The New Year is like a blank sheet of paper. We have fresh opportunities to make changes, set new goals, and write new chapters of our lives.
As you begin this year, consider these ten tips to help you focus and maintain forward motion:
Temper Actions and Words – Often we behave certain ways without thinking how our actions affect others or say things that wound. If you get angry easily, voice critical or demeaning thoughts, or make decisions impulsively, slow down and think before you act or speak.
“Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God” (Jeremiah 26:13 NIV).
Open Your Eyes – It’s easy to be self-focused and fail to see the needs of those around us. Open your physical and spiritual eyes. Join God where He is already at work.
“Give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways” (Proverbs 23:26 NABRE).
Polish Your Attitudes – It’s easy to criticize others or view everything negatively, especially when the world bombards us with hatred and negativity, but you don’t have to adopt that attitude. Perhaps your tone of voice needs polishing or your self-perception a good dusting. God created each of us with unique gifts and talents. Adopt an attitude of thankfulness and kindness.
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:6 NIV).
Trust God – Our first instinct is to figure things out on our own, but God always has the best plan. In trusting Him, we uncomplicate our lives.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7 KJV).
Enjoy Today – Sometimes we focus on “if onlys” and fail to realize blessings. But if you wait until circumstances match your dream life, you will miss joy now.
“Shout with joy to God, all the earth!” (Psalm 66:1 NLT)
Notch Up Physical Activity – It takes discipline to incorporate exercise into our daily routines. It’s much easier to sleep longer or remain in the warm house on a chilly afternoon. But physical activity enhances your mental and emotional perspective as well as promoting health. Even marching in place inside your house is better than nothing at all.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT).
Think about Good Things – Television programs, movies, and the news are full of violence and hatred. Filling our minds with these kinds of things creates dark thoughts and fear. Make sure you incorporate positive, inspirational readings, sayings, and music into your day.
“Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper.” (Philippians 4:8 CEV).
Intentionally Share Your Faith – There are plenty of times when we could share the gospel with others, but fear, intimidation, or apathy control us. Pray for courage.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV).
Practice Patience – We live in an impatient society: honking horns, angry words, people breaking in line, or giving up before completing a challenging task. But patience teaches us that not everything happens instantly, and there are benefits to waiting.
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NIV).
Patience teaches us that not everything happens instantly, and there are benefits to waiting.
Stretch Spiritually – Most of us are spiritually lazy, engaging in mindless pursuits instead. But we grow spiritually by spending time alone with God. For a month, praise God and express your desire to know him more personally. Make this a year when you read the Bible through. Even if you’ve done this before, you’ll discover fresh truths.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105 NLT).
As we close the door on 2021 and step into 2022, embrace what is ahead with trust and anticipation.
We have fresh opportunities to make changes, set new goals, and write new chapters of our lives.
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: 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 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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