Hey guys, welcome to December 🙂
Let me cut to the chase. At the end of last year I wrote a summary of what I learned. So this year, I want to share 3 key things that I propose we should all do before the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. Let’s go!
1. Reflection: Celebrate your accomplishments and learn from your shortcomings
Please please please don’t be so hard on yourself. Whilst you may not have ticked off absolutely everything on your 2017 To Do List, you’ve still got a lot to celebrate. Some of us can be our own biggest critics and as much as self evaluation and introspection are both necessary exercises, we also need to simultaneously cheer ourselves on. You reading this today have achieved so much this year and if you would only be still to purposefully reflect on your 2017 accomplishments, I’m sure you’ll be stunned. God has carried you through so much from January to December and for that you should be thankful. Celebrate yourself for the lives you’ve impacted, the goals you have ticked off, the foundations you’ve started to build, the boundaries you’ve pushed, the fond memories you’ve created, the projects you’ve worked on, the trials you’ve conquered and so much more.
Alongside celebration comes learning from our mistakes. Some define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So if we want a different outcome, we need to work out what went wrong and how we can improve. It’s okay to make mistakes, perfectionism doesn’t exist amongst us. What is far more important is how we respond and move forward from our mistakes. Wasting time beating ourselves up about what we cannot change from our past is just mismanagement of our time in the present and can detrimentally impact our future. What have you learned from the mistakes you’ve made this year and how can you avoid such shortcomings in the future? I encourage you all to seriously think about it.
“As a dog returns to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his foolishness.” – Proverbs 26:11
2. Cleansing: Forgiveness will heal your hardened heart
I’ve spoken about the importance of forgiveness a few times already on my blog and today is no different, my message is still forgiveness is freedom! If you haven’t read that blog post yet, then why not!? Just joking lol, but I honestly think it will open your mind so much, definitely give it a quick read.
Essentially, you don’t want to carry the burdensome dead weight of “unforgiveness” into your New Year. It’s not always easy to forgive from your heart and we can mask forgiveness through the dangerous coping mechanisms that I mentioned here:
“Forgiveness is not loving someone from a distance because when you get close to them you’re reminded of the hurt they caused you. Forgiveness is not feeling bitter every time you hear someone’s name or you’re reminded of a painful situation. Forgiveness is not pretending something never happened or that you are unbothered. Forgiveness is not secretly wishing for revenge or for a person’s comeuppance. Forgiveness is not being emotionally dead. All of these coping mechanisms are actually unforgiveness in disguise and it’s a dangerous way to live life.” – Forgiveness = Freedom, Wunms
Try your hardest not to carry this pain into 2018. If anyone comes to mind that you harbour negative feelings towards because you wronged them or they wronged you, I implore you to ask God to help you to sincerely forgive them and let it go once and for all. In the same way that God forgives us on a daily basis for our sins, we too must soften our hearts and humble ourselves to forgive those around us. (Matt. 6:14-15)
Then once the weight is off your shoulders, watch yourself flourish.
3. Planning & Preparation: Start (right now!) as you mean to go on…
Last but certainly not least is prep. I’ll hold my hands up because I’m guilty. I love writing lists, I love setting goals, I love thinking about my future and how exciting it’s going to be. It makes me feel accomplished and happy with myself just coming up with ideas. But the older I get the more I am realising that writing things down and thinking positively about my aspirations is just not enough. We need to be doers and not just dreamers, you know?
So the challenge is to plan and prepare for the future through our actions and not just words. What physical steps can you actually take right now to pave the way for success in 2018? Do you need to clean up your space or declutter? Do you need to make an investment? Do you need to quit a bad habit or form a better habit? Will you listen to God when He says yes or no, go or stay? Whatever it is, start today. Too often we are pressured into setting these fickle New Years Resolutions or goals on December 31st to commence from January 1st and I truly believe that we’re selling ourselves short. Today is December 2nd, if you get the ball rolling today, you’ll be a whole month ahead. There is still plenty of time to action your goals before the year ends, even if the goals are concerning the following year. And remember that whatever is laid on your heart to achieve, God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than this, so think BIG! (Eph 3:20)
What do you want to accomplish in the last month of the year? What are your goals for next year? I’d love to know, please share them in the comments down below and we’ll continue the discussion 🙂
God bless you!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5