"And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." 1 Peter 3:15
I learned early in my walk with Jesus that not only is this scripture important as it relates to outreach, discipleship, and the sharing and teaching of scripture, but you can apply the biblical phrase, "BE READY ALWAYS" to every aspect of your life.
The old saying, "Fail to plan, plan to fail," is so true.
If you are serious about mastering your gift, being intentional about your calling, to be successful in ministry, business, at work or in your community, consider setting aside some time during this season of celebration, to close out and prepare for the upcoming year.
Every year around November, I’m reflecting, planning and strategizing for the upcoming year. This year, I thought I would share with you and give you an inside look into what I do to plan for the upcoming year.
Here are three things that I do:
- Reflect on the past year. Think about your accomplishments for the year.a. How well did you do? If you did well, you should be proud. If you don't think you did well, don't condemn yourself. Romans 8b. Did you accomplish your goals? If not, it's O.K. You have a whole new year to work on it.c. What were your milestones? What was that one obstacle you finally overcame? That significant event or new chapter in your ministry, at work etc.? The day the light bulb turned on, and you finally figured it out?
- What did you learn? If you are in the same position as your were in the previous year, then nothing was learned.
a. What worked? What didn’t work? Think about why it did or didn't work. These can be ideas and methods that could be the very cornerstone of what you are doing, as well as things that may need tweaking and things and ideas that can be recycled and tried again in the new year.
Whatever the case, don't be afraid to scrap or shelve ideas or methods that have shown no results at all.
b. What should you do differently? Think about all the things you can do to change or accomplish your desired results.
c. What areas do you need to improve? You should always seek to get better. Paul wrote to the Philippians that he had not yet achieved perfection (your goals). He went on to say, "I press toward the mark for the prize." Paul was speaking about spiritual goals and perfection, but you can apply this to accomplishing your goals in the natural as well. See Philippians Chapter 3.
- Develop your blue print for the new year.
a. Pray on your reflections. Doing this will give you clarity on how and when to proceed. What and what not to do. I've learned over the years that what we think are good ideas, are only good on paper. "With all thy getting get understanding" Proverbs 4:7
b. Rest your mind. (But have a pen and pad nearby). Take about 24 hours to rest your mind. Then, come back and reflect on the blueprint you have in your mind. Sit down with a pen and pad and write down plans, strategies and goals for the New Year.
Writing things down means that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals, and follow through. It’s also a great way to practice being intentional about what you do.
If you have any other suggestions, share them in the comment section. I would love to know, and I'm sure others would too.