My son asked me today about my New Year’s resolutions.
Weeell…I’m not really the resolution type. But I told him I do like the new year for new beginnings. For reevaluating, for seeing with fresh eyes and finding some intentionality in things that can run away from me in the tyranny of the urgent. (In the past couple of years at this time, I’ve shared ideas and questions to take your relationships to the next level, and some questions to bring your relationship with God to the next level, too.)
Maybe you still have a day or two of holiday time left. If so, I hope these journal prompts (designed for you to “prink” over–that’s pray and think) can help breathe some fresh air into your soul in 2018. Maybe you won’t know all the answers to these, and they need to rattle around in your head awhile.
You don’t need to be a slave to this list and do every item. Make this list a slave to your relationship with God–and make 2018 a year of more true freedom than ever before.
Happy New Year!
- Lose the weight (Hebrews 12:1): What’s one attitude, behavior, or personal snare I want to put off this year with renewed commitment?
- Need some ideas? Start with this one: If I asked people, what would they honestly answer is the most destructive habit in my personal relationships? Do I even know what it is?
- Or, Do I know my “pet idols” right now? What’s something that’s so precious or important to me that it becomes disordered? (David Powlison’s X-ray Questions are great for this.)
- Am I as convinced as they are that this is a problem? (I find value in author Gary Thomas’ sentiment: “I always underestimate the impact of my sin on other people.”)
- If my habit goes deeper than what they know, am I willing to tell someone I trust about the level of my dysfunction? (If not, am I really that committed to finding freedom from this?)
- Who is one person I can choose (perhaps choose again) to forgive?
- Who comes to mind when I read verses about “enemies”?
- What have been some of my most painful interpersonal experiences this last year? What are my gut-level responses?
- What’s one healthier way I could respond in personal conflict? (Click here for some practical ideas.)
- What’s one practical relational goal I could shoot for in order to love better this year?
- Maybe it’s remembering names. Listening better. Being more of a safe place. Choosing not to be defensive.
- For questions to help you think through some of your parenting tacks, click here. For a few steps toward more emotionally-healthy parenting, click here–and here for ways to pray for a marriage in tough times.
- What is one way I could love you and your people radically this year?
- What’s one spiritual discipline I could explore this year?
- Is there something I could fast from? (Author’s note: I found a lot of wisdom in this blog post: Your Free Time Isn’t Free.)
- Is there a way I could simplify? (One family I know chose not to buy any new home items for a year. Another chose to not buy any new clothing unless they gave something away. Another decided to eliminate one side dish from each meal. Another decided to host more simply so they could host more often and with more authenticity.)
- What do I wish my time with God looked like? What could I do to make my time with him–and my affections–more from the heart? (Check out this post on 31 Anything-But-Vanilla Methods to Bring Fresh Flavor to Times with God.)
- For what am I most grateful in this past year? (Challenge yourself to make a list of at least 50! Then thank God for each one.)
- How would I describe where I’m at as I start this new year?
- What adjectives would I use to describe this last year? To describe my current state of being?
- What questions is my soul asking? (If this is tough, you might start with questions like, What am I waiting on? What am I afraid of? By what am I discouraged? What do I hope for? What am I frustrated or struggling to understand?)
- How do I think you respond to me, Lord? What do you say in Scripture that’s salient to where I’m at?
- God, what do you want to create in me this year? You’re the Potter. Help me be open to what you’re really wanting to do. Help me to be humble and teachable.
- What ways am I standing in your way?
- What’s one way you would have be be courageous this year?
- What’s one way you would have me love sacrificially this year?
- What verses should I place before my eyes this year to form me more into who you want me to be? (Some people like to distill these goals into a word or a phrase to easily pull it to mind. Just make sure the phrase doesn’t stand in place of Scripture, or oversimplify situations and their complexity.)
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