Every January brings the hope of a fresh slate. The new year brings new beginnings. New beginnings provide new chances. New chances create new opportunities. New opportunities inspire new ideas. Out with the old. In with the new. Many of us have been especially eager to let go of the past 2 years and pray for a better year ahead.
The relief and spaciousness of a new year full of anticipation and hope is part of the fresh slate that we all look forward to each year. A fresh start. New mercies. The unexpected. The impossible finally showing signs of becoming possible.
As we step off the track of December and embark on the train destined for the uncharted territory of a new year, these hopeful musings inspire us to purge closets and pantries, vow to lose stubborn weight, or invite our neighbor over for dinner.
In the midst of our purging and planning, whether in personal or business life, here is a template that we can use daily or weekly to keep us from having a short-lived-crash-and-burn takeoff in 2022.
Assess: Ponder the path of your feet. Then all your ways will be sure – Prov 4:26
Take some time to assess what you did that worked and what you did that didn’t work. Look for work/play imbalances in time and relationships. What did you read, watch, or do that built you up spiritually and professionally? What methods worked? What methods didn’t work? Did you reach your goals? Do you need to rewrite them or scrap them altogether? What do you need to purge? How was your attitude? Remember, your attitude determines your altitude.
Confess: A wise man listens to advice – Prov 12:15
Be honest with yourself and give your team the freedom to be honest with you. Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, describes the history of the company, and details the process behind its incredible string of hit films. Catmull says that in the early process of production, their hit movies were terrible. But they created a development method in which each movie was picked apart by what they called “The Braintrust” – a group of experienced Pixar colleagues who critiqued each movie with total candor. As difficult as it was to accept, this level of unbridled honesty is what made each film the works of art they became. If you want your company to be successful, confess that you don’t know everything and aren’t the best at everything, and allow qualified people whom you trust to be a part of the refining process.
Address: Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them – Jn 13:17
Take action. Address each area and decide what you are going to do. Take small and sure-footed steps toward change, making sure you are challenging and being challenged, but not overwhelming yourself or others. You may keep the template but rework the details. Review and renew what is out of date. Clean up the clutter and reorganize your calendar.
Last year may or may not have been your best year. Regardless, you don’t have to wait for a new year to begin again. Every day is a new chance to assess, confess, and address with God and man for your best year ever.