7 Steps to Ease Your Way into the New Year

How will you greet the New Year? Will it be with optimism and hope or do you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even depressed about what’s to come?

The answer may depend on how prepared you are.

There is no time like now to take a break from your hectic holiday schedule and prepare for the year ahead.

calendar on ipad

Plan for a Successful New Year

Don’t overbook yourself.

After the holidays, you may be tempted to continue with your packed schedule of events and obligations during the new year.

Although it’s important for us to maintain our commitments, we also need time for rest and renewal. Don’t hesitate to say “no” if an invitation is offered.

Use that time to get a jump start on you.

We are spirit, soul, and body. All three of these will need to be prepped, but it’s always best to work from the inside out.

Prepare Spiritually for the New Year

You may find it hard to steal away in times when we’re encouraged to be with loved ones, but it’s worth the sacrifice.

I find that some of my greatest clarity comes when others are preoccupied with the norms of life. That means they’re giving me space and the usual requests are minimum.

I proactively plan times to take a break and just sit in the quiet, read my Bible, and wait on God to respond.

Where’s that space in your schedule? What’s that place you can go to and not be interrupted?

Prepare Mentally for the New Year

The next part is about your thought life. I call this space reflection.

It’s a good idea to take a deep look at your last year. What got you off track? What bothered you? Did you have any negative outlooks?

Be really honest here. Every person is likely to be able to respond to one of these questions if not all. It’s not a sign of detriment. It’s a space to improve.

Once you figure out those things, seek to understand why you were affected and how you can work to not respond in the same way.

Sometimes we become angry and resentful. Other times, we’re disappointed in ourselves for not doing enough or something new happens that makes us feel like a failure.

If your last year has been difficult to look back on, try thinking about what you need to let go of while looking forward into the new year.

Prepare Physically for the New Year

Physical health is one of those things that hits people’s new year’s list of improvements before anything else.

Gym memberships are purchased more than any other time of the year. Exercise equipment goes flying out the stock.

Sadly, most people give up before the first quarter of the year is up. Did they really lose the zeal that fast?

Maybe or there could be a better approach. If you plan to work on yourself in a physical way, pace yourself. Plan for small changes that ultimately get you to where you plan to be.

I’d rather cut one thing out of my diet per month or aim for 1 to 2 pounds per week than to go overboard.

You’ve got to decide if you want to be the tortoise that wins or the hare that gives out.

What Do You Want in This New Year?

I was reading a book by Bob Goff recently entitled “Dream Big“. One of the challenges he gives is to say what you want for real.

Don’t be afraid of whatever it is. Just say it. Tell yourself and God what you want.

Sometimes we don’t do that as if we’re going to offend God. Sure, I know Solomon asked for wisdom and not riches, but is that your real prayer?

In this new year, be brave and honest. God already knows your heart.

Steps to Ease Your Way into the New Year

These five simple steps are not only great for the new year but for your entire life.

  1. Right Attitude: No matter what the past year has brought to your life, make a decision to have a positive outlook.
  2. Forward Mindset: If you drag your past hurts, issues with others, etc. into the new year, it won’t be as clean of a slate as it could be. Make peace. Forgive.
  3. Purge: Sometimes we carry things so long that we don’t even recognize we need to let them go. Use your time of prayer to really hear God and see what He’s leading you to let go of.
  4. Form Habits: If you approach the changes you want to make with the aim to form a new habit, you’ll have a better chance than a resolution or goal. When we work to make long-term life changes, we allow time to get there.
  5. Practice Grace: The reason a lot of people give up is that they forget something beautiful called grace. We all miss the mark. Don’t let that be the end, simply try again the next day.
  6. Write It Down: Whether you like planners, vision boards or just a piece of paper, be sure to highlight where you’re headed. Visually seeing it will be great stimulation on the hard days.
  7. Pray: We can’t do this without God. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV states “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Whether big or small, God wants to lead us in all things.
Ease Your Way into the New Year pin

I hope you gained some insight into how to prepare for the new year. This list is by no means exhaustive, so what would you add? Please share in the comments below!

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