By Vince Warner - 20 January 2023

It is an odd time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  It seems to me that during this week very few people want to do anything.  That used to concern me, but now I value this time when people don’t want to meet up.  It means I get a whole week where I can think about the year that is ending and plan for the new year ahead.  It is the perfect time for an annual reset.

I start by reviewing the year that is ending.  First, I think about the things that went well during the year.  There is always so much to thank God for.

2022 was a good year which started with the birth of a grandchild and ended with the engagement of my daughter.  Between those events I passed my life coaching accreditation and made quite a few new friends.

When God pours out blessings he does it with abundance, just as He promises in John 10:10

John 10:10 also talks about the thief who comes to steal and destroy.  There are, of course those things that haven’t gone so well.  The enemy will try to poke his finger into my life, but he can never win because MY GOD IS GREATER!  So I still end up rejoicing!

Having thanked the Lord for each of His many blessings and spoken to Him about the things that haven’t gone so well, I then make a fresh commitment to Him for the new year.  The Lord and I will go through 2023 together, so I commit the whole year to serving Him and serving Him well.

I know that if I want things to change over the coming year I need to be prepared to allow God to change me.  I cannot expect the Lord to do everything for me, so the Lord and I will do what needs to be done together. Neither can I expect things to change, yet I stay the same.  The Lord will guide me to become the person He wants me to be.

Planning the new year is more difficult than reviewing the old year because we are working with the unknown, but it is a lot more fun.  

I consider where I would like to be this time next year and work out what needs to change in order for that to happen.  Yes, I will pray and seek God’s direction, but I will also need to take action and the greater the action the greater the result, and believe me, the things I would love to see happen will involve me taking huge action!

It’s easy to read “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Phillipians 4:13 and not notice that essential little word “do”.

I feel it is important to go through this whole process with God.  It is so tempting to decide what I want then ask God to help me achieve it.  It’s important to spend time quietly allowing the Lord to share His vision for my life.  I am most likely to receive inspiration from Him if I allow Him time to speak to me.

Even though I believe what I want to achieve is inspired, I certainly can’t boast that I’m absolutely 100% certain.  Perhaps it’s my idea?  I have discovered that the way to find out if an idea is from God is to take action on it.  If it’s from the Lord doors will open, if not doors will close.  If we are genuinely seeking God, He won’t let us go astray.  I spent too many years waiting for God to move in my life when all of that time He was waiting for me to get moving.

Perhaps having read this far you would like to reset your life.  You don’t have to wait for New Year to do it.  Right now is the beginning of the rest of your life.  You can make a fresh start right now.

Here is the process I use in case you would like to do the same:

I would recommend you spend a whole day on each step.  You can still work and do other things if you need to, but if you are serious about this, put plenty of time into it.

Day 1 – Think about what has happened over the past year.  Write a list of the good things and the not so good things that have happened.  Carry your list with you and add to it during the day.

Day 2 – Spend time with God thanking Him for all the good things and for helping you through the more difficult moments.  If you are still struggling with something, thank Him for being with you and trust Him to carry you through.

Day 3 – Surrender.  Commit your life for the next year to Him.  It’s all too easy to rush this.  Take your time and think carefully about what you are committing to.  Don’t worry about committing your whole life to Him; if you are serious about this and follow it through you will be eager to commit afresh to Him next year and every year.

Day 4 – Ask the Lord what he wants you do do over the next 12 months.  Ask Him to give you a vision of how He sees you this time next year.  What does He want you to achieve?  If there is something you keep thinking about, that could very well be what you should be doing.  It might be something big that will change the lives of many, or it might be something that is just for you.  Whatever it is, if it’s from God it will be something that honours Him, it will almost certainly bless others and it will be amazing!

Day 5 onwards – Start to follow through on the commitment you have made.  Spend time with Him.  Do something that will take you toward that vision that God has given you. 

Repeat this last step each day for the next year.