This article was written by Frank Viola and was published in his exclusive Unfiltered update list which goes out every Thursday to his email subscribers. If you enjoy this update, you can get these Unfiltered updates by signing up here. It’s FREE.
New years are wonderful. They hand you a reset button so you can reengineer your life.
I’ve lived through beautiful years, mediocre years, hellish years, and years that were beyond mention and worthy to be repressed. Granted, much of what happens to us is beyond our control. But we are in control of our reaction to what happens.
A few years ago, I discovered a certain recipe for posturing myself for having a great year.
In this UNFILTERED update, I want to share with you 3 ingredients in that recipe. This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course. But these 3 ingredients can help you position yourself for having an awesome new year.
1) Select a “word for the year” to focus on.
Sounds simple, but I’ve been doing this for several years. My word for 2015 was Simplify. For 2016, it was Impact. And for 2017, it was Peace.
I write the word on my white board in a hard-to-miss spot in my study. So all year, I give my attention to the specific word. I also build things into my year that align with the word.
The word of the year gives me tremendous focus, turning my year into a specific theme.
Choosing your own word for the upcoming can do the same for you.
How do you select a word for the year? Ask the Lord to give you a theme for the new year. Over the next few weeks, be conscious of any ideas that come to mind. Usually for me, within a few weeks, a word emerges that resonates with my heart.
Once it does, it’s important to write it down in a visible place you won’t miss. You’ll want to see it regularly. Then begin engineering your life for next year based on that word.
2) Stretch yourself to invest in something new that will grow you mentally and spiritually.
The key word there is “new.” It’s common for people to invest time and money in gym memberships to enhance their bodies. No problem with that. Who doesn’t enjoy getting “buff” (until March rolls around and the gym crowds dwindle). Yet few Christians today will invest their time and money in opportunities that will produce long-lasting spiritual and mental growth.
For me, the best way to do this is to invest in courses and seminars. These have been so life-changing for me that I began creating my own a few years ago.
As an author, I’ve come to believe that having someone read a book of mine is like serving them an appetizer. But a course or master class is like serving them a full buffet. It’s a high-octane, full-immersion, deep-dive into the content. And the transformational impact is far greater.
Years ago, my default reaction to anything that cost money was “I can’t afford it.” Later I discovered that many of the most valuable things in life come with a price tag. And after looking at what I was spending my money on, I changed my priorities. I virtually always could afford it … if it was important enough to me. The same with my time.
So consider investing in something — anything — new that will stretch and challenge you spiritually and mentally during the upcoming year. This step alone can be a game-changer for you.
3) Design your dream year.
This is a simple but powerful exercise. It’s not exactly goal-setting (which I cover in my PROLIFIC Audio Program), but it’s the precursor to it.
Here’s how it works. Pick a day this month where you can carve out an hour or two for this exercise.
Grab a notepad and pen. Or a blank word-processor screen, if you prefer to type.
And then dream. Dream of what a perfect year looks like. Include your personal life, your job, your career, your ministry, your family, your friends, your health, your finances, your education, etc.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Make a list of things you desire to see happen next year in all those areas.
So dream. And then write.
Be specific. Don’t be afraid of thinking big. Dreams help identify what’s most important to us. Writing them down allows us to excavate our hearts, revealing “on paper” what our highest priorities are, for better or for worse. It also clarifies and highlights what we want God to do in our lives.
As the days pass, go back over it, edit, and add any new dreams that come to mind.
Your “dream year” will be wet cement for your goals and prayers.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
There’s much more to say, but I’ll leave it there since this update is already getting too long.
Your brother in the costly but glorious quest,
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