By: Rachel Brown
Christmas has come and gone (how?!) and New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching. In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, it’s a good idea to take some time to reflect on where you have been (literally and figuratively) and where you want to go in the next year. But how do we do that, exactly? Here are some ideas.
Write – in a Journal, on a Blog, on a Post-It Note
It doesn’t matter where or when or how you write, but putting pen to paper allows us to reflect more deeply on our lives, and it provides accountability for dreams we have for the future. It also helps to have ideas and goals written down because then we can revisit them a few weeks, months, or even years later to chart our progress. Research even shows that writing down our reflections and goals makes us more likely to make strides toward success in the future. So if you are a journaler, make a list of what you accomplished this year and what you’d like to do next year. If you’re a blogger, share your hopes and dreams for the New Year with your readers. If you’re neither, simply jot down your ideas on a Post-It note; stick it where you will frequently see it to be reminded of what you hope to achieve in 2016.
Spend Time in Prayer
Use your quiet time to reflect on the past year with God. Ask Him to shed light on things that have transpired that don’t make much sense yet; thank Him for the wonderful things that occurred, for the blessings that made your life bright. Sit quietly and ask Him what He wants from you in 2016. You may be surprised by the answer. Write it down (see above!) and prayerfully consider how you can put this direction into action. Revisit your questions and hopes with Him frequently; this will bring you clarity in your life and closeness in your relationship with God.
Find Accountability Partners
Whether in the form of your small group or another community group of some kind, or perhaps just through a relationship with one friend or loved one, seek out accountability for your dreams for 2016. Ask your accountability partners to gently check in with you from time to time, withholding the desire to reprimand you if progress isn’t being made and merely reminding you that they are a presence that is following up in the hopes that you’ll succeed in your goals. Just as it is with writing your goals down, voicing your dreams makes them come alive. Inviting accountability partners into this sacred space makes your dreams come alive, too, and this act motivates you to complete them, knowing your loved ones are cheering you on.
Photo Cred: Chelsea Stellar
Rachel is the Director of Project Development for Touch A Life, an organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been exploited and trafficked in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Though she loves working in the non-profit world, Rachel has always been passionate about writing, pursuing opportunities to put pen to paper outside of her day job. Aside from writing for Darling Magazine, she maintains a personal blog, Coffee & Tacos, where she connects with others through food, travel, faith & community. Rachel lives in Dallas, TX, with her husband and their adorably large English mastiffs.