With the close of another year, do you look back with joy, or are you happy to view 2022 only briefly in the rearview mirror?
Personally, I am happy to bid farewell to a year of uncertainty, caregiving, surgery, and grief. However, in sifting through the remnants of family members’ lives, I experienced joyous moments among the hard and the ability to look ahead to a year of promise and forward motion.
Following are five steps to start the New Year on a positive note:
Are you harboring a grudge, holding on to old hurts, slights, and perceived injustices that keep you stewing? Forgiveness is hard, a step that requires God-given strength of will, despite emotions. In forgiving, you release yourself of a huge burden, one that you may have carried for years, not realizing its detrimental effect on you.
As you end this year, and begin another, consider starting afresh by forgiving. You will be amazed at the freeing power of forgiveness and the positive impact forgiveness has on your life and the lives of those around you.
For me, one of the difficulties of 2022 was lack of focus. I felt I bounced around, spinning multiple plates and juggling many duties and responsibilities. A goal for 2023 is a narrower focus. I already know several tasks that loom large, but beyond that, I want to condense my focus to some specific goals.
Focus requires a plan, and then, most importantly, implementation. Don’t fall into the trap of over-planning without taking the action that moves you forward. Focus, plan, and then, implement.
Fortitude is defined as strength of mind, grit, guts, pluck, spunk. The opposite of fortitude is spinelessness, lacking character, wimpy. And I’ll add fearful and lazy. Often, we don’t move forward because we lack courage, energy, and faith. It’s much easier to procrastinate and make excuses than employ the fortitude necessary to act.
As you enter a new year, harness fortitude to produce positive impact.
Perhaps you made some changes this year in your attitudes, actions, or discipline. Good for you! But can you do more? Consider ways you can fine-tune and improve various areas of your life. Maybe you need to up your exercise program, work on better time management, or to detach from activities or people which cause you frustration or anger. You know what you need to work on, so do it.
So much in life is challenging. Perhaps you are in a season of difficulty that seems never-ending, and you are longing for a spark of hope to propel you forward and light your path. Faith is the glue that holds us together when everything around us feels like it’s falling apart. Cling to your faith as you end this year and begin anew. Trust God to pull you through and provide wisdom, peace, and strength for what lies ahead.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV).
Faith is the glue that holds us together when everything around us feels like it’s falling apart.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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