Another New Year! Wow, it seems like only yesterday it was January 1st, 2015 and now wham bang it is January 2016 – how does this happen?! A New Year sure comes around mighty quick! As much as I wish each year did not turn about quite so fast I do have to say I love how the start of something new is filled with expectations and hopes of what is to come. We have a fresh new 365 days all wrapped up new ready for us to unpack and live out the best version of us we can be. This is great if you ask me, kind of like a second chance to have a crack at making the days ahead all we want them to be. Especially true if we feel disappointed with the previous year.
I have realised over recent years that there are a number of helpful questions to reflect on before a new year takes over. So each year I set aside time to reflect, journal and pray not only about the year ahead but the year gone. To just roll into a new year and not reflect increases the potential of missing some of what we needed to see about the last year. The rich lessons or sense of how God was with us, what we achieved, and what we are thankful for. Taking stock before moving forward allows us to then address anything left hanging, let go of that which needs surrendering, celebrate what the year was and move on ready for another 365 days!
I want to share with you five questions I reflect on to help me process a year to then healthy let it go to fully take hold of a new year. Depending on the type of year some of these can be harder to answer than others e.g. if it was a difficult year then it can feel like there were no highlights. I have found by taking the time to think I discover answers for each even in really difficult years.
1.) What were five highlights?
2.) What were my disappointments or regrets over the last year?
3.) What are ten things I am grateful for right now about the last 365 days?
4.) What were some of the lessons I learnt last year?
5.) What were the major themes that ran throughout a significant part of my life in the last year?
Thought provoking? I hope so!
My New Year Challenge To You
My friend, before you gather momentum too much further into 2016 I would like to invite you on a journey, to take stock of the last year – no matter how hard or how awesome it may have been, take the time. There is a richness to be discovered by doing so that will allow you to position yourself stronger and more ready for the year ahead.
I believe you owe it to yourself as you steer your life into another year to first slow down and reflect. You will be blessed to see how much God was with you and what you have gained that you can take with you into 2016. This is especially important when people have had a difficult year, I often hear people say “so glad to forget that year” yet within each year God walks with us and there are things to process and lessons to learn before moving on.
This year I want to introduce a new part to the blog – that is a weekly journal assignment! The purpose being to encourage each of us to seek God about what is shared and to process it in the context of our own life. This helps growth and takes us from merely reading words and going “uh, yes I agree” to “uh, yes this is how it applies to me and what I will do about it”.
This week, make an appointment with yourself and ask the five questions above – think through them, write down your thoughts and process enough so that you can glean what is of value.
Next week I am looking forward to sharing some thoughts about setting our dreams/goals for 2016
Until next time,
PS – in case you missed it, here is the New Year Declaration