Reflection, Correction, Projection: Preparing for the New Year

For some, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day involves travel, visiting, and busyness. For others, it’s a time to rest and recover from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Either way, the week after Christmas flies by and the new year rapidly arrives.

How do you view the coming year? Do you look forward to fresh possibilities and renewed potential? Or do you cling to the familiarity of the waning year, afraid to launch into uncharted waters?

Often, we think about goal setting for the coming year after it has already arrived, which makes us start the year already feeling behind. So take time in the final days of 2016 to review the year and set goals for next year.

Reflection – Hit rewind and mentally replay your year. Did you set goals and were you able to accomplish them? If you didn’t, don’t allow a feeling of defeat to follow you into 2017. Acknowledge the goals you didn’t meet and think about why? Honestly look at what held you back. Was it lack of motivation, distraction, health issues, over-scheduling, fatigue? Often the reason we don’t accomplish goals is because we set the bar too high. Revamp the goals. Make them realistic, and then put them on the list for the coming year with renewed determination to chip away at it. While you’re looking back, also take note of areas where you have been successful. Strike a healthy balance between failures and successes and don’t allow looking back to freeze you in regret. Maintain forward motion.

Correction – Have you ever started out driving with a clear destination in mind, gotten distracted, and missed an important turn on the journey? Sometimes even with a GPS speaking directions we zone out and miss an exit or turn. Other times, we take what appears to be a shorter, easier path and end up in an unexpected and slightly scary location, far from our intended destination. We all need a course correction from time to time and this requires stopping, assessing your current location, the best path from that location, and then changing direction. You’ll never arrive at your intended destination (or accomplish your goal) unless you admit you’ve made a navigation error and make a course correction.

Projection  – Setting goals for the new year requires catching a vision for what potentially lies ahead. If you don’t have a vision, it’s hard to plan, and most things don’t come together without some level of assessment, vision, and planning. Think about your goals and what is required to accomplish them. Do they involve a commitment of time? Most goals do. Do you need to learn a new skill, take a course, join a group  that will give you access to information you don’t possess, or simply get organized enough to implement your plan? Determine what can potentially slow you down or cause you to put off working toward your goals, things like fear, laziness, or lack of self-confidence. Then map out ways around those road blocks, all the while, keeping your distance vision firmly focused.

The New Year if full of promise and hope. Reflect, correct, and project and them move forward with confident assurance.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3 NIV)


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