Now that your Thanksgiving guests have said goodbye and the last bite of turkey is gone, what are you going to do with the rest of 2016?
I know that the countdown to Christmas has begun. You’re planning holiday parties and you’ve already put up the tree. By now, your favorite retailers have filled your inbox with online shopping deals that you simply cannot ignore. There are projects at work that you need to wrap up, plus you still have to find the perfect outfit for New Year’s Eve.
But wait, can you remember the excitement of the night of December 31, 2015?
As you held up your fancy glass of sparkling cider and rang in the New Year, you convinced yourself that this would be your year. As the bottles popped and the confetti dropped, you were confident that 2016 would be your time to finally lose that weight. Maybe you had high hopes to improve your finances or you wanted to write that bestselling book.
Perhaps you said that this would be the year that you’d leave the job that you no longer enjoy and embark on your journey toward entrepreneurship. You were excited because you saw 2016 as a time of new beginnings.
Now that the year is coming to an end, do you think that it’s too late to refocus on your goals?
Be honest. In the one minute that you’ve been reading this article, have you silently told yourself, “Next year is definitely my year!” Before you go off searching for a new 2017 planner, may I remind you of something?
This year is not over yet!
As of today, there are 34 days left in 2016.
That translates to:
- 2,937,600 seconds
- 48,960 minutes
- 816 hours
- Or 4 weeks and 6 days
What will you do with the time you have left?
You Are Not Average
An average person would look at the month of December and chalk it up as time already spent. Even though the month of December has not started yet, an average person would write off the remainder of this year to family time or time to relax. An average person would opt to put off even thinking about their goals until January.
As citizens of the Kingdom and as children of God, He has not called us to be average.
Philippians 3:14 urges us to press toward the mark of the high calling. This calling surpasses the mindset of getting by and living an average, mediocre life. As His children, it is our responsibility to be good managers of time. Since time does not belong to us, God expects us to use time wisely.
Instead of writing off the next 34 days, may I invite you to change your perspective? Instead of seeing the remainder of this year as a loss, here are three simple things you can do to wrap up 2016 and see it as a win!
How to Finish 2016 Strong
In this moment, make a commitment to yourself to refocus on one thing you can improve or that one thing you’d like to work on. Often times we honor commitments to our jobs, our children’s schedules, and the needs of others. We think that our own personal growth and development can be put off for later.
As a result, everyone else’s needs take priority over our own. Everyone in your world has his or her needs met and you are left feeling depleted and overwhelmed. Your personal growth has taken the back seat to someone else’s agenda.
Will you take a few minutes to write down one area in your life that you were excited about at the beginning of the year? The Word of the Lord in Habakkuk 2:2 urges us to write the vision. Writing the vision will provide the framework from where you’ll start. It is at this time that you can make a simple plan for the remainder of the year for small steps toward your goal. It is here that you clarify what is important.
2. Make Time.
Set aside time to work on your goal. With the holidays approaching and all that you have to do, you might think it is unrealistic to begin working toward that one goal.
Would you agree that your shopping list is a priority? Would you also say that your holiday errands are a must?
The things we deem essential in our lives are the things we make time for. Quite simply, if it is important, you will find a way. If it’s not, you will find an excuse. Because you have made the commitment to yourself, honor the greatness that is in you and take the time that you need for YOU.
Since we still have the entire month of December left, can you find an hour a day to work toward your goal? If you feel that an hour a day is unmanageable, can you commit yourself to an hour a week?
In order to begin to take the small first steps toward your goal, you must be willing to give up something. The small sacrifice of time will inch you closer to your goal.
Think about it, are you willing to give up 60 minutes of ratchet TV or YouTube videos? Are you willing to temporarily give up 60 minutes of scrolling through your Instagram or your Twitter feeds for a better you? This small sacrifice of time will be well worth the results!
The last way you can make 2016 a win is by committing your way to the Lord (Psalms 37:5). This means that when we buckle down and give our plan of attack over to the Lord, He has space to bring our desire to pass.
The Word of the Lord also says in Proverbs 16:3 (NLT) “Commit your actions to the LORD and your plans will succeed.” This Word of encouragement from the scripture clearly shows us that when we dedicate our efforts to the Lord, we will eventually achieve what we set out to do. This is further encouragement to simply do the work!
While it is great to have the faith that God will help you in accomplishing your goals, you have to add to your faith. James 2:17 says faith without work (corresponding action) is dead. You will have to get moving and actually put action behind what you believe. May I encourage you in these final few weeks of the year to continue to walk by faith?
The year 2016 can still go down as a WIN for you; the possibility that it actually will be a win lies in your hands!
So, what’s the play call?
Commit to not being average – be great!
Get a headstart on 2017 by taking small steps of faith towards your goals right now!
By taking these steps of faith for the remainder of 2016, you can look back with a smile and count it as a WIN because you did not give up!