It is easy to let the days slip by without much progress. In the morning we fly out the door to work. At work, things on our desk pile up, and we just try to stay afloat. Then we hurry home to throw dinner on the table and hop in bed. The next day is a repeat of the prior day.
Before we know it, the year has slipped by. We wonder where the months have gone. We can’t believe we didn’t make any progress towards our goals. The scale still has the same weight as last January. We still don’t feel any closer to the Lord. We grip the same hang ups and fears. Everything appears to be the same way it was a year ago.
For 2018, I would like things to be different. I want to see some radical changes a year from now when we ring in 2019. So I am going to do three things each day that I think will catapult the results, and I invite you to join me: Pray, Focus, and Reflect.
Each morning start off with a prayer. Feel free to use the one I have below, or tailor it to fit your life and goals.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Today help me to focus on You. Help me to be a shining light for Your Kingdom. Whatever I do today, I pray it is part of Your will for my life. Help me to draw closer to You and grow in faith.
I put on the armor of Christ this morning, for I know that each day may bring new spiritual battles. But I will remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And You have not given me a Spirit of fear; but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Search my heart, Lord, and show me areas that are not in alignment with You. Help scrape away everything that You do not like. Replace it all with You. Help me to overflow with You, with the anointing, with the fruit of the Spirit, with the Holy Spirit.
Help me to be loving to everyone I encounter. Help me to be a reflection of You. I pray first and foremost, I am loving towards my family. But also help me to be loving towards friends, coworkers, and even strangers. Help me to remember that I might be the only piece of Jesus that those people may see today.
In Jesus’ Holy Name I pray,
2 – Focus
Throughout the day remind yourself to focus on something in particular. What change would you like to see in the New Year? In what way do you want to grow? Or perhaps there is just one word that you would like to make your theme for 2018.
Let me give you an example. I recently had a Gratitude challenge on social media throughout the month of November. Well of course I couldn’t challenge others without going through this myself as well. So I had to be intentional about it. I had to focus my thoughts on it. The key was using moments that I considered to be “mental down time” – walking down the hall at work, sitting in a conference room while waiting for a meeting to start, driving to and from work, cooking dinner, etc. During those times, I would look around for things to be grateful for and I would think about gratitude.
So before we begin, you might want to first ask yourself what it is you want to focus on in the new year. What do you want to learn? What are your goals? How do you want to grow as a Christian?
Whatever you decide to focus on, don’t allow this to make you feel pressured at all. Pressure can hinder results. Just go with the flow and see where the Holy Spirit leads you.
3 – Reflect
At the end of each day, ask yourself one question: What did I learn today? I recommend writing down your answer. Then at the end of the year you will hold tangible results in your hands. You can look back and read what you wrote down each day. This will help you see how far you’ve come. If we follow these three new habits, we will see awesome results by the end of the year.
I am praying that each of you find blessings and growth in 2018! Happy New Year!