9 Resources To Help You Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

9 Resources To Help You Stick To Your New Year's Resolutions

You don't have to do it alone.
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There’s something beautiful about a fresh start. In reality, every day holds potential for new possibility, but that’s easy to forget. Sometimes, our hearts need hope breathed into them — the reminder that newness and freshness are possible, and at any moment, they can invade our lives and surprise us in delightful ways. New Year’s seems to do just that.

At the core, resolutions are more than just actions we start or stop doing. They're an opportunity to cast a renewed vision for the kinds of people we want to be and the kinds of lives we want to lead, and to identify the pathway there. To keep you going, below are a few resources to fuel your resolutions — ones that have fueled me in my own.


See more from Kaci on her blog, kacinicole.com.


1. For spiritual growth: The Bible Project

I can’t say enough about how this has transformed my personal reading of Scripture. They’ve helped me to understand the Bible as one unified story pointing to Jesus, and to see how even the seemingly obscure passages fit into the story. They make YouTube videos for each book of the Bible, giving context and key themes, and they also make videos tracing certain themes like “The Law” or “The Image of God” throughout the Bible. I followed their 2016 Bible in a Year Plan and got so much out of it that I plan on doing the same in 2017. Best part? It’s free.

2. For that feeling of defeat you just can't shake: Soul Scripts by Jordan Lee

This incredible blogger is such an inspiration to me, and a continual reminder that perfections may impress, but flaws connect. She’s real with a capital R, and her posts leave you comforted in knowing you’re not alone in whatever you may be struggling with and more importantly, wanting more of Jesus. She recently launched The Sisterhood, a membership site that includes amazing Bible studies (see my photo below), among other things. If you don’t want to pay (though, it's barely more than the cost of one Starbucks latte per month), the free portion of her blog, Soul Scripts, and her Instagram, will still feed you truth and encouragement.

If you need a journaling Bible for your studies, check out the ones offered at The Daily Grace Co.

3. For your inner entrepreneur: Dale Partridge

For those with an entrepreneurial spirit needing encouragement and extra oomph, Dale’s Instagram and blog are must-follows. On his website, he does weekly podcasts with thought leaders, best-selling authors, and CEO’s, and the wisdom to be gleaned from these is not something you want to miss. I love that his posts are geared toward go-getters, with a focus on not letting ambition overshadow the most important things in life. He also offers Startup Camp, a paid e-course geared toward helping you turn your passion into a profession.

4. For the dreamers and go-getters: The Tim Ferriss Show

On this number one business podcast on iTunes, every episode, author and blogger Tim Ferriss interviews world-class performers from all different areas to provide his listeners with resources, routines, and tricks to maximize potential. I’ve gained so much from these, and plan on reading a few of his books this year as well.

5. For strengthening your bond: Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships

I absolutely LOVE this blog and podcast run by some of my favorite Biola University professors. They offer wisdom for singleness, dating, and marriage from the perspectives of communication theory, theology, and psychology, and listening in makes me feel like I’m right back in some of my favorite classes again. The principles to be gleaned are applicable to any relationship, and they challenge me to love those around me better. Be sure to like them on Facebook to be notified about new episodes.

6. For proving the statistics wrong: Beating 50 Percent

I’m not married yet, but I love following this blog and Instagram as a way of learning, preparing, and developing habits that will help my future marriage one day. Their mission is to cultivate covenant marriages and empower people to give more than 50 percent effort in relationships.

7. For ballin' on a budget: Dave Ramsey

If you’re looking to punch debt in the face, or simply tighten up your spending and saving habits, this is the guy for you. Christian author and finance guru, Dave offers the class Financial Peace University, but personally, I’ve just stuck with his book, The Total Money Makeover. Since graduating college, his simple, timeless tactics have helped me work towards developing healthy financial habits.

8. For workin' on that fitness: Kayla Itsines

If you’ve followed along for a while, you’ll know that I used to do OrangeTheory Fitness classes and while I loved them, they were pricey and well, see number seven. Kayla is the founder of a mega-successful fitness program, and I love it because it includes exercises you can do at home with little to no workout equipment. She offers workout guides, as well as a Sweat With Kayla app, which is my personal favorite. I also love following the transformations she regularly posts on Instagram.

9. For those cravings you swore you'd resist: Whole30

I’ve talked before about this 30-day nutritional reset and while I don’t follow it as a lifestyle, I like doing it every now and then to jumpstart healthy eating habits, and it sure is effective. I never have more energy than when I am eating clean this way, and even when I’m not doing a Whole30, I try to stick to its principles 80 percent of the time, leaving 20 percent for things like sprinkled donuts.


Find Kaci on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


As you may gather from the resources I’ve shared here, I have a lot of different goals for 2017. Something I’ve found helpful in tying them all together is prayerfully coming up with a word for the year — a reminder of what I want to to be about.

My word for 2017 is "intentional."

I want to be intentional in continuing to cultivate my prayer life, intentional with each item I add to my schedule, rather than letting a crazy schedule control me, intentional in relationships, and intentional in my nighttime habits so that my mornings aren’t rushed but well, intentional. In essence, I don’t want to let life happen to me, but live out each day on purpose.

What do you want YOUR life to be about in 2017? If you have a word you’d like to focus on for the year, I’d love to create a graphic for you like the one above. Just tell me in the comments what your word is, whether you want lock screen or Instagram size, and include your email address so I can send it on over.

I sure hope the resources I’ve shared are helpful in getting you towards your goals. One last thing—if you’re looking to grow spiritually, join in on the Instagram book club my blogger friend Abbie Meyer and I are hosting, going through Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Visit this post for more information, and be sure to follow along on both Abbie's IG and mine.

MUCH LOVE, AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Cover Image Credit: kacinicole.com

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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15 Winter Dates For Couples Who'd Rather Snuggle Indoors Than Step Foot Outside

Do I wanna build a snowman? Uhhhh NO!

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Christmas time in New England can get pretty damn cold. I mean, we do have a few warm days, but for the most part, it's cold, windy, and sometimes snowy out. Now, if you're anything like me and you don't like the cold, typical Christmas dates might not be for you, but luckily there's plenty of cute dates that don't involve venturing out in the freezing abyss.

So get your hot chocolate, eggnog, ugly sweaters and festive pajamas ready because here are 15 fun winter dates that don't involve you and your partner leaving the house at all.

1. Ginger bread house competition

2. Classic Christmas movie marathon

3. Hallmark movie marathon

Only because my boyfriend's mom LOVES them.

4. Okay so really just any Christmas movie marathon.

SANTAAAAAA

5. Making Christmas ornaments

6. Paper snowflake making competition

7. Baking and decorating (and eating!) Christmas cookies

8. Dance around to Christmas music

9. Make each other a new stocking

10. Write a letter to Santa

Super silly but super cute.

11. Take cute Christmas pictures

Giphy

Perfect time for those ugly Christmas sweaters or Christmas pajamas.

12. Decorate the Christmas tree

And you know the rest of the inside of the house.

13. Wrap presents together

14. Hang a mistletoe and kiss under it

15. Stay up tracking Santa

Don't forget to leave milk and cookies out for him, and carrots out for the reindeer.

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