Gaining Perspective on the New Year

With the dawn of a new year, many expected immediate improvement. But as we flipped the calendar to 2021 many things remain unchanged. The weariness of the old year clings to us. A year-long pandemic still rages. Overwhelming grief is an unwanted companion to many. Uncertainty is still present. So how do we gain perspective on a new year when much remains the same?

Following are insights on approaching the year ahead:

Don’t Over-Expect

So often, we decide how life should play out and then are upset when our goals and plans are circumvented by the unexpected. We can set goals and make plans, but with the understanding that circumstances may alter the timing, force us to shift to plan B, or totally negate what we had in mind.

Approach this year with flexibility. Decide that your year isn’t going to implode because something beyond your control upended your plans and changed the course you had mapped out. On the other hand, rejoice when plans come to fruition.

Relinquish Control

Last year clearly showed us we are not in control of disease, the decisions and actions of others, of circumstances, and a host of other life situations. Attempting to control that which is uncontrollable leads to a life fraught with anxiety and frustration. Instead, focus on what you can control and change regarding your own attitudes and actions and trust God with the rest.

Employ Focus and Determination

One of my biggest struggles last year, which has followed me into the new year, is the ability to focus. Distractions are numerous and it’s easy to procrastinate forward motion because of them. When you are keeping more balls in the air than even a skilled juggler can handle, the temptation exists to give up and let them all drop.

I already know that if I make headway in any area of life this year it is going to require focus coupled with determination. Starting is the first step. As long as I delay action, forward motion will not occur, but beginning primes the pump.

See Good

For a year, really, even longer than that, much of what we’ve seen and heard in the media tends toward the negative. In a 30-minute news broadcast, maybe the last three minutes is devoted to a positive story. The rest revolves around criticism, negativity, and unfounded speculation.

This year, adjust your vision to see all that is good and hopeful. Block out the negativity that constantly bombards us. Doing so will require intentional effort, but make it a priority. Focusing on what is good and positive retrains your perspective and reshapes your thoughts.

Gain Perspective

I know multiple families who have lost loved ones to COVID or in tragic circumstances in recent weeks. When I feel frustrated, burdened, stressed, or weighed down by what seem to be impossible situations, I think of these families, pray for them, and realize even in difficulty there are blessings.

We aren’t promised lives that are easy and without heartache and complications. To gain perspective, think beyond yourself and current circumstances. Allow faith to bolster you. Trust God. Seek wisdom and direction from Him. Each new day brings a beacon of hope and a chance to gain positive perspective on the year before us.

May God do what you want most and let all go well for you. Psalm 20:4 CEV


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include 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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