12 Habits You Need in 2016 (PART 2)

So if you missed PART 1 of this blog, here's a quick recap. I've learned so much this year, but these are the TOP 12 habits I'm carrying into the New Year to ensure I have  GREAT 2016. Each day I will share three habits until we reach the New Year. Here are yesterdays habits: 

  1. Discover the Gifts in You

  2. Overcome Your Fears

  3. Use What You Already Have

Now lets move on to the next three....

4. Love and Spend Time with Family - I used to be QUEEN of busy and spent more time with friends, business and ministry work than family. I could make a difference to the outside world but added no real value to my family. It really hit me when the Holy Spirit convicted me with this verse in the bible, "But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever," 1 Timothy 5:8. The past few months I've been working on developing a more solid relationship with my immediate family by spending more QUALITY TIME with them. It has made a HUGE difference. This Christmas my mom, stepdad, stepmom, dad, step grandparents, and step sister will all be celebrating Christmas this year as ONE. We've NEVER done this. But because of my desire, determination, and prayer to form a habit of loving my family and spending time with them, my family is finally coming together and I can testify that God is using me to make impact in my home. 

5. Reconnect with Lifetime Friends from the Past - Most people have no idea that I have 10 AMAZING best friends. My friendship with them goes beyond Facebook posts and I've known all of these people for more than 6-20 years. They know the deepest and darkest moments of my life and have shared some of the best memories with me. I hold them dear to my heart. These are friends that I don't talk to on a daily basis. However, when we do connect we pick right back up where we left off. Life has changed for us. Some are newly married, becoming doctors or lawyers, new parents, or just in a season of transition. There was a close friend from my past that I stopped talking to because of a silly thought of her being mad at me or disliking me. She was one of my VERY close friends in junior high, high school and early college days. I was even a bridesmaid in her wedding when she got married. She's what you call a LIFETIME friend. She reached out to me via text and I was a bit nervous to speak with her because we had gone almost three years without talking to one another, but I'm thankful I did. I admired her courage to reach out and ask, "What in the world is going on with us? Did I do something wrong?" She wasn't mad at me at all. She was just shocked that I seemed uninterested at her baby shower, but what she didn't know was I was going through emotional turmoil at the time and being the QUEEN of busy.  Don't be afraid to reconnect with someone whose always been good to you and be transparent on what's happening in your life! Rather than always focusing on making new friends and building new communities, and useless networking that ends up going nowhere; love on those LIFETIME friends from the past. I have MANY associates, but I do not confuse them as my LIFETIME close friends. Be sure to reconnect with those friends from the past. You never know the joy it may bring to you. 

6. Develop and Define Solid Relationships - I mentioned that I have many associates. I meet new people everyday and it's important to remember that although everyone is not a LIFETIME close friend, your associates deserve your love and attention as well. It can be hard and extremely time consuming to keep up with everyone. This is why I had to begin defining my relationships with people so I can know how to prioritize my time with them. I'm about to be a married woman so learning to PRIORITIZE is a pretty big deal especially when it comes to TIME. I value my time and where I spend my time more than I do money because you can't buy time back. I prioritize my relationships this way: 

  1. God

  2. My Family

  3. My Fiancee (He will be number 2 once we get married and children #3 once we have them!)

  4. My mentors and counselors (spiritual and business)

  5. My close LIFETIME friends

  6. My ministry communities (people I serve)

  7. Business associates (people I work with or do business with and I serve them also)

  8. Newbies (folks that just entered my life and I'm getting to know)

You may be wondering why I defined my relationships this way and in this order. Easy answer.... God instructs for me to love him with all my heart, soul and strength so God for sure is my #1. My family is #2 until I become ONE with my husband. I'm learning to grow and build with him so he is definitely going to be my #3 as I'm preparing for our next chapter. I seek wise counsel from my pastor, spiritual counselors/mentors and business coaches before I go to anyone else. Life has taught me that you can't always trust friends to be your counselors which is why mentors and counselors get #4. My close LIFETIME friends are the people I call on when I need a shoulder to lean on, the first I would call if I needed to borrow money, the first one's to hear about my dreams and I practically share everything about my life with them. My ministry friends are people that could potentially become lifetime friends, but yes I'm cautious because the people I've been burned by the most are those "church folks!" I love all of them dearly, however I've learned over time that everyone in your ministry community may not be ready to handle your deeply rooted issues and may not be ready or equipped to go down on their knees in TRUE PRAYER for you. That's why I share with my pastor, mentors and counselors. I do business with a TON of people and I love it, but I also had to learn when to turn OFF business mode. Business relationships can either forever be business or lead into a ministry opportunity. I've even had some business associates become coaches to me. You just never know where this category could go which is why I had to change my mindset of looking at people as more than just business transactions. Now, I meet newbies daily especially online and I carve out a special time for 1-2 a week otherwise I would be boggled down trying to keep up with the new people I meet online. 

If there is anything you take away from 12 Habits You Need in 2016 (PART 2)..... Love your family, reconnect with lifetime friends and develop and define your relationships! Stay tuned for more and be sure to LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE.