We’re into the first week of the New Year. It’s not too late to do some new preparations for this year. After the long holiday breaks, it takes quite a while to recover. I bet you most of the ministers and preachers in church talked about New Year Stuff last Sunday. Were you really paying attention?
What about you and me?
I kept this material from an unknown source for years. It helped me through and now I want to share it with you.
Well, I’ve divided our brand new year preparation into 3 parts. 3 parts full of questions that would lead us to self-evaluation and self-preparation. So hold on to your seats as I go through the list real fast:
Part I: Review and Learn from the Past
1. What was my greatest blessing last year? What excited and stretched me? What am I most grateful for?
2. What was my greatest achievement? What accomplishment really paid off? What am I proudest of from last year?
3. What were my three most important mistakes? Where did I go wrong? Who did I offend? Where did I mis-calculate? Most importantly, what can I learn from these experiences?
4. What lessons do I most want to take with me into this year? How have I grown last year? How am I wiser, more skilled, more mature, more productive?
5. How would my spouse, my best friend and my mentor look at these things? What would they say about last year? How would they evaluate my successes, my mistakes and the things I’ve learned?
Part II: Preparing to Advance
1. How will I enrich my life and my family this year? How can I make my relationships richer, more fun, more intimate and more loving?
2. What would I like to add, change, or eliminate in my daily routine this year? What tolerations must go? What joys and ordinary pleasures will I add to my schedule, starting today?
3. What financial goals do I have for 2009? How many people would I like to serve? What services can I add, or should I cancel? How can I save more and invest better?
4. What will I do to maintain my health? What am I committed to for fitness, for vitality and wellness?
5. Intellectually, how will I improve this year? What will I read, what do I need to study, what skills do I need to master this year?
Part III: Dream Big Dreams!
1. Where am I going in the next 2, 5 or 10 years? What will I achieve?
2. What are my major values and purposes for the next phase of my life? What brings me the most fulfillment and gratification? How can I use my greatest talents to benefit myself and thousands of others in the years ahead?
3. If I could do only one BIG project in my lifetime, what would it be? What is the most important thing for me to do or achieve or become in the next 10 years?
I’m sure many of you will have your own version of this list, but these questions help me focus my thoughts and form goals and projects that are meaningful. They give my wife and I some food for thought and topics for wonderful conversations! (And, yes, a few budget disagreements and ‘forceful’ comments, too.)
The New Year is a gift from God meant for us to live to the full.
Choose wisely. Think long and hard. Seek the counsel of people who know and love you, and plan your future in precise detail. Then, go out and seize the day!