Bringing hope for change, a new year promises if nothing else, “a fresh start”. Often adorned with well-meaning resolutions, the tantalizing possibilites lure us into a fast start. But rather than rush into a crisp new year; what if instead, we considered our course? Work through these 10 uplifting questions for a purposeful new year and set a confident course.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
consider your ways in the new year
Or spend time working through my 10 uplifting questions for a purposeful new year before moving ahead with your agenda.
In the book of Haggai, God speaks to the people regarding their carelessness in spiritual discipline and cultivating their relationship with Him. He calls them to repentance in Haggai 1:5 by cautioning them to “consider their ways”.
Even if you feel clear on the direction God has for you in the new year, taking time for considering your spiritual habits, attitudes and methods provides opportunity for God inspired change.
10 Uplifting Questions for reflection
Avoid spiritual stagnation by exercising a willingness for self evaluation. While your methods for the spiritual disciplines you embrace may seem profitable, at times a change inspires more opportunity for growth and intimacy with God.
The new year offers a chance for looking about you and considering your ways before God. Noticing what works well, what is not working and benefits for new additions, opens the door for a clearer vision and purpose in the new year.
These 10 uplifting questions for a purposeful new year, help bring focus to various areas in need of review, improvement or change.
Using this method not only provides me with tools for instituting change and improvement, but positions me for kingdom impact and a purpose-filled new year.
1. What One Thing Will Increase Your Joy in the Lord?
Review your current spiritual disciplines: bible reading, prayer, scripture memory, etc. Consider your method for devotional and worship times. Perhaps alter your reading time and add scripture meditation. Or add music to your devotional times, journal scripture passages or include a Lectio Divina practice.
Often minor changes reap big returns. Last year I made a small change to my scripture memory practice which transformed my evening devotionals.
Remember, your personal time with God only requires a willing heart, open mind and listening ear.
2. Which Spiritual Discipline Needs Improvement?
After reviewing your current spiritual disciplines, prayerfully consider which one you desire to improve over the next year. Journal next steps for more clarification.
3. How Can You Improve Your Prayer Practice?
Of all the spiritual disciplines, prayer rings in the new year as the “most neglected”. Review your current practice, determining the best method for you. The most helpful advice I received about prayer involved simplicity. Seek God’s guidance for the most important conversation of your day!
Simplify your practice. Praying regularly and fervently for fewer requests, concerns and needs acomplishes more than praying sporadically for many things. Keep in mind prayer is so much more than requests and needs. Time in silent prayer and rest before God helps you hear His voice more keenly.
4. What One Thing Hinders Your Spiritual Growth the Most?
Think time wasters here. Social media, TV, hobbies, online shopping? While none of these are wrong or sinful, they often consume more of your heart and time than is beneficial. Perform an honest evaluation and make the necessary changes. Generally, simply stopping or removing an item proves futile. Adding a more positive or meaningful activity instead, provides the best solution.
5. What “Impossible Prayer” Can You Pray This Year?
You grow your faith by choosing an “impossible prayer” for the year. Perhaps an unsaved loved one, an estranged relationship, or healing. Over a dozen times in the Bible, scripture mentions “but God” statements.
Choose and memorize one of these “but God” scriptures. Meditate on situations where God intervened in ways humanely impossible. Determine to take Him at His word this year!
6. Who Needs Encouragement This Year?
Choose someone facing hard circumstances or discouragement. Think of ways for encouraging them throughout the coming year. Anything from preparing a meal, sending a card or even intentional kind words or prayer.
Be creative, encouragement comes in all forms. Most people feel encouraged by a smile or a listening ear. Determine to make a diference by making someone feel seen and heard in their affliction.
7. How Can You Simplify Your Life?
In our busy, accomplishment driven society almost everyone feels overwhelmed. Facing a new year armed with resolutions, goals and hopeful desires for change intensifies feelings of overwhelm.
But, take a step back; realize the year lays vast and full before you. Simplifying your life ensures purpose-filled accomplishments in the coming year rather than a dance card full of meaningless waltzs.
Avoid the need for simplifying your life as a whole. The entire year begins with the first step, determine one area where simplification will have the greatest impact. Journal a first step plan. One practical, simplifying step can change the trajectory of your entire year!
8. What Habit Needs Better Established in Your Life?
Research proves new year’s resolutions rarely suceed; but life consists of a series of ingrained habits propelling us forward (or backward in some cases).
Perhaps reading the question prompted a particular habit the Holy Spirit laid on your heart months ago. Whether a more regular spiritual discipline as discussed above, improved diet, exercise, or sleep hygiene, remember God deals with you holistically.
Even the simple habits of diligence in caring for your home and family, tending your marriage or excellence on the job impact your spiritual walk. Prayferfully determine one habit to more firmly establish in your life this new year.
9. What One Book Sits Atop Your Reading List This New Year?
Most people I know make reading an integral part of their schedule. But I also know people with packed schedules crowding out any pleasure reading. Often Bible reading rightfully holds priority, but reading for leisure improves your mind, focus, creativity, memory and people skills among a myriad of other benefits.
If your schedule limits leisure reading, commit a specific time daily for reading at least five minutes. On average, reading for a mere five minutes daily for an enture year equals five full length books!
Five books may not sound like much, but if you struggle with finding time for reading, completing five full books is amazing! Additionally, once you start reading for five minutes daily, research shows an inclination for increasing the time.
10. In Which Relationship Will You Invest More Time This Year?
Aside from intentional nurturing of your relationship with God, identify another relationship for special investment this year.
Perhaps your marriage relationship, other family relationship, neighbor, co-worker or someone else you engage on a regular basis. Relationships require tending or they become stale, neglected and mediocre.
Avoid making it a “project”. While nurturing a relationship demands time, it need not become all consuming. Intentionality while interacting, active listening and keen observation all provide avenues for investing and improving any relationship.
stepping into a purposeful new year
More than the thrill of accomplishment, prayerfully applying your heart to my 10 uplifting questions for a purposeful new year, allows God the opportunity to direct meaningful change in your life.
Simply considering the questions ushers areas of change to the forefront of your mind. Which in turn creates a vantage point for better focus and the probability of intenional change or improvement.
Having kingdom impact in the coming year requires purpose-filled initiatives inspired by submission to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
“O Lord, so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”