New Year Planning , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Reasons to Prepare for the New Year

Hey guys,

I’m back with another post about getting ready for the new year. (You can either watch the video or skip below if you prefer to read).

https://youtu.be/9C7sXUpPr1A

I’m one of those super future-focused people so I’ve been thinking about next year since around the end of October (no kidding). And I’m not saying it’s necessarily good to be like that. Being so future-focused isn’t always a good thing because I feel it can cause you to miss out on today because you’re so focused on tomorrow.

But January is just around the corner so it’s definitely time to start thinking about next year if you haven’t already. It’s good to plan and prepare. You shouldn’t wait until next year to decide what to do next year. Well, I guess you could do that, and it’s better late than never. But it’s also better early than late 🙂

Proverbs 24:27 says: Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house (NLT).

We want to build in this coming year. We want to develop. We want to grow and achieve. And the Bible is telling us that those things are good, but before you build, you need to plan and prepare.

So here are my 3 Reasons to prepare for the New Year:

1. Hit the ground running

Thorough preparation enables you to hit the ground running. I’ll give you a personal example of this. I’ve decided I want to share what I learn from my daily Bible reading with you guys next year using videos. I want to move away from blogging because I’m not very good at it, so I’ll be trying video blogs. So, daily Bible reading starts on January 1st. Now if I wait until January 1st to get started I’ll be behind because I would’ve done no preparation. I wouldn’t have bought a good enough camera, I wouldn’t have bought a camera tripod stand, and I wouldn’t have learned basic video editing. But I’ve been thinking about it and getting all the necessary gadgets together since October so I’m better prepared. And when January 1st comes around I can hit the ground running instead of wasting time trying to figure everything out.

So think about it. What do you need to do? Prepare for it now and put things in place so that you can just cut to the chase and get started.

2. Momentum

We all want to turn our lives around in the New Year. We all want next year to be amazing. We all want it to be a year of destiny, deliverance, promotion, progress. We all want to make positive changes next year. But here’s a news flash: We don’t have to wait for next year before we make positive changes. We can start experiencing deliverance and promotion and progress right now. The 1st of January really is no different to any other day. We can reflect now and start making positive changes right now and then when January rolls around we already have momentum.

3. Preparation is Positioning

But guess what? Lack of preparation is also positioning. Every action you take or don’t take is positioning. Lack of preparation is positioning you to stay on that hamster wheel that is going nowhere. To stay on that rocking chair and that treadmill, generating motion but no change of location, no transportation to anything new. Plenty of motion but no movement, no growth. Just the same old rhythm and the same old place spiritually, physically, healthwise, maritally, career-wise. Your preparation will determine your position. You either prepare and thereby position yourself for new and positive things, or you fail to prepare and position yourself for the same old status quo.

The choice is yours.

So those are three reasons to prepare for the new year. I hope you they’ve inspired you to get preparing. I’ll be back soon with another post on how to prepare for the new year. I’ve just told you why; next I’ll tell you how 🙂

God bless xx

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New Year Planning: 6 Questions to Review the Outgoing Year

Hey guys, hope you’re all well!

It’s that time of year where we’re looking forward to a new year, so I’ve been doing a lot of planning and goal setting (since October actually – I know, I’m strange, ha ha). But I really believe in planning. It’s so important. We want next year to be better than this year, and in order to make that happen, we have to be intentional.

I’ve recorded a video about reviewing the year/new year planning, but if you prefer to read text continue reading below the video 🙂

https://youtu.be/75b7pKbp7y0

Whether this year has been good, or not so good, we want next year to be better. We want to make progress, spiritually, maritally, career-wise, with our kids, in our ministries, in our health.

But, before planning for next year, it’s important to first reflect on this year. If you want to go somewhere, if you want to move forward you first need to know where you are right now. Your satnav (GPS if you’re American 🙂 ) can only tell you where to go because it knows your current location. And you need to know your current location if you want to move forward. You need to take some time to reflect.

It’s important to look back, and I think looking back has negative connotations among Christians because we’re thinking of Lot’s wife who looked back, but there are certain situations where looking back is not only okay, it’s essential.

For example, when you’re driving, you definitely need to be forward focused, but you need to use your rearview mirror from time to time before you make decisions about whether to switch lanes, turn a corner, or reverse. And that’s what reflection does. You’re giving yourself the opportunity to work out what road you’re on and what destination you’re heading towards. Then you can decide whether to switch lanes or even reverse and turn around.

In Haggai 1:5-7 the bible says: Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!

And that’s what we want to do. Now is the time, as this year rolls out, to take a moment and work out where you are, how you got there and what to do about it; whether to switch lanes, back up or stay on course.

So, here are some questions to aid your self-reflection and your reflection on this outgoing year. They’ve been useful for me, so I hope they’re useful for you too.

But before we get to the questions let me just say, this isn’t supposed to turn into a pity party, or make you sink into depression. The purpose of this exercise is to help you move forward. Whatever happened this year is done. We’re doing this in order to move forward.

Another purpose of this exercise is to stir up gratitude. I’m certain that lots of things went well for you this year so as you reflect, take a moment to thank God for that.

So, here are the questions:

  1. What were the main high points this year? Choose two or three things.

It’s always good to start positive, so think about the main good things about 2017 that stand out for you.

  1. Go through the year month by month and write down something good that happened that month.

These can be simple things, for example, maybe in January it was your birthday and you had a good time, in February your boss complimented you on a piece of work, in March you learned something new about God or about a particular scripture…

Go through the whole year and write down one good thing that happened each month.

  1. In what ways did you improve or grow as an individual this year?

Did you get a degree or other qualification? Were you a more faithful steward at work this year? Did you grow in loving your spouse unconditionally rather than only being loving if you felt they deserved it? Did you pray more this year and get closer to God? Did you volunteer at church, or stay committed to a ministry? It doesn’t matter what it is. Is there any evidence of growth in your life this year.

  1. What didn’t go so well?

So we’ve talked about the highlights. Now it’s time to talk about the lowlights? In which areas did you regress or just not make as much progress as you should have?

  1. What mistakes did you make this year, and more importantly what did you learn from them? How can you prevent making such mistakes again in future?

We all make mistakes so let’s not beat ourselves down about it. Let’s learn from them and work out how to prevent making similar mistakes in the future.

  1. What did you hope, on January 1st of this year, to have achieved by now? Have you done those things? If so, what has the result been? If not, what hindered you?

So this is where we really begin to dig a little deeper. Even if you didn’t set goals for this year, I’m sure there are things that you wanted to achieve. Did you achieve them? Why, or why not? This is important because if you’re able to identify the reasons why you didn’t achieve the things you wanted to achieve you can address those issues and make sure they don’t hold you back in the coming year. Also, on the flip side, if you’re able to identify why you were able to achieve the things you did achieve, you can use it as a formula to keep achieving next year.

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So those are my six tips for reviewing the year. I hope you found them helpful. I’m in a super motivated mood with all this goal-setting stuff so I’ll be back soon with another post about preparing for the new year.

In writing news, I finished writing the next Lincoln book this morning. It’s called The Chef and it’s Locke’s story, but I’m going to sit on it for a while as I may need to add more to it to set up the next few brothers’ books

God bless 😉