The new year can be your best year ever. Most of us have hopes the coming year will be better than the previous one. We hope the New Year will bring us success and happiness. Many spend days or even weeks thinking about what goals they want to achieve. Sometimes we talk about “New Year’s resolutions.” The level of happiness, contentment, and success that we will experience in 2016 will be largely dependent upon our attitudes and the choices that we make. A new year can bring many new challenges and obstacles we have no control over. The things we can control are our attitudes toward the challenges life throws our way, and the choices and decisions we make. Our attitudes and choices are entirely up to us, and can either make or break 2016 for us.
There are a few things we can do that will go a long way in ensuring we have the best possible year possible. My suggestions don’t provide any secret formula for guaranteed success in 2016, but they offer a good starting point. These suggestions will serve to help you navigate the coming year with a sense of purpose and focus.
In 2016, get to KNOW God instead of simply knowing ABOUT God. Many people have a general knowledge about God. They know he was the creator of all things and the author of the Bible. Many believe that God exists, but don’t have a personal relationship with God. God doesn’t want us to only know about him, God wants us to know him. God sent his Son Jesus into the world to eventually die upon the cross. Jesus became the supreme sacrifice that was necessary to deliver us from the bondage of sin. Because of the cross, we have direct access to God through his son Jesus Christ. We can talk to God daily just as we would our closest friend. The Bible tells us in Psalm 37, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:4-5) Having a personal relationship with God will give you a life of purpose and faith.
Let go of the past. Many people spend years being prisoners of their past. People often carry the guilt, discouragement, and regret of past failures and mistakes around with them like an overfilled backpack. My advice to you is that if you are struggling with the burdens of past failures and mistakes, let it go. This is a new year! Every day we live, we are given a new day. We have the opportunity to start afresh on a daily basis. God has a plan for your life and blessings He wants to give you. He can’t place the blessings He wants to give you in your hands if they are full of yesterday’s junk. Let it go!
Stretch the limits of your comfort zone. Make it a goal this year to do something that you’ve never done. Learn something new. Take up a new hobby, go on that mission trip that you’ve only dreamed about, or write that book that is hidden within your heart. Maybe it is time to start that business , or teach that class that you thought you’d never be able to teach. The possibilities are endless. The point is, stretch yourself in 2016. Any year we can experience personal growth will end up being one of our best years. Personal growth only comes from stepping outside our comfort zone and doing something we have never done.
Make a decision to make a difference. Throughout the year, it’s easy for us to grumble and complain. We complain about our workplace, schools, community, church, relationships, and just about anything else. Complaining is one thing; doing something to change the situation is something entirely different. When we decide to take actions to change, we will undoubtedly face criticism and opposition. The truth is any changes worth making are worth dealing with whatever challenges we may face. Mahatma Gandhi was once quoted as saying, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
Start the journey of escaping the prison of debt. Nothing adds stress and frustration to your life like debt. Debt and financial problems are among the most common causes of stress in marriages today. We live in a society that gauges success by the amount of a person’s possessions, the newness of their car, and the size of their house. This is a ridiculous mentality. It has driven countless people to spend money they don’t have and live beyond their means. Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” (New Living Translation) Debt is a prison that will place you into a self imposed prison of stress. I encourage everyone to begin the process of paying off all that junk debt. Get rid of all the credit cards and other payments that devour your paycheck!
These are just a few suggestions to help you make this your best year ever. My prayer is that you will enter the new year with a boldness and a confidence knowing you can do anything you set your mind to do. You simply need to believe in yourself and trust God. God has a plan for your life and wants you to be everything you were created you to be. If we become the version of ourselves that God intended, it will change our lives and the lives of those around us. Happy New Year everyone!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,