I love New Years. It is a great opportunity to reflect on the past year and make plans for the future. I believe it is important to assess where I am and where I am going…and compare that to where I think I am and where I want to be. Sometimes our reality doesn’t line up with what we hoped. But the New Year is a perfect time to get back on track!
It seems that more and more people hate making New Year’s resolutions. And maybe that’s a good thing. The typical resolution is vague and unattainable. However, I believe one would do well to prepare themselves for the new year…to get to a place where you can be totally available to God.
Here are some suggestions for getting ready for 2012 – these are things I intend to follow. (Please feel free to comment with some of your own tips!):
1) Reflect on 2011. Remember the highs and lows, lessons learned, mistakes made, greatest blessings, moments of joy, moments of sadness.
2) Pray. Thank God for all He did in 2011. Ask for healing and/or wisdom for the things that didn’t work as you hoped. Ask for guidance for the coming year.
3) Listen. Hear what God has to say to you about the next year. This is important – His plans for YOU are unique to YOU.
4) Make lists. Call them goals, projects, resolutions, to-do’s…whatever. Write down what God showed you to focus on this year.
5) Create an action plan. Lists don’t do themselves….ideas don’t just happen into existence. Develop a HOW to your WHAT.
6) Partner with the right people. Some life changes require us to invite others along the journey. Getting into shape might have a greater success rate with a personal trainer or exercise buddy. Problems in your marriage may need a counselor. Spiritual growth can be encouraged with an accountability or prayer partner. Team up with people who support your efforts.
7) Smile at the future. Moving forward with a positive attitude will make the process of living easier, more enjoyable and more fruitful. Simple as that!
8) Trust God and obey. Be available for new directions or for plans to shape up differently than you imagined. Be teachable, correctable, humble. Allow God to work…and allow yourself to be surprised and awed by His presence in your life.
Between now and New Year’s I will be posting some more ideas and resources to help you plan for 2012…as well as a look into my own preparation. Check back soon!