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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Filtering by Tag: Tsh Oxenreider

Reflection: The necessary preliminary for New Year's Resolutions

We've home from our holiday travel, and this evening, we'll welcome guests for the next four days. Today is our day to grocery shop, unpack and generally get life back together after our ten days away. And because it is December 29, I'm in the mood for making New Year's Resolutions. It's probably more true that I don't make resolutions so much as I attend prayerfully to the desires that I have for the coming year and how God has been at work in me and in our family in the recent past. A New Year isn't always so much about momentous change as it can be a recommitment of purpose (and the incremental transformation that happens as a result). The real question to be asking, whether it's a New Year or not, is: how do I commit myself more deliberately to participating with God and His current activity in my life?

Before setting goals (and I believe in goals), I think an important preliminary is to reflect on the year we've put under our feet.

Before we determine where we might want to go, let's first consider where we've been.

I've found a really helpful set of questions at written by Tsh Oxenreider of I've been journalling through the questions myself, and I'd encourage you to create some space and time this weekend (before you jump into your resolutions!) to reflect on your 2011. I'll write more next week on the themes of commitment, purpose, and goals, which are all ways that we advance forward with God. But first, do this:

Pause. Linger. Listen.

Attend to the year that's behind you, in all of its joys and disappointments, expectations and achievements, losses and loves.

Some of my favorite questions from Tsh's inventory are:

What was an unexpected joy this past year?

What was an unexpected obstacle?

What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

What was the best way you used your time this past year?

You can find the complete list of questions here. And let me know what you learn from your look back!