Starting An Amazing New Year
Forget about what’s happened: don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There is is!
I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.
Isaiah 43: 18,19
A blessed New Year to you!
Another chance for new starts. Do overs. Breakthrough.
How will you co-create with God? Who do you plan to become?
What desires are you hoping for and imagining this New Year?
What do you need and long for in the New Year?
What would you like to put behind you?
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3: 13,14
Create your own New Year Challenge: Get Back to Basics
Each New Year we have a chance to transition into a ‘fresh start’.
An opportunity to take time to deal with those things that are unfinished, that are distracting, getting in the way and slowing us down.
Then, by the Spirit and God’s loving Grace, we press on, looking forward towards our goals.
These are some principles I am considering and hope will also help you aim to keep alert, present and on the journey of life with Jesus.
1. Principle of Replacement
Do this instead of that.
Eat this instead of that.
Think this instead of that.
If you think good thoughts of gratitude and beauty, you can’t be worrying in negativity at the same time.
Live in the Spirit instead of the flesh.
We have a very strong ‘default system’ that tends to pull us down towards languishing. It’s the falleness and brokenness of this world that we are constantly up against – around us and in us.
Intentionally choose to surrender to the life of the Spirit, to live out what is best for us, the life we were created to live – in all our life systems.
Make a list of the replacements you can make in your life for healthier living.
2. Principle of Relentless Incrementalism
One step at a time.
One choice at a time.
One day at a time.
One line at a time.
In his book God Loves You, Dr. David Jeremiah coined this phrase related to the journey of writing a book. I think it also relates to the journey of life – to anything new we aspire to create or change.
Take each phase of the process seriously and just pour yourself into it.
Daily continue the rhythm of learning and moving forward — whether its just one step, two words or a page.
What do you need to do to persevere and just keep steadily moving forward?
3. Principle of the Inevitable Ratio of Application
Just do it.
Do the right thing.
Live the truth that you already know.
It’s not for lack of knowledge, but intentional life application.
If you keep learning and remembering you will eventually apply and act on the knowledge you have.
Don’t know about you, but I am prone to wander, to easily forget, to be hijacked by my default system.
Most of us need about seventy five hours of learning, repetition and remembering for a few hours of real life application.
In what ways can you keep a flow of constant learning and continual remembering to increase consistent living?
What would it be like if you just started to intentionally live out some of what you already know?
It’s Back to basics for me
Aiming to just live out what I know is true, right, the best for me.
I suppose you could call it obedience, wisdom, consistency, intentional living.
I invite you to create your own challenge for the New Year.
Make a list of some basic truths that you can apply in every area of your life.
Here are a basic truth I aim to get back to and re-apply.
GOD LOVES ME
Think about His love for me, flowing through me throughout the day – so that it transforms my mind, my attitudes, my behaviors and my life.
I AM WHAT I EAT
Let my food be my medicine – not my gluttony satisfaction.I will eat a balanced diet of food in its most natural form, for the prevention of diseases and nourishment for the healthiest functioning of my body.
MY BODY NEEDS: CARDIO. STRENGTH. STRETCHING
My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I must be intentional to stay fit – even when I don’t feel like it.
THINK GOOD, THANKFUL THOUGHT
All of life attitudes and actions flow from the heart – the mind and thoughts. I aspire to a beautiful mind. I will be intentional to deal with automatic negative thinking. Practice mental hygiene.
CULTIVATE AND CHERISH CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS
True happiness comes from being with people I feel emotionally connected to.
What basics can you get back to?
What goals can you aspire to?
What does your New Year Challenge look like?
Some additional resources to help you launch into an Amazing New Year.
A New Year’s Blessing
May your friendship with God be strong and healthy.
May friendship be both a comfort and
a challenge to find God’s way in the New Year.
May you awake each morning with thank you on your lips and in your heart, recognizing that all is gift, that all is blessing.
May yours be the gift of reverence for all created things.
May you face bravely and enthusiastically the responsibility to preserve and care for the beauty of the earth.
May the wellsprings of compassion flow deep within you until you can taste the tears of your brothers and sisters.
May your life this New Year be a living legacy to your God.
– Joyce Rupp.