Tips  on spiritual growth, emotional health, and relational healing.


A Free Resource to Help You Succeed in 2017!

Dec 20, 2016

Are you ready for the New Year already?

I know some of us are doing all we can to soak up the last drops of 2016, while the rest of us are dying to turn the calendar to 2017.

new year planning guide sparkler

As I’m working hard to get ready for Christmas (one of the two “big days” each year for pastors like me), I’ve also been thinking about the new year with all the possibilities it holds.

I think many of us ask three questions as one year ends and another begins.

-Where have I been?

It’s normal to look back and reflect, especially in the week between Christmas and New Years Day. While there is a ton of research and current conversation around mindfulness, there is another group of growing research that we can’t just be present in the moment if we want to be filled happy and joyful. We have to take a larger view that takes in the context of the past and the future. When we look back and see all that has happened, our sense of gratitude in the moment grows.

-Where am I now?

If you’re snarky, then you might have just whispered to yourself, “I’m right here, Scott.” But the question is an important one. Self-awareness is not a universal experience and it often takes us time for our emotions to catch up to our awareness. We’ve all felt things we couldn’t describe in words. Before we can look ahead, we must take account of where we are, what we’re feeling and how we’re doing.

-Where do I want to go next?

One of the scariest and most exciting thing in the world is a blank page. I know as a writer, the scariest thing is a blank document with a blinking clicker. The worst thing to tell me as a guest speaker is “talk on whatever you want.” Eventually, though, we need to start filling out the borders and determining what we want to do and where we want to go. While many events will happen in the coming year beyond our control and plans, we do get to exercise a surprising amount of agency in our futures.

My Christmas Present to You

Amidst prepping for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at my church, I’ve been working on a Christmas present for you. I’ve assembled a workbook, entitled Making Change: How to Close Out One Year and Begin the Next. The workbook is a 27 page PDF which moves through ten prompts. These questions and exercises will help you reflect on the year you’re completing and the one you’re about to begin. I’ve been working through some of these questions myself and they’ve been helping make sense of year of massive change, along with planning for a year with incredible potential. You can get your copy of the workbook by clicking here.

new year planning guide workbook cover

I’m not exactly sure how much time you’ll need to engage this resource, but it will provoke reflection and some planning. I’d say set aside anywhere from an hour to a half day. If you’re traveling, this would be a great item to throw in your bag for a flight or a long road trip.

Next Tuesday, I’ll be sharing the top 10 articles on in 2016. But in the meantime, I hope you’ll download and print out this workbook. (If you print single-sided, you should have plenty of space for all of the exercises.) I hope to continue to refine the workbook, both its design and the content in the next couple weeks. And this might become an annual resource I share with readers like you!

This is kind of exciting – you get to be in on the ground floor of this resource with me! I’ve been praying these prompts would help you make more sense of 2016 in your life and clarify your dreams and intentions for 2017.

I’d love to hear from you as you process through it. Please share it with others!

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