Embarking on a new year doesn’t demand a grand entrance or a powerful finish. You don’t have to start strong. You don’t have to finish strong. You don’t have hurry forward. You don’t have to slow down. You get to listen to God and let HIM plan your best year ever through His eyes.

What does the “best year ever” mean to you? When contemplating the phrase “best year ever,” some may think of Michael Hyatt’s goal-oriented approach. It could evoke images of increased productivity, goal-crushing triumphs, habit improvements, and decisive action. However, for some you are genuinely trying to keep your head above water. Putting one foot in front of the other is triumph and boldly walking out each day is success. No matter how you are feeling as we approach 2024, two things are sure.

1. You will face a new year ahead. 2. Only you can determine how you face it.

If you are in a hard season, I want to give you permission to redefine the “success” of a best year ever. For you, success may be surviving, not thriving. Circumstances, illness, loss of a job or loved one have catapulted you into survival mode. As the year 2022 ended, I was ending a season of survival. The 2-3 years prior to the end of 2022 were filled with lots of loss. Loss of my voice in certain situations. Loss of my precious Father. Loss of friendships I thought were stronger. Loss of identity.

It was great relief to walk forward into the unknown of 2023 as I actively participated in ongoing grief, yet moving forward into a new season. It is in the reflection of 2023 that I see the truth of Joel 2 that says God faithfully redeems the years the locust had eaten. I see fruit where I saw barrenness. I see peace where I experienced dread. I see growth where I was pruned. I see opportunity where I saw emptiness.

Where do you see yourself as you reflect on 2023 and look toward 2024?

SURVIVING: If this is you, your best year ever will involve prioritizing self-care by showing up one day at a time. Sleeping well. Eating well. Relying on the help of others. It may mean being less productive, pausing an activity for a season and readjusting your regular commitments. It may mean talking to your Pastor or engaging with a licensed counselor. This is your permission to do what is necessary as you enter 2024 ahead to avoid the temptation to take on too much. This is your permission to lay something down. This is your permission to ask for help.

THRIVING: Some of you are in a season (or entering a season) of thriving! You are like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. To thrive in 2024, you start with the end in mind. What are the goals you identify in areas of spiritual life, health/wellness, finances, relationships and career? What do you need to add to your days, weeks and months to become stepping stones toward ending well in these areas? Start reading the Bible each day? Save for your kid’s college? Learn a new skill or certification through a class? Hire a Coach to help you stay accountable and achieve your goals.

Whether you are surviving or thriving, please tell someone that you love about how you are approaching the year ahead. Sharing your approach to the year ahead may feel vulnerable, but accountability will keep you moving forward in a strong and healthy way. Who is someone who wants to support you in 2024?

Let’s participate in God’s unique version of our best year ever!

****Suggested resources for your best year ever planning:

Cultivate What Matters Goal Planning Sheets https://cultivatewhatmatters.com/collections/2024-powersheets-2

Your Best Year Ever Book https://www.amazon.com/Your-Best-Year-Ever-Achieving/dp/1540902692/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3K8RAA937ZN8T&keywords=your+best+year+ever+by+michael+hyatt&qid=1701789292&sprefix=best+year+ever%2Caps%2C87&sr=8-1

M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan https://www.mcheyne.info/calendar.pdf

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