Practical Hack To Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet: Take Control Of Your Every Day

Forget making resolutions. There is a better strategy!

Hello world! Hello 2021!

In this year’s first blog post, I am here in the hopes of encouraging you to have your best year yet in the easiest, most possible way (read: NOT resolution-making). But before that, let me chitchat a little bit (it will be worth it, I promise!).

How are you all doing? If you were to ask me, I’m ok. Just ok. No highs. No lows.

New Year usually starts on a high note, where people jot down their resolutions and are all pumped up to pursue them. I am like that too usually. This year, however, I do not have that drive. I feel like I’m in a plateau.

I’ve been working from home since March 2020 – that’s about two months shy of a year! I have all my needs delivered – groceries, food, milk tea, light bulbs, you name it. Thanks to the evolving convenience of online shopping. The uncertainty of whether or not we will go back to normal in 2021 makes me think that planning big goals and resolutions this year might end up useless (just like how most of are plans at the start of 2020 plummeted to the ground).

The pandemic is the best plan pooper.

As the first days of 2021 roll, I feel God continuously stir my heart to still make small plans, but in a slow and steady manner. Last weekend, I listed four things that I need/want to accomplish on that particular day.

My list included: read the Bible, clean the house, create Powerpoint slides for our church group’s virtual holiday party, and attend the virtual holiday party.

The next day (Sunday), I created another list. It included: read the Bible, hear virtual Holy mass, take an afternoon nap, and watch three episodes of K-drama.

At the end of these two days, I felt really accomplished. I looked back at my list, and all the items were checked off.

To-do lists create a vision and a specific guide to help steer the day in the right direction.

I remember doing the same thing when Van and I first moved in to our own place. There was so much to do! Apply for an Internet/cable/phone line, change our address in all our IDs, work, insurance, school… Ah, the pain. I was so overwhelmed. I remember clustering all my to-dos into small, specific tasks – one or two tasks per day. I did not notice that every thing on my big list was fulfilled in less than a month!

Let me ask you something, how do you spend the twenty-four hours given to you daily? Do you realize how powerful these hours are if only you make every minute or second count?

No matter what goal, habit or aspiration you are trying to reach, it is attained one day at a time. Focus on what you can do NOW. While it is good to plan months or years ahead, don’t allow yourself to drown in that overwhelming ocean of uncertainties.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

It is also equally important to warn you about the past – whatever mistake or setback you commited is all behind you now.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. (Isaiah 43:18)

Big accomplishments come from small beginnings. I encourage you now to take control of your every day so you can achieve the grand dreams God planted in your heart. List your big goals, and break them down into small daily tasks. Remember, no to-do is too small (just look at my mundane list last weekend). With this, every day that passes is a step you take towards that dream.

Taking one step every day is an accomplishment of its own.

See to it that when you look back on your day, you can say that you triumphed over it.

What does it mean to have victory over your day? It’s spending it as if it is the first and last day of your life – enthusiastic and meaningful.

Can you do it? Are you ready to take control or your day, instead of it controlling you? I sure hope you are. This year, make a record of having 365 of your most productive and fruitful days ever!

May God bless your days, desires and dreams this 2021!

See you in the next one!

<3,

Rina

When God Asks You Put Something Down, Believe That He Has Something Better

There are things in life that we have a strong grip on – a job, a person, luxury material possessions. We hold these things dear to our hearts as if life depends on it. They have become idols, and at times, the center of our lives.

If you have such bondages, be warned. Know that anything that keeps us away from putting God first is dangerous.

God thinks these things can distract us from being the best we can be. Because he loves us so much, He takes them away one by one, especially if it starts to take a toll on us.

Like a True Father

Imagine a father cutting off his child’s gadget time. The child loves the gadget so much and plays it nonstop. The father knows the gadget gives happiness to his child, but he is also fully aware that it can distract from studies, duties, and many other more important things. While it pains the father to see his child sad, he still uses his authority and take it away.

It’s because he knows that in the long run, it is for the best.

The child does not get it at first. He questions his father’s ways. Does my father really love me? If he really loves me, why does he take away things I like? Why can’t he allow me to be happy?

Be Alert For Red Flags

Like a true parent, God sometimes uses warning signs too – first, second and final warnings.

Initially, He might send a person to talk us out of our obsessions. He might orchestrate a circumstance to make us walk away from danger. Later on, He might stir our conscience and disturb us so dramatically, the message suddenly becomes so loud and clear:

PUT IT DOWN, CHILD.

His Voice, Our Call

But then again, God can only do so much. I mean, He is all powerful and can make all things possible, but He also gives us free will. The final decision still lies within us. Should we heed the call, or ignore it?

Be very careful during these times of discernment. It is when the enemy is strongly present. He will try to lure us away from God’s plan. He might persuade us into thinking that holding on to our bondages is not that bad.

Remember, a cheap present that’s wrapped in shiny paper and fancy ribbons does not change its value. It remains rubbish.

For example, a job that tolerates vices. I know of someone who used to work in a gambling-related account of a big company. Compensation was hefty, benefits were attractive, and location of work was very convenient. At first, he thought it was ok. But God continuously stirred his heart. He made a decision to look for other jobs, and with God’s grace, he landed in another position that’s way better and more helpful to society.

You see, when we decide to follow God’s instructions, no matter how painful and difficult it might be, He will equip us.

Stop Looking For Trash And Go After Real Treasures

One more point before I end this. Let me share with you the Parable of the Rich Fool. For those who are not familiar, here’s the full passage from Luke 12:16-21:

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Notice that the “fool” in this story is a rich man who has everything. He might have worked all his life to build up earthly riches and obsessed himself into working and working. Clearly, his focus was on his treasures. What did God do? Take his life away that very night.

Don’t let that “fool” be you today. Be receptive to God’s voice and act on it. Walk away from that relationship that’s dragging you down, uninstall that social media app that constantly wastes your time, release the unforgiveness in your heart, and give up controlling everything. Let go, friend, let go.

When God asks you to put something down, believe with all your heart that He has something better for you.

Happy new year, my dear readers! I hope this first blog post for the year has inspired you to look for nothing else but God’s best plan for you this 2020.

2019 was great as it was when I finally decided to go back into blogging. I hope to reach out to more beautiful souls and spread God’s love through my writings and musings.

See you in the next!

❤️,

Rina