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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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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An Emotional Smackdown of ME vs ME

Let's see who wins.

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I cannot seem to keep my head above water. I'll be there existing then without warning, the water is filling my lungs. I am drowning and completely unaware of how I got there.

And then, I'm not even in the water.

I am not drowning.

All of this imagery is a noose around my brain cutting off circulation from my sense of reality to insanity. My mind is pulling at the noose and tightening it around my neck. I see my arms reaching for it but then it whispers, "why? Why should you go on? Who do you think you are fighting me? I OWN YOU. I AM YOU."

I cry and the voice in my head tells me the only comfort is in trusting myself...

take the gun

don't slow down

stop eating

stop breathing

die.

When I find my voice and shush my mind by screaming, it only withers away for a while. It flares up and again I am crying in the middle of a workday. I am anxious when I pee. I am sad when I eat. I am angry when I run. I am ALWAYS fucking FEELING something. AND when it's a good feeling, I do not trust it. I am in pain 24/7 and I feel like every lasting moment of happiness or peace is just a ticking time bomb until the next wave hits me.

I am trying to do the thing where I "stay positive" and put face masks on but, I really just want to put a face mask on my brain. Can I please purify my mind instead of my pores for a second?

I have to tell myself things that I don't hear other people say. What's it like to not cry every day?

How does it feel to not feel everything?

Is it amazing knowing you are loved?

How do I get to where you are when I have an anchor around my neck making sure I drown, even when I try to swim.

I fight to stay alive and I am tired.



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