The start of a new year is often emotional and thought-provoking. You may find yourself filled with regret for some part of the past year, or particularly excited for something upcoming in the new year. Emotions can feel good or bad, but they are a natural part of life. Even difficult emotions, like sadness and anger, have a purpose in life and can be used for our growth and for our good.
It can be helpful to start a new year or a new season of life with some reflection. Where have you been? Where do you want to be going? It is important to ground this reflection in prayer and in Scripture – ultimately, we want to be going wherever it is that God wants to lead us!
Here are some questions you may want to reflect on as the year 2017 is getting started:
- What memories stick out to me the most about this past year? Take time to reflect on the good and the bad. What makes these memories stand out?
- What did I learn this past year? How might that need to influence this new year?
- What habits, actions, or words from this past year helped me to grow, to love well, or to live well? How do I want to continue those actions in the new year?
- What habits, actions, or words from this past year turned out to be not very helpful, or perhaps even hurtful to myself or others? What can I do in the new year to stop those actions? How can I replace them with more helpful and good actions?
- How am I hearing God today and how am I seeing him in my life? If I don’t feel very close to God, what might be the cause? How can I grow closer to him this new year? If I do feel close to him, where is He leading me next? How can I obey him more fully?