By: Hollie Kowalski
Encompass Outreach Coordinator
If you are anything like me, you started 2023 with a short list of big goals, maybe a resolution or two, much anticipation about a fresh start going into the new year, a bit melancholy about the quick passing of time and some feelings of disappointment over the setbacks and unmet expectations of the year prior.
As we conclude this year, I’m choosing to focus on finishing well in preparation for a fabulous start to 2024. I invite you to join me! I believe a few great ways we can end the year well are...
By: Joe Kowalski
Owner/CEO Empowered Community Services
Most everyone can remember the panic, sudden jolt, and jarring pain of hitting the ground after their friend jumped off the teeter totter when we were kids.
Or that time when you were in a hurry to get home with the groceries. You’re late, it’s raining, and instead of making three trips into the house with the groceries in the rain, you try to carry all 37 bags at one time, only to slip on the pavement sending a week’s worth of groceries all over the garage floor.
What about this one? You are up against a deadline at work, going on 4 hours of sleep and you get a call at 5:30p from your spouse demanding “where are you?” With everything going on, you forgot to update your calendar with the kids’ recital that you are now going to miss.
These lessons on gravity, imbalance, and regret are hard to forget. Unbalanced objects, whether they be playground equipment, people, or the expectations of others, will always fall.
My wife and I have four children (3 high schoolers still at home,) a new grandson, 3 dogs, and I run my own small business. The demands on my time are many and balance becomes more and more difficult to maintain. By my own admission, I have a lot of work to do when it comes to balance in my life, but the following are a few pieces of advice I’ve come to cherish on this exceedingly difficult subject.
By Kermit Rowe
Encompass Relationship Facilitator
If you are looking for objective, empirical evidence that physical fitness leads to marital happiness and endurance, you’ll be looking long and hard. There just isn’t much out there.
But observation and personal experience offer plenty of evidence that it does. Focus On The Family, one of the preeminent marriage ministries of the 20th and 21st centuries, offers this in a recent article: “Exercise isn’t the answer to every marriage issue, but it will help you to bond on a new level and establish invaluable disciplines, such as perseverance and goal-setting, that can help combat marital fatigue.”
By: Hollie Kowalski, Encompass Outreach Coordinator
At first, I thought it had to be an error. After triple checking my planner, I happily accepted it as our reality. A whole day off! No events, no appointments, no practices, no rushing! WOOHOO!! But, THEN my mind immediately goes to my to-do list: order groceries, hand wash the delicates, clean the bathroom, prepare a lesson for my small group, start planning next weeks schedule, shop for Easter baskets… Ugh! (Insert hand over face emoji here.) My brain needs an “off” switch!
By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
January means many of us are feeling the pressure to set resolutions! We begin each year setting lofty, vague and often unattainable goals for ourselves that end up failing by the time the Superbowl airs! But what if we flipped the script and instead of setting goals for new things to do we set an anti-resolution: a commitment to stop doing something. You might be thinking that’s what you always do…
I’m gonna work out every day. I’m gonna write in my journal every day. I’m gonna stop smoking.
But these are all new goals to achieve and can often turn from inspiring to overwhelming quickly. An anti-resolution is ultimately identifying the things that need to change in your life and stopping the behavior that no longer serves you.
Here are a few to consider in 2022:
1. Stop saying ‘Yes’. If you find yourself regularly overwhelmed, overly busy and exhausted this may be one you need to practice. One rule that has helped me in this area is the reminder that every ‘yes’ I give is a ‘no’ to something else. So anytime I’m asked to do something I think through what thing I would be saying no to and weigh if it’s worth it. For example: if I’m asked to join a committee that meets weekly, I’m saying ‘no’ to a minimum of four dinners a month with my family. Sometimes the answer will still be yes but it’s a better-informed yes.
By Abby Glaser
For many of us the new year brings reflection and reevaluating of goals and priorities. A new year brings a new slate to determine what we do and who we will be. My family finds ourselves looking at this more than usual as we’ve lost two family members already in the new year. There are few experiences in life that will force you to evaluate your own legacy than losing a loved one. What will be said about you in your eulogy?
By Lavern Nissley
So, it's been a week since 2019 launched. Many people resolve to make major changes and transformations in light of starting a fresh, new year. Lose 40 pounds. Save $10,000 for some necessary expense. Read 50 books.
Is there a secret to making and keeping ambitious resolutions? What is the silver bullet that unlocks productivity and the achievement of goals that most people back away from? It's way simpler than you may imagine!
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.