sense that there is a bigger picture, a more eternal one. Our faith gives us hope through trials and gives us strength through difficulties. Set aside some quiet time each day to spend alone with God, seeking His guidance and wisdom as well as giving Him your cares and worries.

Fun – All work and no play makes Jack or Jill a little dull and boring. Create opportunities for laughter in your life. Whether it is getting together with friends and laughing about old times or watching a funny video or doing something that generates a good chuckle. Every day you have the invitation to look for the sunny side of life and enjoy a bit of fun despite the challenges. Never laugh at the expense of another person, and also remember to not take yourself too seriously either. Certainly there is a time to laugh and a time to cry, but I think we miss a whole lot of opportunities for laughter. Allow it to be a part of your daily routine.

Forward – Pay it forward and look for ways to invest in the lives of other. Every morning, ask yourself a simple question, who can I bless today? When you turn your heart and thoughts to serving the people in your community, you move your focus off of your own challenges and begin to experience the joy that comes from contributing to something bigger than yourself. Serve one another through your kind actions and loving deeds and make the world a better place one day at a time.

Forgive – If you want to live a happier and healthier life, learn to let things go. Keep short accounts, do not hold grudges and learn to forgive those whom you feel have wronged you. Forgiveness is not an invitation for someone to hurt you again. You must set wise boundaries. Forgiveness is choosing to let go of the right to hold something over another person. Most likely, every day you will encounter situations that call for grace and forgiveness on your part. Make it a habit to continually live with forgiveness.

As you practice these seven simple daily habits , you will discover a fresh new joy and vitality for the year ahead. Make it a great 2018!


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash


As we enter the Christmas season, I am launching a fun new series called 25 Positive Words for the Holidays. It is meant to help us look at the brighter side and the bigger picture each day of December leading up to Christmas. So join me here at Positive Life Principles or on my author Facebook page to get a daily dose of positive starting Friday, Dec 1. Feel free to share the posts with your friends to uplift their hearts during the holidays. I love walking this journey together!


If you are looking for a gift for the holidays, Pursuing God in the Quiet Places Devotional makes a great gift and stocking stuffer.

ENGAGE with Giving Tuesday

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The stress of poverty can have long-term emotional and physical effects on children. Recognizing the importance of encouraging parents to nurture their kids and help them break out of the cycle of poverty, Karol started ENGAGE Positive Parenting Initiative in 2012. ENGAGE uses a unique discussion-based approach to empower parents in their responsibilities of raising their families. We cover topics ranging from education to nutrition to emotional and social well-being.

This year ENGAGE added programs for moms in prisons (80% of incarcerated women are moms) and teen moms in public schools. We invite you to participate in making an impact in changing lives for generations to come.

Giving Tuesday is a wonderful day designed to turn our hearts toward caring for others following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We invite you to join with us in bringing hope to children by strengthening parents sense of responsibility in the home. ENGAGE is a non-profit completely run by volunteers. Your gift of $50 – $100 will provide lesson books, class materials and snacks for the parents we serve. Thank you for engaging with us as we continue to encourage parents to love, nurture and build a better future for their kids.

Click Here to donate.

Click Here to Volunteer

Click Here to Join our Prayer Team  and fill out info at the bottom of the page.

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3 Things to Forget, One thing to Remember


Thanksgiving is all about remembering. It’s about reflecting on what God his done and His blessings in our lives. When it comes to life, we never want to forget the goodness of God. Our thankful hearts show that we trust His love and believe He can bring good even out of the worst situations.

As important as it is to remember and reflect on God’s goodness and blessings, there are several things we need to forget. The apostle Paul put it this way, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

So what past things should we forget? Here’s three that come to mind:

Past mistakes – Most of us tend to beat ourselves up over mistakes we have made even years ago. We must recognize that we all make mistakes, but we can always learn from them. Don’t let your mistakes define you. Move forward and be who God created you to be.

Past sins – As believers in Christ, our sins are forgiven. Paul wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” That’s not a license to continue to sin, rather with a thankful heart we turn and repent and go a different direction. Christ came to free us from the burden of guilt and allow us to live in the joy of forgiveness.

Past offenses by others – It’s easy replay the hurts people have done to us in the past. Bitterness, anger and unforgiveness can fester in our memories for years. Let’s stop replaying the hurts and wounds. As forgiven people, we too must live a life of forgiving others. This Thanksgiving, may we release the right to hold past offenses over someone else.

I love to see the pictures on Instagram of Thanksgiving tables as people gather with family and friends. Although the food and decorations are lovely, keep in mind that there is nothing more beautiful than a thankful heart, and nothing more ugly than an unforgiving heart (whether it is not forgiving yourself or others). May your table be stunning as it overflows with thankfulness this year, leaving the negatives of the past behind you.


Photo by Cala on Unsplash

Giving Thanks while Giving Care


When you think of the word “Caregiver,” what comes to mind? It’s interesting to think about different stages and times in our lives when we are giving care to others. Whether you are a:

Mom caring for the needs of your kids.

Spouse caring for the needs of your spouse.

Adult child caring for needs of your elderly parents.

Worker caring for the needs of co-workers.

Nurse or Doctor caring for the needs of patients.

Teacher caring for the needs of students.

The list could go on and on, because whenever and wherever we show care to others, we are “caregivers.” Aren’t you thankful that the Lord Himself is the ultimate “Caregiver,” caring for our daily needs as a shepherd cares for his sheep.

My friend Nancy Brown writes a blog specifically for caregivers. Her thoughts and concepts are born from her own challenges, frustrations and joys as she cared for her elderly parents. I’ve invited her to share her unique perspective in light of this Thanksgiving month.


Practicing Gratitude While Caregiving

It’s not easy to practice gratitude, especially when you’re in the trenches with caregiving or grieving the loss of a loved one.  It’s so difficult when there is always one more thing to take care of or one more problem to solve. It can feel overwhelming, endless, and thankless at times. Sometimes it feels like we’re doing it alone, but we need to remember that Jesus is with us each step of the way.

I have a little sign on my desk that was given to me by my son when he was five-years old. It simply says, “Keep on praying with a thankful heart.” I look at that sign each day and think about how much wisdom is contained in that simple sentence.  Often, simple reminders can get us back on track when we struggle with gratitude. Try keeping a gratitude journal, and write down five things each day for which you are grateful. When we are grateful, it must please Our Lord so very much. So, it should always be our goal.

Scripture Verses About Gratitude

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.


Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.



Dear Father, sometimes it feels like You have given us more than we can carry. Help us to remember that You are carrying us during those times. Help us to be grateful for the difficult times as they are often periods of growth. We know it pleases You when we come to You with grateful hearts, and we pray that we can cultivate thankfulness each day.

If you would like to follow Nancy’s blog, please go to: www.faithfilledcaregivers.com

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash