The mind feasts on what it focuses on.
What consumes my thinking will be the making or breaking of my identity.
— Lysa Terkeurst
When it comes to choosing a theme for upcoming year, first you have to know what you want and why you want it.
What is your identity?
What are your core values?
What masks are you hiding behind?
What do you want to achieve in your future?
Which of your talents are most useful in this pursuit?
If you’re not sure, consider these questions about the different areas of your life.
To thoroughly explore these answers, rate yourself in each one and decide where you’d most like to see growth. Ask yourself, “What do I want to create in these parts of my life? What do I want to see more of? What do I want to see less of? Which aspect makes the most sense to start with?”
Ideally, you want to rank your satisfaction with these areas of your life on a scale of 1-10. There’s no right or wrong answer—if it feels like a 5 to you, then it is. If an area scores low, ask yourself why and consider what you need to change in your life.
Recognize Your Life Season
Be brutally honest, but also don’t be too hard on yourself. If you have recently escaped an abusive relationship, or if you are still living in a toxic environment — recognize that this season of life may include setting very basic goals to underpin your theme for the year.
If you’re in survival mode, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a theme or set goals, it just means that you need to give yourself permission to focus on the basics. You may want to answer these questions twice – once related to the essentials right now, and once related to your long-term dreams. Most of all, don’t be afraid to set very simple goals if that’s what you need. These could include: going for a walk, drinking enough water, remembering to eat, making your bed, showering daily, finding a prayer support group, etc.
Here are more questions to ask yourself. Don’t skimp on the honest answers — you can’t accurately assess your needs, determine your goals, and set your theme for a wild new year if you’re not telling yourself the unvarnished truth in the process. You’ll thank yourself later, even though it’s hard work right now.
Family and Friends
Are you happy in your relationships?
Are you spending enough time with the people you love?
Are you regularly speaking the love languages of those you care about?
How would you rate your relationships overall?
Does your career align with your values?
Are you on the path toward where you want to be?
(For example, if you value being home and raising little ones then a career on the fast-track that has you constantly traveling isn’t going to be the best alignment.)
Is there a career or ministry pursuit you’ve been dreaming of but afraid to try?
How would you rate your career overall?
Do you wake up each morning energized and ready to go or do you feel sluggish, tired, and unmotivated?
Are you making time to move your body each day and eat nourishing meals?
Have you sought out experts like a doctor or chiropractor for any health issues that you’re experiencing?
How would you rate your health overall?
Spirituality and Faith
What kind of atmosphere exists in your life and in your relationships?
Do you feel at peace with your relationship with Jesus?
Are you confident in God’s love for you?
Do you anticipate good things happening to you and for you?
How are you living out the values of your spirituality in your day-to-day life?
How would you rate your spirituality or faith overall?
Are you financially stable or are you living paycheck to paycheck?
Do you have a monthly budget that makes you feel confident about where your money is going?
Do you have a savings plan in place for things like retirement and college? How would you rate your financial management overall?
What do you want to achieve?
Are there goals on your achievement list that you’ve realized aren’t important or don’t belong there?
What are some new achievements you’d like to add to the list?
How would you rate your current level of achievements overall?
What activities do you consider fun?
Are you prioritizing them?
Are you regularly taking time away for fulfilling activities that energize you?
How would you rank your fun experiences overall?
Take a day or two to reflect on the assessments you’ve made of your life as it is right now.
Journal Your Thoughts
1. What areas of your life have you improved in the past year?
2. How did you make these improvements?
3. What areas of your life would you like to change in the upcoming year?
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