2017: Get Some Perspective.

As a new year approaches, take time to pause and consider your life. Where are you? How are you? How did the events (experiences, decisions) of the last year lead you to this place? And, what do you want for the year ahead?

It is not uncommon to come to this time of year and to make big plans for the year ahead. But these dreams and plans will likely be ill-informed without first gaining perspective on where you currently are. One of the signature pieces of the LifePlan process is gaining perspective- and one of the tools we use for this is called the 4 Helpful Lists. It is really simple, but can be very helpful.

Ask yourself these 4 questions as you consider 2016 and where you find yourself as the year comes to an end:

What is Right?
What is Wrong?
What is Confused?
What is Missing?

As you ask these questions, take time to consider all areas of life: your personal health and well-being, family, work, spiritual life, community, etc.

Next, think through how you might optimize what's right, change what's wrong, clarify what's confused and add what's missing.

Finally, having gained some fresh and accurate perspective, begin to dream about what you want in 2017.

Write. It. Down. (or type it, whatever...) Just do it. The other day I was browsing through a folder I keep on my desktop where I place random writings- thoughts and things I just want to make record of. I found several "I want..." statements from different seasons in my life. It was powerful to work back through them. These statements can become like a life-guide. This is the stuff we orient our world around- the stuff worth fighting for. They inform our yes's and our no's.

I want to model a vibrant walk with Jesus.

I want to love my kids well.

I want to create sacred space where we experience rich, full life together.

I want to have honest conversations about life.

I want to have the kind of marriage that our kids talk about- strive for.

I want us to love our neighbors.
— Some "I want" statements from 2012 under the family domain.

Now, knowing where you are and where you want to be- what is one simple step that will set you on the right trajectory? What next step will help you begin to fill the gap between where you currently are and where you want to be at the end of 2017? Don't get ahead of yourself-- all you need right now is to put one foot in front of the other. If you are moving in a direction that honors who you are, where you are, and where you want to go, you will get to where you need to be.

One step at a time. Do this, and do it faithfully.