As you begin a new year, know this: The Holy Spirit wants to help you learn from last year and bring your most important lessons into the new year.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my newsletter so you can download my FREE PDF called “Ready to Grow” that will guide you through my exact 5-step process for a fantastic year-end review. 

Once you’ve done some good reflecting (and recording) about your:

  • Pain and failures 
  • Successes and growth
  • Life lessons and messages from God
  • Looking ahead in faith
  • Connecting the dots

What do you do with all these insights? Let me walk you through my process, which I just worked through this morning (Jan 1, 2023!).

1. Prayerfully ‘boil-down’ your list. 

I prayer journal every day, and my ‘year-end’ process involves re-reading my journal entries for the year. My ‘master list’ of possible new-years’ takeaways from those entries was 66 items long! I read the list I’ve recorded in one sitting, then mentally ‘filtered’ it with God, using this criteria: “These are all significant, but which few do you want me to bring with me into the coming year?” This is what my new list looked like:

Notice a few things: My list is now shorter, though still pretty messy. Secondly, I’m starting to put things into categories. But it’s still too expansive to be useful. I use God’s directive to the prophet Habakkuk to focus: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it” (Hab. 2:2). 

2. Pray for direction about the main ‘pillars’ or categories to focus on. 

Most of your notes can probably fit into groupings with similiar ideas. Here’s how that looked in my second step:

3. Break them down to single sentences.

Now that I know what each of the headings or categories include, I summarize them as conscisely as possible:

And now I have it: My marching orders for 2023! I will put this on post-it notes, journal about it, pray about it, and return to it over and over again through the coming year. My prayer, as the Holy Spirit empowers me, is to make significant progress in these three areas. Because God has helped me discern them, I know that growth is coming, and I welcome it.

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