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Loving January

For most of us, Winter is not our most well-received season. Perhaps January ranks as your least favorite month with the colder temperatures and threat of snow, ice and television overdose.

When your world is threatened by an evil intruder, like Winter, the best defense can be a good offense. What are you going to do to stave off cabin fever and enjoy January like it's the merry month of May? Plan ahead to make this your best cold-weather month ever.

The following are ten ideas about how to love January and make the most of it.

Idea 1: Visit a Container Store. Who couldn't use a little more organization in their house. Before a blizzard descends and traps you indoors, head out to a store that sells containers and other tools to help you get organized. Then, you can spend those bad weather days finally getting a handle on that unruly drawer, closet or room.

Idea 2: Make Someone a Basket of Goodies. Do you know someone who can't get out in the cold weather? Obtain a basket at a craft store and fill it up with things to make their Winter better. Include tea, jam, English muffins, a book of puzzles, one of my books (shameless plug), a blanket, a magazine, a devotional, etc. Your visit to them will probably be the best part of the gift for them and for you.

Idea 3: Buy a few Books. When God slows us down with a couple feet of snow or a hefty coating of ice on the roads, what better time to read a book. By having a few in the house, you don't have to worry about going out to get one as the storm approaches.

Idea 4: Get a Head Start on Taxes. One of my least favorite things about tax time is getting all the information together. Some of mine is hard copy and some is electronic. I like to take a day when I don't feel like braving the cold and just put it all together in one folder on my computer.

Idea 5: Pre-buy and Address Greeting Cards. Although I thought my Mom went round the bend when she started doing this, I now see the glory in it. You can look like the best friend, aunt, brother ever by always having the cards ready to go. Use sticky notes to arrange them by mailing date. When the time comes, you will be ready to launch.

Idea 6: Weed the Clothes Closet. If you're like most of us, you add to your clothes collection, but don't spend much time thinning the herd. Take one of these snowy mornings and separate clothes into three piles. Keep, donate and discard.

Idea 7: Take an Online Course. Many online courses are now free. Youtube is a starting point to find out "how to" do something you've always wanted to do.

Idea 8: Plan a Vacation. Before retirement, I can remember hurrying off to several vacations without much planning. While you are hanging out at home on a cold day, why not take your next vacation to the next level by identifying things you'd like to do once you arrive at your destination? Check out the fun things to do in the area where you will travel. It will give you something to look forward to in the Spring or Summer.

Idea 9: Set Up Indoor Exercise Opportunities. If you can't get out to the gym, set up some indoor exercises. There are lots of suggestions on the internet, just google home exercises. If you are feeling extra creative and have a several children around the house, create a family Olympics with several different physical events.

Idea 10: Catch Up On Prayer. When is the last time you prayed about everyone in your family or all of your friends? Why not spend an hour or two of your down time putting first things first.

I hope these ideas are helpful reminders for you. Don't get down when the temperatures plunge. Use the quiet times of the year to help someone else or position yourself for more success in 2018.

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