A new year can make you feel like it’s time for a new you.
And so, 2018 has arrived and the older you are, the faster this new year is going to roll.
Some encouraging news is that you still have a small window of time to make sure you’ve gained full closure on the events and experiences from 2017. New years and new beginnings inspire us and that surge sparks fresh energy. But if you haven’t properly processed the past year, the unresolved things will linger. Before you know it, those are the very things that will work to crush your momentum and derail your focus.
Don’t let the “P” of the past get in the way of “P” of what’s possible in the new year! Here are ten ways that will help you bring closure to the past and prepare your heart for God’s best in the new year.
Understand where you’ve been. List what you’ve learned and how it impacts where you feel called to go. Accept that God is sovereign and that everything experienced in 2017 had a purpose that points to the future.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
Think deeply about the defining moments from the past year. Wait on God to show you the before and after affect on your thinking, being, and doing. Let yourself be grateful for each of them and the way they altered the direction of your life.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.~ Psalm 37:7
Take a truthful inventory of your heart. Ask God to show you the pleasing and not so pleasing parts. Reconcile the misses and determine to go forward with the power of the Holy Spirit as your guide.
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ~ Hebrews 12:10-11
Map the key decisions you made this past year and list the outcomes of each one. Check your motives behind whatever you accomplished. Accept responsibility for them and store what they taught you in the archives of Lessons Learned.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. ~ Ezekiel 36:25-27
Take a stand for what you want to continue to do and what you want to change. Exercise the power of your word and put into practice how you will daily honor it.
Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.~ Proverbs 16:3
Seek God’s Word, experts, or the feedback of wise leaders regarding the areas where you know you need to grow. Examine all the alternatives before putting plans into place. Investigate before you navigate.
if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man who grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man who was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:21-24
Create an outline for the year. Identify benchmarks and timelines for key goals and when you want to accomplish them. Then surrender all of it to God for His shaping and perfecting.
There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. ~ Proverbs 19:21
Bring order where it’s needed. Clean up and clear out the unnecessary things in your life. Simplify where possible and eliminate the clutter that’s prone to distract you.
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. ~ I Corinthians 5:7
Look to those you trust to hold you accountable. Ask them to collaborate with you on what you want to do in the new year. Invite them to refine you.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10: 24-25
Define your starting points as specifically as you can. Lean in and position for forward motion. Set the alarm for “GO” and be ready when it rings. Trust God to get you where He wants you to be.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11
And finally, I don’t think I could close this post with any greater encouragement than this from the Apostle Paul.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. ~ Philippians 3:13-14
May this be the year you fully experience God’s best work in you.
Discover what Christian Leadership Alliance has planned to help you kick start your leadership in 2018:
Outcomes Academy Online – Registration for the January session closes on January 5, 2018
Christian Leadership Alliance Webcast – Sign up now for the January 28 webcast on What’s Working: Breaking Down Successful Nonprofit Campaigns
The Outcomes Conference 2018 – Early registration closes on January 31, 2018
And then there are opportunities to grow through leadership programs at Biola University!