New Year, new me in 2023?


I used to tell people that my New Year’s resolutions were to watch more TV, take up smoking and drinking, and try to gain 20 pounds. If those are my resolutions, then I am in a “no lose” situation. If I do any of them then I have accomplished a goal. If I fail at any of them, I have improved my life. Follow me for more life hacks!

As we kick off a new year, I’m sure many of you have made some form of New Year’s resolutions. If the statistics are true, most of us will have already given up by next week.

Rather than try to pour guilt on you or make you feel bad, I want to ask you to draw four pictures. If you take some time to reflect on these images, it will give you the foundation for a strong 2023.

1. Draw a picture of your family. I’m not talking about a portrait, I’m talking about an image that would describe what your family life looks like right now. Maybe it would be a peaceful sunset, a roller coaster, or even battlefield. Take a few minutes and think about what your family life looks like right now.

2. Draw a picture of the people you serve. Again, this is not a portrait, it is an image that captures the essence of the people in your life that you are connected to. It could include co-workers, employers, employees, your church, or any clubs or organizations you belong to. Whether you are in charge or not, you serve the people around you in some way. How would you describe them in an image?

3. Draw a picture of the things in your life that drain your energy. We all have things that zap our energy. It could be managing a complicated schedule of family activities. It could be your job or even a relationship in your life. Saying that something (or someone) drains your energy is not a judgment on them, it is simply observing that a particular area of your life requires something of you that must be replenished.

4. Draw of picture of the things in your life that energize you. Some people are rejuvenated through a hobby or exercise or time with their family. Some people need some time throughout the week to be alone if they are going to recharge. What recharges you?

After drawing these four pictures, take a minute and give them a title. Think of it as the title of your life right now. This is not an epitaph that will go on your tombstone, this is simply an honest assessment of where you are right now. When I did this exercise to start the year, my title was “Successful Failure, the Ministry Life of Me.” What is yours?

Now for the good part! You have taken a few minutes to think about where you are and what is happening in your life. Now, carve out a few more minutes to think about where you want to be this time next year. Think about how you are going work on your family life to reshape that image into what you want it to be. Consider how you view the people you serve. Is it a healthy way to interact with the people around you on a daily basis?

Look at the images of what energizes you and what drains you. Are they balanced enough that you can honestly say you have some energy left by the end of the day? Is there anything you could do over the next month to begin adjusting this so that you are not constantly drained?

I am sure that most of you who have read this far didn’t actually draw any of these pictures (don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings!), but I want to encourage you to carve out some time as you start this new year to consider what you would like these images to look like in six months. I drew these pictures in the front of my journal to start the year. They are a constant reminder of where I was, and where I want to be.

Start the new year off with more than resolutions. Start this year out with a realistic plan for how you might be open to what God wants to do in and through you.

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