Reflections: Step Boldly
Another one bites the dust! With 2016 gone and behind you, how are you stepping into 2017? Are you devoted to doing whatever it takes to be the best you? Will you boldly step into the year driven by your purpose? I am not talking about a New Year’s resolution but a commitment to make life-changing decisions! In January of 2016, I chose three words that would help shape my year: intentional, determined, and focused. With each step I took in 2016, I made the choice to put these words at the forefront. Using them, I redirected myself quickly when I got off track. Additionally, they realigned me with my purpose when I seemingly missed the mark.
As I completed my year-end reflections, I was able to celebrate more victories than I had done in years past. The fact of the matter is, I enabled myself to navigate clearly and effectively by applying intentionality, determination and focus. This year, I have already set new goals that align with my purpose. Have you set your goals for 2017? If not, pause for a moment and write out some goals for the year before moving forward with the rest of this blog. Be sure to identify what makes them important and how do they directly align with your purpose. Writing down your goals allows you to get them out of your head and into action.
Now that you have written out your goals, take a moment to reflect in the rearview mirror of 2016. How was last year for you? What were some of your key victories? Maybe your year did not go as you had hope. That is ok. The late Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose, I either win or learn.” Do not harbor on the negative aspects, what you loss, who offended you or where you went wrong. Truly reflect on the lessons you learned through those circumstances. The lessons are vital to your success. If you are not able to see large victories, what small victories can you claim from the year? Redefine how you see the year by choosing to reflect on the lessons and the wins that can help catapult you into your 2017.
With each step you take, commit to growth. Growing can be uncomfortable, but the benefits will far surpass the discomfort. Here are some healthy habits that you may consider incorporating into the year that could alleviate some of the growing pains.
Try not to repeat the lessons that you have already learned;
Choose to reflect on the lessons learned not the “tragic” losses;
Celebrate your wins, whether small or large;
Find reasons to laugh; and
Importantly, take strides towards accomplishing your goals.
As you may have guessed, I will continue to allow the same three words to direct me as I step into 2017. What three words will you use to direct your path this year? Let me know in the comments section below. Also, please feel free to share how they will assist you with being successful this year. I am excited to see what 2017 brings. Are you?
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Align | Redefine | Grow
P.S. I am in the process of writing a 365-day devotional. I would like to share an excerpt from day one, as it seems fitting for the blog.
Philippians 3:12-14 (NASB)
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul, like so many of us, had a past that was not reflective of his present. His former life was focused on status and material possessions. It was a faithless life that wanted nothing to do with Christ. In fact, he ridiculed and persecuted Christians. His daunting past could have easily controlled and dictated his future but Paul did not allow his former lifestyle to remain his focus. Had he done so, Paul could have missed out on what God had to offer.
The bittersweet truth is, all of us have a past. If we are honest with ourselves, we might be able to identify with some of the same challenges that Paul reflects on in this chapter. Regardless of what our history is or what mountains we have faced in the past, Paul’s letter reminds us to redirect our attention on what is ahead instead of what is behind us.
Along this journey of life, we may find ourselves looking in the rearview mirror far too often catching a glimpse of what is behind us. Don’t linger too long; there is a better destination ahead. As this new year of planning continues and goal setting is in full force, make Christ your center focus this year. If He is the core foundation of your plans, you are already set up for success. Strive to be more like our Savior. Ask Him for daily renewal and to direct every step you take.