“Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right,” opined Oprah.
There is something wonderful about January 1. A certain magic in new beginnings. The feeling of a fresh start. The anticipation of what lies ahead.
The new year is a time of resolution. Declaration. And decision making. We also receive a lot of advice from various sources about our chance to get it right. Here are 10 tips that will help you make 2020 your best year ever.
1. Begin with God.
“Nothing is ever settled until it is settled right,” once wrote Rudyard Kipling. But I would add, “Nothing is settled right until you’re right with God.”
Never forget that every good gift you enjoy comes because of God’s graciousness (Jas. 1:17). Don’t leave God out of your proposals for the new year. Make all your plans with the contingency, “if the Lord wills” (Jas. 4:13-15).
Furthermore, if there’s something amiss in your life, get it right. Whatever it takes, get right with God.
2. Be Principle Driven.
It’s been observed that New Year’s Resolutions last about 7 days. And by February they’re a distant memory. Writer and author Leonard Sweet suggested that we first define our core values. Know what’s important to you. The center of your life. Be driven by your principles.
3. Live Intentionally.
Poet Samuel supposedly once quipped that “Hell is paved with good intentions.” There’s a difference between desire and action. Wishing and purposing. And saying “I did” instead of “I should.”
John Maxwell has written an entire book on “Intentional Living. He says “good intentions are enough.” We must build “the bridge between knowing and doing.” Curt Kampmeier was right, “If you’re going to grow, you have to be intentional.”
4. Set Some Goals.
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes,” advised Andrew Carnegie. I would add be sure your goals are based on your core values.
Set goals for each area of your life. Spiritually. Physically. Financially. As well as family goals.
5. Value Time.
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of,” counseled Benjamin Franklin.
The Bible exhorts, “make the best use of your time because the days are evil” (Eph 5:16).
There’s an old adage that says, “time waits for no one.” The older we get the more we’re reminded of the importance and value of time. Don’t just spend your time. Invest it in people, experiences and opportunities that reap dividends in this life and the life to come.
6. Put Others First.
Selfishness is a sin. And self-centeredness may be at the root of many of our personal problems. Jesus’ timeless advice, “treat other people the way you want to be treated” (Matt 67:12) will go a long way toward putting others first.
7. Forget the Past.
Learn from the past, but don’t live in the past. Whatever failures, shortcomings, blunders and mistakes you made in 2019 cannot be changed. Your 2020 will be better if, like Paul, your willing to forget those things which are behind you (Phil. 3:13)
8. Embrace Change
The ancient Heraclitus observed, “The only constant in life is change.” That was true 2500 years ago. It’s true today. Welcome change. Embrace it. And facilitate it in your life. Remember that all growth involves change.
Furthermore, instead of worrying about changing the world or others changing, in the words of Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
9. Be Urgent.
2020 will be filled with many opportunities to do good. Seize them. Don’t procrastinate. Take action. Live with a sense of urgency.
10. Press Forward.
Success in every endeavor in life requires persistence. Keep going. One of my favorite Bible verses imbibes this principle and offers this encouragement.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” 91 Cor 15:58).
You can make 2020 a great year. Your best year ever. In the words of George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you’ve might have been.”
Happy New Year!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman