Here we go! We close a year and open another. Reflect on the past and look to the future. Flip the calendars. Out with the old, in with the new. Endings. New Beginnings. Full of hope.
My youngest daughter used to love playing 20 questions. It was always a fun game to help us detect what the other was thinking of. We would play at the end of a day just before bed. This activity helped us grow close and understand one another. Likewise, we would be enriched in asking [at least] 20 questions of our Creator before setting goals and forging ideas and plans.
We are created with purpose and meaning
It’s interesting how we can plan and set goals and yet in doing so fail or forget to look to the one who created us. It is only in seeking Him and learning of Him that we see who we truly are, what we are created for, and receive direction and purpose. It comes from the One who created us with purpose and knows the future. Purpose is a huge thing. It gives direction and meaning to life.
So, how will we spend the next 365 days? We get 24 hours a day, deposited into our daily time bank. And with it, His mercies new every morning. We are stewards of it, and sometimes not the best at the job…we spend it unwisely. We take His mercies and grace for granted and live as if they don’t matter. Praise God, we can also learn from the past and grow!
Be intentional in looking behind & forward
We need to be intentional, though, as we look ahead. A wise person learns from the past. So, before setting goals and chasing dreams spend some time reflecting on what is behind before sprinting ahead.
Grab paper and pen and let’s take an honest look at the last year. Ask the deep, serious questions. Since we are Spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, and relational beings, these should include all these areas to have a holistic approach to life. Every area affects the other.
Here are 20 suggested questions to start. Don’t get discouraged if reading over these you see great need for change or growth. Recognition of need is a vital part of success. Give it to God, ask forgiveness where needed, and allow Him to direct our steps and days. As a result, we are already on our way to growth.
- How is my prayer life? Does it show dependance on God?
- Do I prioritize God’s Word, reading it, meditating on it, studying it?
- Have I trusted God? What ways is this evidenced?
- Have I been a good steward of God’s gifts within me for His glory?
- Have I been a good steward of my finances?
- How intentional am I about how I spend my time?
- Am I spending too much time on social media, internet & electronics?
- Have I made eating healthy a habit?
- Do I get the appropriate amount of sleep each night?
- Do I take time to rest and recharge?
- Is my work productive?
- How do I stimulate my mind to keep it sharp?
- Is my thinking godly? Or is it more worldly?
- Is my family a priority? Am I serving them well?
- Have I met any new people this year?
- Am I connecting with the people God has put in my life?
- Are there relationships that need to be strengthened or taken deeper?
- How do I serve others?
- How do I stimulate or practice thankfulness in my life?
- Have I made anything or anyone an idol in my life?
This is not exhaustive by any means. However, it is a good start to help us evaluate our lives and seek to walk forward on God’s agenda.
What areas was there growth last year?
What areas need work and growth?
Any day can be a new start
The new year is a certainly great time to do this, but we begin a new day every day. And in that, there is possibility. Remember, any day you’re alive is a good day to begin. But the best time to start is today. The sooner begun, the longer we have to live a more joyful and purposeful life.
Lastly, remember the Lord’s mercies and put all hope in Him every day of the year. For He is the only hope that never fails. He is the author of it and the essence of it.
May 2020 be a year of seeking the Lord in all things, following His purposes for our lives…by His grace and for His glory!