7 Tips for Turning Your New Year into a Year of Blessing
As the year draws to a close, I wonder what your plans are for next year?
Has 2017 been a good year for you? Have you grown in the Lord? Are you more gracious and kind? More dedicated to the Lord than you were the previous year?
As a teen, we joyfully sang “Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.” It was many years before I realized just because I enjoyed the song, didn’t make it true for me! Something was missing.
They say the definition of insanity is to do 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?
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 2017. Looking back over the year, helps us be more self-aware so we don’t fall into the same mistakes; it also helps us learn what habits promote success.
Reflection with the purpose to learn helps us not repeat the same mistakes. It is great for the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex as it helps develop our ability to think and to bring fresh direction.
2. Set Attainable Goals
It is an excellent opportunity to begin to set up goals for the New Year that are doable.
NOT resolutions! They never work and they place us into legalism. When they fail, they rob us of hope.
Life is a journey. Without goals, we don’t arrive anywhere we want to be and our time will be frittered away.
Your moments are precious. Ask the Lord for goals you can work towards, so at the end of the year, you can see how He blessed your intentional use of time.
Reaching a goal is very encouraging, especially as dopamine is produced, which brings an overall feeling of satisfaction and pleasure that helps us establish healthy lifestyle habits.
3. Read Through the Bible In a Year
My daughter just gave me a lovely new Bible. To begin the New Year in a new Bible is a special delight. If I don’t have a new Bible, I simply take a different translation off the shelf to read that year.
Find the method that works for you. Ask the Lord to help you be intentional in daily reading His Word.
Basically, it is a discipline as 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? To figure that out, you can ask yourself, “What do I struggle with the most?” Often that gives us a clue of where we need to grow.
Each year, I choose a different character quality. For example, if I feel like my faith is weak, I might choose faith – the fruit of the Spirit, as my character quality.
I look up the Strong’s definition for the word. I search the Scriptures to find where the word is used and make note of important verses to meditate on.
Getting a better understanding of the word and the context it is used in, helps me as I ask 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.
For example, 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).
Having a verse that relates to the character quality helps give direction and clarity and strengthens God’s words in our heart.
6. Choose a Name of God
Each year I also choose a name for the Lord. You see, names are important for they impact the depth of our relationship with God. If I know Him as the Good Shepherd, the shepherding area of my life will be strengthened and blessed.
But what if I only know Jesus as the Good Shepherd? Sadly, my relationship with Him will be limited because He is so much more.
The name I choose reflects an area where I am hurting or need to grow deeper. It may also be a name that intrigues me. One year I was deeply hurting and needed a true gentleman in my life. That 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 in Scripture, which often is similar 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 Faithful and True for the Lord’s name. It is exciting, as over the year, I encounter a fresh dimension of the Lord I hadn’t previously experienced.
The Lord wants you to grow in intimacy with Him. That takes intentionality!
7. Give Thanks
Begin a thanksgiving journal. Each day or in the evening before you go to bed, write in your journal.
Giving thanks quiets the racing mind. It also calms and comforts the heart. It is a healthy thing to do.
It is also 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