November 23, 2022 • De Pree Journal
I’ve never liked making New Year’s Resolutions. It’s probably because I’m terrible at keeping them. So you likely won’t find me hitting the gym with renewed inspiration or cleaning out all the processed food in my pantry to replace it with kale chips and quinoa. I know myself. In a matter of days, I would be feeling guilty about skipping my workout and eating four too many handfuls of homemade Chex Mix. No thank you to the high bar and the bad feelings associated with not clearing it.
About five years ago, I started a new New Year’s practice. I grabbed my journal, a highlighter, and a comfy blanket and settled in to do some reflection. I flipped through the pages I had filled, looking for patterns, key insights, and big lessons I had learned. I highlighted what seemed important. Then I listed what I found on a new page. And then I prayed. I asked God which of the patterns, insights, or lessons he might be inviting me to carry forward into the new year with more intention.
And then I prayed. I asked God which of the patterns, insights, or lessons he might be inviting me to carry forward into the new year with more intention.
That year I came up with four words: FLYWHEEL, INQUIRE, WRITE, and WALL. I wrote them in sharpie on a sticky note. Then using a pen, I added a few more cues. Relentlessly push the flywheel. Inquire of the Lord often. Write more frequently. Break down walls. I then posted the sticky beside my computer so that I could see it almost every day. These were the practices, the habits I wanted to lean into for the next year.
If you’ve used our Advent journal, you’ll know that each day we’ve invited you to note a word or phrase that has jumped out at you from the daily Scripture readings. Perhaps you’ve listed those words or phrases on the downloadable grid we provided. If you haven’t it’s not too late to go back and do that now. But even if you didn’t use the journal or the grid, you can still do this short exercise.
I’d like to invite you to reflect prayerfully on all that God has taught you the past year, or even more specifically during this Advent. Were there any recurring themes? Lessons you kept coming back to? Could there be an invitation based on what God stirred in your heart?
Could there be an invitation based on what God stirred in your heart?
If so, maybe you’ll want to jot those down on a sticky note and think about making them some of your intentions for next year. If you engage in this little exercise and discern an invitation from God, I’d love to hear from you.
May God bless you as you step across the threshold into a new year.
Banner image by Ian Schneider on Unsplash.
Dr. Meryl Herr is the Director of Research and Resources at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership where she designs and conducts research studies that add to the understanding of what helps marketplace leaders flourish. She also oversees the conversion of research findings into resources to support individuals in all seasons of life and leadership.
Click here to view Meryl’s profile.