My husband asked the other night if I had any regrets from 2017. We both admitted we’ve said and done things we wish we hadn’t, and didn’t say or do some things we wish we had. But overall, neither one of us had any regrets. Those small setbacks don’t overrule the fact that we stayed on course and kept moving in the right direction.
What about you? Do you have any regrets? Even if you made massive mistakes and willfully bad choices, you can start fresh this year. There may be some lingering consequences and restitution to be made, but as Anne of Green Gables said so well, “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” The difference is determined by whether you hold on to regret and keep rehashing the past, or let it go and make a new plan.
It’s not too late to determine your course for this year, while you’re still getting used to writing 2018. You can be sorry for the past without getting stuck there: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Cor. 7:10, emphasis mine). So how do we escape the mire of regret?
First, look back and assess how last year went. Make a conscious choice to turn away from the things that dragged you down last year (repent). Then determine to make better choices this year.
Ask yourself the following questions. Better yet, talk them over with a trusted friend. You’ll both be inspired and can keep each other accountable to stay on track.
Evaluate the Past:
- What did I do right in my relationships with others?
- What did I do right in my relationship with God?
- What did I do to take care of my Body? Mind? Emotions?
- How well did I manage my job, free time, and finances?
- What are three words that would best describe me this past year? (for example: cheerful, irritable, edgy, growing, sincere)
Determine Your Course for the Future:
- What is one major change I would like to make this year? What steps do I need to take to make it reality?
- Pick three words you would like to describe you in the coming year. (for example: kind, generous, punctual, dependable, good listener, honest)
- What changes do I need to make in order to become that person?
- What is one thing I can do to improve my Mental, Physical, or Emotional health?
- What three things can I do to get closer to God and others?
How is this different from making New Year’s resolutions? It’s specific. Too often we throw out resolutions in a general desire to be better in the New Year, but fail to keep them because we don’t evaluate last year or take steps to behave differently this year. Hopefully, these details will keep you and me from wallowing in last year’s failures, and encourage us to take steps toward a victorious 2018.
We will never be perfect this side of heaven, but with God’s help, we can be better than we were.
Happy New Year!
#evaluationdetermination #abettermein2018 #determineacourse #noregrets #newyearresolutions