Happy New You!
I'm usually inspired to write about what the previous year has taught me, but 2020 did not spark creativity for me. Fear outweighed my faith too many times to count last year. Anxiety was the main course in my daily diet, and I engorged myself beyond recognition. By year's end, I was mentally drained! Hence, the lack of inspiration.
There were simply too many tough lessons to learn from 2020, and we’ve already discussed them ad nauseum with our friends and family. They’ll be etched in our memories for the rest of our lives. God willing, we will evolve into better versions of ourselves, and pass these lessons down to future generations.
Let there be light
There were some silver linings too, however, I choose not to reflect on those either out of respect and empathy for everyone who suffered loss after loss last year. But, I would gently encourage all of us to remember every single experience or interaction that filled our darker moments with light.
Let’s write them down. Read them out loud. Make them the main course in our daily diets, so that we’ll be able to access them at a moment’s notice, whenever the doldrums try to creep up. I’ll be holding onto my light for dear life.
So, if I’m not writing about the hard lessons or the silver linings of 2020, what is there to talk about as we tiptoe into 2021?
Instead of looking back, I’ve got to keep my eyes on the horizon. With each new year, we’re given a fresh start. We can continue doing and being the same, or we can decide to add something extraordinary to our repertoire. It’s a Divine gift to be able to shift focus and change the trajectory of our lives. We are the only creatures on Earth that have been designed with that privilege in mind.
I don’t know about you, but I simply cannot continue doing and being the same. I was recently blessed to see another birthday, my 55th. That’s a milestone for me. My father died soon after he turned 56, and I wonder if there’s anything he would’ve done differently if he had known that 55 would be his final year alive. I wonder if he would still be alive now if he had shifted his focus, changed his trajectory, or transformed in some way.
Some people say that life is short. I prefer to say that life is precious. If we believe either of those, then each moment must be filled with intention. The time I spend doing mindless activities is time I will never get back. The hours spent wringing my hands over situations that I cannot control could be put to better use. Should be put to better use!
So, instead of resolutions or unrealistic goals, I’m making one simple pledge to myself this year: To intentionally fill my days with purpose and meaning, living each day as an act of gratitude, and trimming the fat that’s been weighing me down for far too long.
This may sound vague, but it’s actually very specific. There are 24 hours in each day. If we spend 16 hours sleeping and working, that leaves 8 hours to do everything else. After deducting the time for household chores and other responsibilities, there are only a few hours left in a day!
New year...New you!
That’s our time to live with intention, to have more meaningful experiences, to transform. Spending those hours doing anything that violates the pledge is like stealing precious time from ourselves. And that’s a loss we can no longer sustain. If it doesn’t bring value, peace, enrichment, or edification, then it has to go. Period.
So, with that in mind, I invite you to make a similar pledge to yourself this year, tailor-made to your own circumstances. What's taking up valuable space in your life, robbing you of your peace? What's getting in the way of the transformation you've always wanted to see in yourself? More importantly, what's blocking you from the purpose you were uniquely created to fulfill?
As you make these discoveries, I will be praying that this year turns out to be a much happier year than the last one, and that you are too. Happy New You!
Philippians 4:6 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Genesis 1:3 - Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
John 8:12 - Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Colossians 3:2 - Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Romans 12:2 - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
James 4:14 - whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.