7 Tips for Turning Your New Year into a Year of Blessing
As the year draws to a close, it’s a great time to pause and think of what went well and what you wish you had done differently this year.
Did you have a good year? Or was there a lot of pain? In the midst of the struggles of life, did grow in the Lord? Are you kinder? More gracious? Do you love Jesus more than last year?
When I was a teen, we joyfully sang “Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.” It took me years to understand just because I enjoyed the song, didn’t make it true for me! Something was missing in my life.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting to get different results.
As believers in Jesus, we have a major problem in this department – just because we say we love Jesus, doesn’t magically make everything wonderful. So what can we do differently?
Seven Tips for New Year’s Blessings
1. A Time of Reflection
The Christmas season is an excellent time to prayerfully reassess our life and see if we reached the goals set for the previous year. Looking back, helps us be more self-aware so we avoid making the same mistakes; it also helps us learn what habits promote success.
Reflect with the purpose to learn.
This helps avoid repeating the same mistakes. It is great for the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex, aiding in developing the ability to think and to choose fresh direction.
2. Set Attainable Goals
The last days of the year are an excellent opportunity to establish doable goals for the New Year.
NOT resolutions! They never work because they place us into legalism. Most resolutions fail – making us feel like a failure. That false identity leaves us with nagging feelings of guilt that steals our hope.
Life is a journey.
Without goals, our time is frittered away and we never arrive at our chosen destination.
My friend, your moments are precious.
Ask the Lord to help you set goals you can attain that will enrich your life. The beautiful thing is at the end of the year, you will be able to see how He blessed your intentional use of time.
Reaching a goal is rewarding, releasing dopamine, which brings an overall feeling of satisfaction and pleasure, and reinforces healthy lifestyle habits.
3. Read Through the Bible In a Year
My daughter just gave me a lovely new Bible. Starting the New Year with a new Bible is a special delight for me. When I don’t have a new Bible, I simply take a different translation off the shelf to read that year.
Use the method that works for you.
Ask the Lord to help you be intentional in daily reading His Word.
Reading the Bible is a discipline, where you engage with the Lord to lay the foundation of your life in His truth. If you miss a day, just start again from where you left off!
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalms 119:105 NLT).
Four More Tips for the New Year
4. Choose A Character Quality
What character quality would you like to see the Lord develop in your life? If you aren’t sure, you can ask yourself, “What do I struggle with the most?” Often that gives us a clue of where you need to grow.
Each year, I choose a different character quality. For example, if I feel my faith is weak, I might choose faith – the fruit of the Spirit, as my character quality.
Look up the Biblical definition of the word you choose.
Strong’s Concordance is a helpful tool to learn: Where is the word used? How does it apply to me? Jot down important verses to meditate on.
Gaining a better understanding of the word and the context it is used in, helps in asking the Lord to develop that quality in my life.
5. Find a Verse To Walk With
Choosing a character quality helps gives me direction to find a Bible verse to walk with.
How do I choose a verse?
If I chose faith as the character quality, my verse might be, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Or it might be, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans1:17).
Clinging to a verse relating to the character quality gives direction, clarity, and strengthens God’s words in your heart.
6. Choose a Name of God
Each year I choose a name of the Lord to walk with.
You see, names are important; they impact the depth of your relationship with God. If you know Him as the Good Shepherd, the shepherding area of your life will be strengthened and blessed.
But what if you only know Jesus as the Good Shepherd? Sadly, your relationship with Him will be limited, because He is so much more.
Growing in intimacy with Jesus takes intentionality!
The name I choose reflects where I hurt or need to experience growth. It might be a name that intrigues me. One year, going through deep pain, I needed a true gentleman in my life. That was the year I began to understand the importance of names.
Though not found in Scripture, a gentleman demonstrates the character quality of gentleness. Over the course of the year, the Lord showed me His gentleness. He is the Gentleman of all gentlemen!
Now, I choose one of His names listed in Scripture, which relates to the character quality I want to develop. I research the name in Scripture and in Strong’s. In choosing faith as my character quality, I might choose the Lord’s name, Faithful and True. It is exciting, as over the year, I encounter a fresh dimension of the Lord I never previously experienced.
7. Give Thanks
Begin a thanksgiving journal. Each day or in the evening before you go to bed, write in your journal.
A simple discipline that counters depression. Giving thanks quiets the racing mind. It calms and comforts the heart.
It releases a DOSE of God’s medicine:
A thanksgiving journal is a healthy habit.
Giving thanks is the best way to victory in Jesus, for the enemy of our soul hates it when we give thanks!
If you long for peace, be intentional in daily setting aside time to give thanks to the Lord. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
My Challenge to You