How about doing the “New Year’s Resolution” thing differently this year? Here’s a New Year Planning Tool that’s easy, quick, but profoundly powerful in resetting your life. ◊
So it’s New Year’s time again and another opportunity to clean the slate and set a new course of activities or remake promises to ourselves and others.
Most refer to these as New Year’s Resolutions.
How about doing it differently this year? Call it The New Year Plan. But shake things up beyond the normal list of things we start to do in January but lose momentum and forget by February.
This is a plan that allows one to assess the current state of what we want and what we do and how we’re doing with it. The challenge is in assessing where we focus.
You will not find the The New Year Plan specifically in the Bible. Yes, there are many verses that speak to our plans, thoughts, resolve, and actions. There certainly is no shortage of Biblical guidance to be wise and diligent.
As a baseline, challenge yourself to “not do anything without first praying for God’s input, love, power, wisdom, and leading.”1 Of course, easier said than done. But when done, it’s a game changer.
This time let’s get specific about what we do and where is our focus and attention.
The Wheel of Worldly Success
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do I really want in life?
- What am I really working toward?
- What is my real purpose?
If you’re honest, even with any level of faith, there’s a very good chance that your answers are similar to the following:
- I want to be successful.
- I want to make enough money so I can retire comfortably.
- I want to make the world a better place.
We may very easily buy into the standard measures of worldly success: money, home, work, health, family, friends, leisure, even spirituality. Using your favorite Wheel of Success you can even chart it and see where you’re in or out of balance. (Note: use a 5-point scale with 1 being Low and 5 being High. A perfect Wheel has a “5” rating for each of the 8 topic areas.)
Here’s my Wheel of Worldly Success:
This is not an unhealthy exercise. Human goodness, even greatness, arises out of good disciplined effort targeting worthy goals. It’s just that after years of experience and observation and seeking Biblical truth, striving and achieving only worldly success goals can lead to a life that misses the mark.
The Wheel of Spiritual Success
I believe that real life success is an outgrowth of spiritual success. If you don’t get God and Man and the purpose of the World figured out, you can have all the worldly success available and yet still remain empty in spirit and soul.
And what is Spiritual Success? Here’s my Wheel of Spiritual Success. If it helps, think of it as a deep-dive subset of the Wheel of Worldly Success.
It too can be charted and measured. It is intimate knowledge and relationship with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, by way of reading and studying the Bible, and through direct Prayer. Out of that relationship and knowledge comes fruitful Service aligned with our God-given gifts returned in kind to our fellow mankind through Giving and sustained through Fellowship and community with other Christ followers.
So What Do I Do With This?
In answer to the big questions about life and purpose and what exactly am I really doing here, I would answer them as follows:
- What do I really want in life? I want to know and honor God and be like Jesus.
- What am I really working toward? I want to be excellent in life and service as directed by the Holy Spirit.
- What is my real purpose? I want to use my gifts toward God’s purposes while here on earth.
That is my compass. The offspring of that greater objective drives daily actions and relationships and perspective on my work, my family, my prosperity. Out of that flows the other things in life but in proper order and healthy balance.
Chart your own spiritual life using The New Year Plan that goes deeper than worldly success and the standard targets of life. Go easy, no judgment. Pursue knowledge gaps and go beyond shallow depths with an honest quest for spiritual richness.
As I have learned that God is infinitely patient and welcomes a contrite and submissive heart, it is never too late to reset the gauges and targets to a new and substantive goal worthy of all your heart, soul, mind, and effort.
Have a great and truly Happy New Year!
Do you have a right plan for your life?
That our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power. – 2 Thessalonians 11:11
1 The Christian New Year’s Resolution Challenge, by Michael Griego, Biblical Viewpoint, January 8, 2016, https://biblicalviewpoint.com/2016/01/08/the-christian-new-years-resolution-challenge/.