The Best Three Months ( A Plan to Get the Most out of January-March)

 I personally want to CHALLENGE you to get the most of out of the next three months of your life! I have an idea that want to pitch to you and I truly want to see how it impacts your joy, contentment, relationships, health goals, and overall well-being.

I will share more about the challenge at the end of this post, but first, I want to give you a little bit of the background so that you understand where this is coming from.


FALL: October thru December, my favorite time of year. My birthday is on September 30th and every year, I feel as if my birthday kicks off my favorite season of each calendar year. Fall brings beautiful weather, the gorgeous views of nature as the leaves change color, football, the World Series, pumpkin everything (which I love), dressing up in silly costumes for Halloween, Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday), the Christmas season with all the movies, songs, and lights, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, family gatherings, and beautiful church services. New Year's Eve and Day are the grand finale, signifying the end of the Fall season and the beginning of a new year.

 However, if I'm being honest. January through March just doesn't feel that sexy or exciting. You know what I mean? Its back to the grind, the norm. Its cold. Its wet. Its grey. It feels like the week back at work after you go on that beach vacation. Except, instead of a week, its at least three months, if not more.

I've been telling my family for the last couple of years that I truly love October-December, that its my favorite time of year. At the same time, I've jokingly remarked how what follows (the start of the New Year and those first few winter months) is the least desirable time of year.


As I prepared to start 2024, I began to pray about things that I might consider altering, changing, or beginning. I ask God every year for a fresh vision to start the new year. I realize God can speak into us at anytime and resolutions can be made at any moment of the year, but I think the new year is always a natural reminder of doing some self-reflection, praying, and earnestly looking at how to better ourselves.

Specifically, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to know Him more and know how to better serve and glorify Him.

As I prayed, the Holy Spirit revealed to me about how I do a disservice to God, myself, and others by assuming that January-March will be boring, dull, unfulfilling, and not as "great" as the Fall season. And truthfully, I'm a pretty positive and joyful person. I can have a blast, enjoy life, and grow at any point in the year. But, with that said, I also have operated with the assumption that the best time of year is the last three months of it, not the first three. 

Why is that a bad thing?

I believe that if I go into a year assuming the status quo, not the best, or having low expectations, then I can easily miss out on amazing opportunities to grow, get stronger mentally and physically, to love and serve others, and to live life with great joy!!


God laid it on my heart to actively look at ways in which I can make January through March the best three months of the year. As I pondered and prayed about it, He revealed to me some ways that I can focus on making more out of these months. And, I want to share this with you!

With that said, this isn't about being self-serving. God is always on the move and working. We should have joy in all circumstances and ultimate contentment in Him. The reality is that the challenge I'm going to share with you for these next three months is something I recommend looking at doing ALL YEAR LONG. However, I specifically want to encourage it these months to help get this year kickstarted. Please know that this idea is still a work in progress, but I'd really like you to help me develop it more as we try some things out this year!


I want you to focus on developing your HEART, SOUL, MIND, and BODY.

You are gonna do some things that will work each of those muscles. In doing so, I think you will be more fit mentally, physically, and spiritually. Thus, I think you will be happier. Instead of a tree, turkey, or pumpkin spice drink to bring you joy, you will find that joy in living out your purpose and becoming a better version of yourself.

Here's what I'm going to challenge you to do in each department:

1. HEART: Each month, take a different focus and try a weekly challenge. Here is what I am going to do. January will be focused on JOY. February will be focused on LOVE. March will be focused on DISCIPLINE. 

Each week of January, I am planning to take 1 hour to do something that brings me great joy. This isn't going to be a part of my regular routine or a frequent hobby. I am going to write down some things and get creative, but I plan to look at things like taking my family on a day trip out of town, spending a whole day on a long hike in the woods, attending a live sporting event or concert, or going out with my wife to see a comedy show.

Each week of February, I am planning to do 1 special act of love for someone. Again, this will be something outside of my regular routine. I often make coffee for my wife. That won't count for this challenge. It needs to be something different, outside the norm. I will plan to do something different each week of the month and for a different person each time.

For the entire month of March I will focus on setting aside a habit for the whole month. For me, I am leaning toward not listening to the radio or my phone while driving alone the whole month. If you have a destructive, unhealthy, or unproductive habit, this may be a good opportunity to leave it behind in March. I am going to vow to leave that habit out of my life for the month. The idea is that I will replace that habit with something more healthy or productive. My goal is to pray and listen to God while in my car alone. This idea goes along nicely with the season of Lent.

Each of these monthly focuses will change our heart and fill it with better things!

2. SOUL: This is about reading and feeding. Feed yourself key wisdom, powerful motivation, and uplifting encouragement. Pick both a book and podcast that is uplifting, challenging, and motivating. Read to learn, grow, and put into action the things that you read. As a Christian, I am committing to reading a book each of these months, listening to a new podcast each of these month, but also continuing my daily practice of reading scripture every single day and praying that God would speak to me in this experience.

The idea is that your soul will be fed and refreshed, making you stronger and wiser and able to feed others.

3. MIND: This is all about winning the war with the mind, getting out of our ruts and destructive patterns of negative thought. We will do this by keeping things fresh!

Each week from January through March, I will do something NEW! I will try new foods, visit new places, take different routes to work, run different routes, eat at a new restaurant, meet someone new, etc..

The idea here is that I do not simply repeat the same old patterns of my life, but that I get new perspective, experiences, and spice things up a bit.

4. BODY: This is about training and developing new habits, but at the same time using exercise as a challenge and possibly as a way to raise awareness or funds for a great cause! 

I am already a runner and weight lifter. I exercise at least 10 different times a week already. I realize some of you may not exercise at all. That's okay. You don't have to be where I am right now. Take those baby steps. You can do it.

In addition to what I already do, I am planning to take up a different exercise challenge each month. You can also try these same challenges with me, or you can pick something that better fits you.

In January, I will be doing 300 minutes of planks during the month. That's 10 minutes a day!

In February, I will be doing 22 pushups a day. 22 specifically to bring awareness to the problem of Soldier Suicide. The statistic is that 22 current or former service members take their own life every day.

In March, I will be doing 100 crunches a day. 

My goal is to strengthen my core. That's why I chose the exercises I did. I also will be bringing awareness to a few causes that are near and dear to my heart through the exercise challenges.


Summed up for January-March: 

1. Do Something New Every Week (Mind)

2. Read a new challenging and/or uplifting book each month (Soul)

3. Listen to a new challenging and/or uplifting podcast each month (Soul)

4. In January, take one hour each week to do something that brings you great joy. (Heart)

5. In February, do one special act of love for someone. (Heart)

6. In March, set aside one habit and replace it with something healthy and productive. (Heart)

7. In January, do 300 minutes of planks (Body)

8. In February, do 22 pushups a day (Body)

9. In March, do 100 crunches a day (Body)

* The Key to this all.......10. Commit to Reading Scripture and Praying every single day (Heart, Soul, Mind, and Body)

I realize this could seem daunting, or maybe its not entirely your cup of tea (or coffee for us java freaks). That's okay. Feel free to tinker with this a bit to fit your schedule or needs. However, I do think this is a great start and could really help you get the most out of these next three months.

Each week, ask yourself these questions and I encourage you to journal your thoughts about your experience. 

-What went good this week?

-What did I learn this week?

-How am I growing?

I would love to also get your feedback. As I flesh out this idea on paper, it continues to grow. I fully expect by this time next year that the idea will be more refined and offer more challenges for growth. I hope and pray that you have your best three months over the course of the next 90 days. However, I hope it doesn't stop there. I hope you'll realize how much more you want to grow and your April-December will be filled with amazing new experiences and challenges too.

If you'd like to know more about my inspiration for the way I set up this challenge, check it out below.

My inspiration for this design comes from Deuteronomy 6:5, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." and Matthew 22:37-40, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

The Old Testament passage is known as the Shema. The Shema was and is a central to the Jewish people in their relationship with God. Jesus affirmed the importance of the command and prayer in the New Testament. He said all the law and prophets depend on this command! 

If we live according to this command, we live out our purpose in God, we experience true joy, and we become the person God created us to be (the best version of ourselves).

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