As the old year comes to a close, is a good time to assess the year we are leaving behind and begin to steer our course to the year ahead. Since just before my birthday on the 13th, I have been in prayer and contemplation of what things I need to leave behind, and what things I need to pick up as I go into this next season. You might say I’m doing some spiritual house cleaning. I am finding it helpful and thought that perhaps you might as well.

I created this basic list to give you a framework to work from, although it’s not necessary. Don’t get legalistic on yourself, or critical. Be honest – no one is grading you, and there are no wrong answers. This task is just a snapshot of where you are, and an indication of what you can do to move forward more in the new year.

  1. Consider the areas of your life: you, your relationships, your occupation, the places you go, the things you do, organizations you’re involved in, etc.
  2. Assess each of these and see how they are functioning for you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc. Maybe give each area a number from 1-5: horrible – bad – meh – good – fantastic
  3. Take those areas that are 1-3 on that scale, or those that are from horrible to meh. What would it take to increase those numbers?
    a. Are there things that you need to give up?
    b. Are there things you need to start doing?
    c. Are there things you need to reframe your thoughts?
    d. Are you getting triggered in these areas? How or why?
  4. For the areas that are 4-5, how can you further reinforce them?
    a. What are you doing well?
    b. What is it about them that makes you proud or happy or satisfied?
  5. Take each area and submit it to God, and ask Him to show you the answers to any questions that you might have.
  6. Pay attention to dreams as you are doing this.
    As God shows you areas in need of improvement, then also seek Him on ways to address those issues. Not just general things, but specific strategies to move forward.
  7.  Also, ask God what area you should focus on first. Work out with Him small steps that you can take to move forward.
  8. Here’s a big key: Celebrate each and every success that you make! Set up rewards for yourself along the way, small ones for small wins and larger ones for larger wins. Celebration and rewards are far more motivating than punishment and condemnation. Celebrating your successes and wins sets you up to achieve greater and greater success.

You’ll notice that I recommended that you pick an area to focus on first. Narrowing your focus increases the likelihood that you will succeed. It’s just not likely that you will succeed at 50 things at once, so don’t set yourself up to fail. Again, success is motivating! And, as you succeed in one area, you’ll probably find that several others come into alignment as well, but if they don’t, you can go back to your list and go through the process with the next piece when it is time.

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