2021 has been an exhausting season for many. I don’t know about you but I don’t feel like I have too much gas left in the tank for 2022. It’s tough to prepare mentally for a new season when you feel the light at the end of the tunnel is growing dim.
Vision and hope are the light at the end of the tunnel that helps us endure through exhausting seasons. Our ability to see a positive future provides the hope that energizes us to keep going. Hope is the fuel that keeps us moving forward in life.
I believe God wants to practically partner with us to reignite our vision and hope for the coming season. The New Year provides an invitation to prayerfully think through and expand our vision for the coming season. Clarity of vision helps us remain mentally and emotionally strong during times we feel most exhausted. When our tank feels empty, our God-given vision empowers us with supernatural strength when we feel like giving up.
Each December my wife and I begin to pray into the following seven areas, asking God to clarify His vision for what He wants to do in our lives and how we can partner with Him. We pray for more than good ideas, we pray for God’s ideas, for clarity in His vision for the year.
Take time to refuel your tank and pray into God’s vision for life in the seven areas listed below. Good intentions without developing a clear vision is wishful thinking that goes dark when life gets tough. Clarity of vision keeps hope alive and helps us stay mentally strong, illuminating the path ahead, even in the toughest seasons of life.
How can I personally grow with God this year?
What spiritual pathways help me to connect with God? How can I grow in these spiritual pathways?
Recommended Resource: Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas
How can I grow with each member of my immediate family this year?
How can I better understand the love languages of my spouse and children? How can I set aside intentional time each week to express love to each member of my family?
Recommended Resource: Gary Chapman 5 Love Languages Quiz - https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language
Mental/Emotional Wellness Vision
What mental or emotional baggage am I carrying into the New Year? What steps do I need to take to offload past weights to start the year fresh? (Consider counselling, prayer counselling, talking to a friend, or other personal growth activities.)
How can I create space to better process uncomfortable thoughts and feelings this year instead of letting them build up? (Consider ongoing scheduled counselling or mentorship meetings, daily prayer journaling or talking to a friend, and improved self-care practices.)
Schedule a weekly sabbath to create space to emotionally connect with God and self.
Recommended Resource: Emotionally Health Spiritually by Peter Scazzero
Physical Wellness Vision
What is one practical way I can better steward my physical health to experience more mental, emotional, and spiritual clarity? Consider focusing on the area that most impacts your overall wellness (e.g. more consistent sleep schedule; physical activity; healthier eating).
Recommended Reading: The Seven Pillars of Health by Dr. Don Colbert
Write a list of the top fifteen people you spend the most time with.
Sort your people into three categories:
o Giver (person who supports and energizes me)
o Taker (person who I’m supporting and depletes my energy)
o Reciprocal (friends who support me as much as I support them)
Ask God which givers and takers He has called you to most intentionally invest in this year.
Ensure you are spending more time outside of your job/role with givers instead of takers.
What aspects of my present role in the church align with God’s vocational vision for my life? How can I spend more time completing energizing activities within my sweet spot?
What aspects of my present role are outside of my strengths and/or vocational vision? How can I ask for support from my team or work more strategically to feel less drained in my role?
Hobbies & Recreation Vision
What are some ways I can have more fun this year?
What recreational activities best recharge my energy?