With 2021 right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about ways to start the new year right. Often seen as a time to refresh your thinking, re-prioritize your goals, and start something new, the new year brings with it a breath of optimism.
2020 has been one for the books. As a society–and as people of faith–we have experienced some of the most unique and difficult times, both collectively and individually. Here is how to get the most out of 2021.
1. Look Back on 2020
One of the best ways to start the new year right is to look back on the prior year. A lot happened in 2020. Think about the significant experiences you had, things you did well, areas where you can improve, and how you want to approach 2021. Some questions you may consider asking yourself are…What are three things that went really well for me in 2020?
What is something new that I accomplished?
How did areas of my life get better? Why?
How did areas of my life get worse? Why?
What did I do to prioritize my faith?
What did I do to focus on my relationships?
Where did I stop doing something that was the right decision?
Where do I wish I would have invested more time, money, energy, focus?
By evaluating 2020, you will be able to clearly see what went well that you can continue in 2021 and the areas of your life that you want to change or improve in the new year. This will help you determine your priorities, goals, and more for the new year.
2. Set Your Priorities for the Year
If you don’t set your priorities for the year, they will determine themselves based on who and what needs the most amount of your attention, time, and money. However, those things that take the most from you aren’t necessarily the things that deserve the most. So, intentionally setting your priorities for the year is one of the ways to start the new year right. Ask yourself,
- Is it your faith? Family? Friends?
- Do you want to spend more time volunteering? At your church? In the community?
- Is this a year of sowing where hard work is a top priority?
There are no right or wrong answers. It is simply important that you set your priorities so you can plan for the new year in ways that support your decision.
3. Determine Your Goals and a Plan to Keep Them
Once you have your priorities determined, you can begin to set goals around those things. But a goal is no good without a plan, so be sure to set yourself up for success by writing down your goals and making a plan to keep them.
4. Dream Big From the Start
As a way to start the new year right, dream with God and don’t be afraid to dream big. When you do, you can be confident your goals and plans are aligned with God’s will for your life. As scripture says,
“In their hearts humans plan their course but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9), and “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21, NIV).”
Invite God into your 2021 planning so that you can align your heart with His purpose for you.
5. Put Your Faith First
Putting your faith first is one of the most valuable ways to start the new year. With God at the center of everything you do and every decision you make in 2021, you will experience greater joy and peace, regardless of what the year brings.
6. Concentrate on Your Health
You can start the new year right with a focus on your health–physical, emotional, and spiritual. It is important to take care of yourself, your body, and your mind. Whether you start going to the gym with a friend, walking in the evenings, attending counseling sessions, or cooking new, healthy meals, there are a variety of ways to start the new year right by concentrating on your health and wellness.
7. Focus on Friends and Family
With a new year comes a new focus. As you think back to your relationships in 2020, consider how you can continue to grow and strengthen your relationships with friends and family. God created us for community; it is essential. Decide how you are going to put your friends and family first this year. Some ideas are planning to eat dinner together as a family once a week, writing a letter to a far-away friend, and finding a hobby to do with the ones you love.
8. Write a 2021 Mission Statement
The last way to start the new year right is to take all of these things into consideration and craft a meaningful life mission statement for 2021. A mission statement helps you identify what is important to you and keeps you accountable to yourself. To start, think about your priorities, goals, and dreams. Then, consider your faith, health, family, and friends. Next, write down what is important to you, including your beliefs and values. Take all this information and craft a one to two sentence summary of these things–something to live by in the new year and beyond.
An example of a mission statement is: “To love my family, care for my friends, prioritize my health, and walk closely with God to experience a year filled with hope, joy, love, and peace.”
It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong mission statement. Create one that is unique and meaningful to you.
At All Things By Faith, our mission statement is “to provide apparel that inspires you to share the Gospel and express your faith and to use sound theology and passion for the gospel through our unique designs.” All of our Christian t-shirts and faith accessories are created with this mission statement at heart. As we start 2021, we will continue to make sharing the Gospel, providing quality Christian clothing, and inspiring people like YOU our main focus and top priority.