If you haven’t managed to yet, then be sure to make some time this month to ponder and plan for this new year that lies ahead. There is still plenty time to do so.

A day retreat, a sabbatical, or just fencing off some hours one day for ourselves can be so very beneficial. We may find life too busy, but unless we are intentional with self-reflection and a view to making changes, then too busy can become our norm.

In looking to make beneficial changes I wonder what needs laying down or newly implemented into our lives?  What needs to change in daily life, in marriage, family, ministry and spiritual walk with God?

We hear the slogans of a ‘new year- a new you’. What if that could be the case? Not procrastinating any more but taking definitive steps towards good physical and mental health, prioritising times of relaxation in our weekly diary’s, getting enough sleep and rest, spending more time with family and friends etc. To have a vision for your life in God is great. To want to look after ourselves in order that we can actually fulfil that vision is even better!

Life really is a gift. Let’s be careful not to waste it living mindlessly going through the motions or same old routines. As well as contemplating how we live, it’s helpful to contemplate how we do ministry. Priorities, boundaries, time management. Be sure and have friends out with ministry that are encouragers and good to be around. Take study leave, plan a sabbatical, go to a conference, etc.

Taking time to plan ahead and prepare means we are then in a good place for the months that lie ahead. There will always be the unexpected, but if we manage to find healthier rhythms of life and prioritize well, then we can position ourselves to go through this new year in a much better place physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually than we ever have before.

Finally, remember in all our planning not to omit times with God. Dedicated times of personal fellowship, planned into our day. Prayer and worship really are the oxygen to our souls and what sustains us through each day, week and month and indeed life itself.

I’ll leave you with some quotes to reflect on today.

“Always plan ahead, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” (Richard Cushing)

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream”

(CS Lewis)

“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”

( John Maxwell )

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)



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