“Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened.” (Genesis 1:14-15 NLT)
Although I rarely make New Year’s resolutions, a new year is the beginning of a new season and an important time to reflect. At the beginning of a new year I like to reflect on the events the previous year, recommit to the vision that God has given me, and revise my goals. Here is what I do:
Reflect. I reflect on the events of the previous year by creating a list of the major events that I would consider accomplishments, miracles/unexpected blessings, and challenges. I am always amazed and thankful when I consider God has been involved in each one of the items on my list. Even in the challenges, I have found that God was weaving them into my life to build character and faith.
Recommit. Next, I take time to pray and be quiet in God’s presence to allow Him to speak to me about the coming year. I recommit my life and my energy to fulfilling the vision that God has placed in my heart.
Revise. Then, I take some time to compare the list of highlights from the previous year to my vision and my goals. Oftentimes, the experiences I have had in the previous year illuminate new insights on my goals. For instance, my trip to Cambodia in October 2013 gave me many new insights and new ideas that are re-shaping some of my goals. Here are some questions I ask myself: a) Have I been true to my vision?, b) Am I moving forward on my goals?, and c) Has God opened up a new opportunity or closed a door in my life such that my goals need to be adjusted, updated, or revised?
Depending on the year, I may spend time over a period of days working in this. After I complete this process, I feel energized, enthusiastic, and filled with ideas for the new year.
How are you transitioning into this new season – 2014? If you don’t have a process, let me encourage you to try reflecting, recommitting, and revising.
“We need visions for larger things, for the unfolding and reviewing of worthwhile things.” ~ Mary McLeod Bethune
(I photographed this beautiful red and white amaryllis in my kitchen on December 30, 2013.)