Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

The last days of 2018 sped by like the final squares on a roll of toilet paper. In considering the New Year, my prayer is that I’ll manage my life instead of arbitrary influences controlling me. After the holidays, I have lots of things that need to be corralled—including sweets, spending, and schedules!

Interruptions and temptations to address the immediate at the expense of the important fill every stage of life. Someone posted a meme that said good habits are as easy to make and keep as bad ones. I don’t buy it! Bad habits come by default. Good ones take effort.

Jesus’ Example

Jesus’ words to His Father on the night of His betrayal intrigue and challenge me: “I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do” (John 17:4 NIV).

How could He say this? Think of all those who had not yet heard His message. What about all those who were sick and hadn’t been healed? Notice, He did not say all the work was completed but that He had finished the work His Father had given Him to do. There is a difference.

At the end of my life I want to know I brought glory to my Father by doing His will. For that to happen I must guard my daily focus like a mother bear protects her cubs.

At times Jesus left crowds that had gathered to hear Him. He skipped lunch to have a conversation with one Samaritan woman. These choices don’t appear strategic, yet that one woman brought her whole town to Jesus!

How did Jesus know His Father’s will? He told us in John 5:19 (NIV):

Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does”

Jesus kept His eyes on His Father. “‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work’” (Jn. 4:35 NIV). Have you made that your life aim?

A successful runner keeps the finish line in mind. A year is a lap in the race of life. To end well we need to know where we’re headed. Here are some suggestions to help you start and end 2019 well.

What work has God given you?

God has given us different bents, talents, and spiritual gifts. You may feel drawn to pray, teach, serve, evangelize, or encourage. But all believers share a common work—the work of faith.

When some people asked Jesus, “‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent’” (Jn. 6:28-29 NIV).

The work of every believer is to walk by faith—in every area of life, not just in the spiritual arenas. “The righteous will live by faith” (Rom. 1:17 NIV). Paul went so far as to say that “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Rom. NIV), and the context of this statement is eating.

That means believing Jesus in me is greater than any trial I will face this year. He is able to save me from the pull of sin, any job challenge, relationship problem, my own weaknesses, bitterness, and discouragement. I have no excuse to continue in fear and doubt. The power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to me to live a life that pleases God (Ephes. 1:3, 17-21).

And check out the reward for believing in Jesus each day—joy, peace, and hope!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).

Seek yearly goals.

What do you want to be different when 2019 ends? Ask God what He wants for you. He may have some ideas! Keep it simple. One achievable change per area is better than big plans that overwhelm you. Or you might choose to focus more on one particular area for the next quarter because the others are doing well.

If you can envision a clear end, spell it out. Then work backwards to see steps needed to get there. You may want to create weekly, monthly, or quarterly steps to help you arrive at your goals. Pace yourself and reap the reward.

Consider how you might live a life of faith in the following areas. Some areas may be on track for you and need no changes. I’ve included a couple of personal examples.

Spiritual development: I want my life to count for eternity, so each day I will connect with God by reading His Word and praying over my plans and concerns.

Marriage/Family

Health: Because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I want to live a productive life, I will choose whole foods and eliminate processed ones, include 6-8 daily servings of fruits and veggies, walk 10,000 steps a day, and participate in an exercise class once or twice a week.

Career

Personal growth

Finances

Ministry/community

Write them down.

Did you know that writing your goals statistically increases the likelihood you will reach them? Do you want to spend more quality time with your spouse? Write down when and ideas on how to incorporate that into your life. Do you want to read certain books? List them.

Someone said the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, expecting different results. What will you do differently to achieve positive change?

Pray and review throughout the year.

Pray about your desires. Ask God to open doors, to instruct, and to lead you on this journey. Creating new habits takes discipline but having a goal in mind and knowing why you are making changes will keep you motivated.

We may not be able to predict the future, but if our aim is to walk with God and please Him, we will! Through His strength, regardless of the circumstances we encounter, 2019 can be a year of hope and joy.

Resources

Give Yourself a Break is a user-friendly guide to renewing your mind and walking with God by faith.

Comment: Name one area you want to see improved this year and one thing you plan to do to help it happen.

Happy New Year,

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

Tea &Word Tuesday, #Kelly Balarie & Friends#Recharge Wednesday, #Coffee for Your Heart, #TuneinThursaday, #HeartEncouragment #Dance with Jesus, #Grace and Truth, #FreshMarketFriday

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Hap

    Debbie, that is one of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a long time. Thanks

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Hap. I hope 2019 will be a great year for you.

  2. Ann Musico

    What a wonderful post for the first hours of 2019, Debbie! You’ve given much food for thought and I will incorporate some into what I feel the Lord is leading me to change this year. I feel like I need to make my time with Him inviolable – where sometimes the “emergencies” or unexpected things that come up tend to pull me away in order to get them done – I want to make my time with Him first and foremost my most important appointment of the day that comes before all others – no matter what!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I hear you. Come days it is a real battle to make that happen. Happy New Year to you!

  3. Jacqueline Wallace

    I really like this post, Debbie. I’m in the book of John and your references and comments from there resonate with me. I think I’d like to reblog your post on my blog, giving full credit to you, linking back to your site, if tht’s okay with you. Happy New Year!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Jacque! I appreciate your sharing it with your readers. Blessings for the New Year!

  4. Karen Friday

    Yes! Love this thought and is really similar to my blog article posting tomorrow,

    “What do you want to be different when 2019 ends? Ask God what He wants for you. He may have some ideas!”

    And I like how you made the point that Jesus finished the work God gave Him to do. I’m praying His kingdom comes to earth and into my life, and His will is done in me. Not my kingdom, not my will.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Karen, I too love thinking about doing only the work God has for me. What a relief, joy and challenge. Look forward to you blog!

  5. Melissa Henderson

    There are several areas of my life that I want to improve. One of those areas is my weight. I have struggled with being overweight most of my life. I have lost weight and then, gained it back. In 2019, I want to truly be aware of the foods I am eating and how they will affect my health. Thank you for this reminder. My husband and I have started walking again. We walk on the beach and in our neighborhood. Great time for chats and viewing God’s nature.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Melissa, walking with your husband is a great exercise in many ways. Good for you. And may you find the right eating plan for you this year.

  6. Jeanne Doyon

    Great post! I love Jesus’ example. He, like us, lived on this earth for a slice of time. And did what God asked of Him. I want His words to me mine
    “I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do”
    Your post is similar to mine this week….I would like to link it if I may.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Please do, Jeanne. Look forward to reading yours!

  7. K.A. Wypych

    I love this! (and the toilet paper comment made me laugh out loud!). As a writer developing a platform, I need to keep plugging along having faith in His plan. I need to do the work and leave the results to God.

    • Debbie Wilson

      K. A., that is a wonderful aim! Our daily choices add up. Blessings on your year.

  8. Rebecca Jones

    It has always been my prayer to be who wants me to be. And I trust that He will complete that good work He began in me, whatever 2019 holds for us He holds us well.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Rebecca, isn’t that a wonderful promise to hold on to, that He will complete what He began in us. Happy New Year!

  9. Dr Peter Cullen

    Google Ian McCormack and watch his amazing video/s ! He was pronounced clinically dead in 1982 after being stung multiple times by the deadliest creature on the planet !!! His body was put in the Morgue with a tag tied to his toe !!! About twenty minutes later he came back to life !!! He describes Heaven and Hell and meets God in Glorified form. It is truly awesome !!! I’ve emailed him & received great replies… the most recent being on Christmas Day ! I’ve also spoken to him by phone. He now lives in New Zealand with his family. All Praise, Honour and Glory be to Our Good Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    God Bless you & yours and I wish you a Happy New Year ! Peter from Ireland.

  10. Crystal Twaddell

    I get so energized reading New Year posts because of all the hope and growth waiting around the corner. One of the things I use each year in goal setting the example of how Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man. It helps provide a template for me to work within. Enjoy goal setting!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Crystal, that is a wonderful template! Thanks so much for sharing it.

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