Personal Growth

Fed Up With New School Year And Holiday Stress? 7 Ways How To Thrive And Finish 2022 With Intentionality And Purpose

Do you find yourself dreading the chaos that the upcoming months hold? In this post I’m going to share 7 ways how to go beyond surviving, but rather thrive, as we finish 2022 with intentionality and purpose!

As a mom of three, this is the time of year where life seems to speed up. Kids go back to school, schedules get crazy, and expenses go through the roof with school shopping, followed by the holidays.

I have learned that in life that WE MUST BE INTENTIONAL, in every season, if we are going to do more than survive. Jesus said that He came to give us life, and life more abundantly. That means that with Him, we can learn how to thrive, and finish up 2022 with intentionality and purpose!

Now that my kids are all in high school and middle school, I realize how quickly their years of living at home will go by. I refuse to spend the remainder of their years at home being stressed out and overwhelmed. I choose to thrive, and be intentional to live the abundant life available through Jesus.

How To Thrive In The Crazy Seasons

Life is never perfect and we all fall short and mess up everyday, but here are 7 ways how to thrive, even as an imperfect human in a hectic world.

1. Determine To Start The Day Right

There is a very real principle at work in the universe, that Scripture talks about often, both in the Old and New Testaments. Sowing and reaping. What we plant is what will grow. Even the secular world can’t deny this biblical truth, calling it “karma”.

We can determine to start our day by “planting” what we desire to “grow”. For followers of Jesus, there is NOTHING that can set us up for a better day than giving the first of it to God.

Spending time in the morning with our Creator, sets our minds and hearts on what truly matters. Waking up 30 minutes early to read Scripture and pray can bring more peace and purpose to the entire day than anything else.

Yes, our days may get crazy and often do not go as planned. However, when we start the day by sowing into our relationship with Jesus, we set ourselves up to handle the chaos much more effectively.

2. Write Out Your Priorities

There is something significant that happens when our priorities go from in our head, onto paper. We can’t help but acknowledge them.

 The Lord answered me:

Write down this vision;
clearly inscribe it on tablets
so one may easily read it

Habakkuk 2:2

Another translation of Habakkuk 2:2 says, to write the vision and make it plain so that the one who reads it can run with it. Don’t you love that? Write it out so you can can run with it.

What are the most important things to you? Your faith; quality time with your family; your health? Write them down.

Once you’ve written down your priorities, determine if your schedule confirms what is most important. So often life happens by default. We pick up and add “good things” to our schedule, and in doing so, we don’t have time or energy to do the most important things.

This happens so easily, especially in the new school year and during the holiday season. Our kids go back to school, start playing sports and begin after school activities. We get invited to all of the holiday things that are fun. But, when we say yes to something, that means that we are saying no to something else.

Evaluate what is missing in your life that is most important, and determine what needs to be done to make that a priority. (Here is a post where I go deeper into determining priorities, Jesus Called Her Out For Living Life Stressed Out. How To Be At Peace When You Feel Like You’re Drowning).

3. Prioritize Physical Activity

When I get busy and overwhelmed, one of the first things that I’m tempted to let go of is my exercise.

The reality is that during the crazy times, our exercise is even more important. Not only is it good for our physical health, but also our mental health.

The good news is that we don’t have to do an hour long, hard-core, workout to exercise. Find an activity that you enjoy and do that. I love to walk, and if I can at least get a walk in everyday, I know that is promoting health.

4. Eat Your Veggies (AND Cake Too!)

I believe that we can and should include our favorite foods in times of celebration. Where we get off track is when we turn Thanksgiving Day through New Years Day into a continuous food celebration, and neglect eating foods that actually promote health, and nourish our bodies.

Determine that for the majority of the time, you will prepare nourishing foods. I’ve found it to be very helpful to plan a week’s worth of meals at a time. (You can read more about that here, 7 Simple Ways To Make Family Dinners The Happiest Moments In Life).

When you eat well, you feel better. When you feel better, you are less likely to get stressed out, sick, and overwhelmed. And remember, when it comes to special celebrations, you can eat your veggies and cake too!

5. Commit To A Spending Plan

Our culture is notorious for spending money that we don’t have. Personal debt in America is at an all time high, and 77% of households have some kind of debt.

The new school year and holidays amplify this. There is pressure everywhere to overspend and continue to perpetuate the craziness.

Money is one of the leading causes of stress in the U.S. and money fights and money problems are a leading cause of divorce. Why do we keep feeding the beast of holiday overspending?

What if this year we decided to be realistic about what we have the ability to spend and stuck to it? Can you imagine how much less stress you would experience, if you decided ahead of time what you can afford to spend?

Gifts do not have to be things that we shop for. In fact, the most meaningful gifts almost always cost nothing or very little.

6. Choose Presence Over Perfection

Holidays can often bring out the worst in people. We have an ideal of what the holiday should look like, and of course it never is as perfect as we envision. Somehow in that chaos we miss the whole point; celebrating with the ones that we love.

Does anyone actually believe that we are perfect? No. Does the significance of the celebration get minimized if we don’t have a perfect day? No. Don’t set your standard at perfection. Roll with the punches and choose presence over perfection.

This new school year and holiday season, remember that being with the ones you love is of far greater value than trying to live up to a perfect ideal.

7. Practice Gratitude Every Day

Scripture talks so much about thanksgiving and gratitude. Gratitude has the ability to take the focus off of feeling sorry for ourselves, and instead feeling grateful for all that God has blessed us with.

The moment that you begin to feel overwhelmed, stop and say a prayer of thanksgiving. It will change your perspective.

Recently I shared a post all about gratitude, This Super Simple Gratitude Challenge Can Make Your Life Better! with a gratitude challenge and free PDF download (linked here).


This time of year has the potential to be full of joy, purpose, and intentionality. It also has the potential to be full of stress, overwhelm, and chaos.

This year, let’s choose to live the abundant life that Jesus offers us. Here are the 7 ways wow to thrive and finish 2022 with intentionality and purpose:

  • Determine To Start The Day Right
  • Write Out Your Priorities
  • Prioritize Physical Activity
  • Eat Your Veggies (AND Cake Too!)
  • Commit To A Spending Plan
  • Choose Presence Over Perfection
  • Practice Gratitude Every Day
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