I fell into a practice many years ago that has now become a meaningful way to end each year. I am a journaler. I believe journaling, however one chooses to do it, is a great way to structure thoughts and reflections. One year, maybe ten years ago, on the 31st of December, I spent some time reviewing my journal for the year. It was a bittersweet experience as I was drawn back into the painful and the beautiful of the year. Then, I began to reflect in that last entry of the year on the whole of the year: what I had experienced, what I had learned, where I had fallen short, and what I had accomplished.
The following year, I remembered my year-end journaling and did it again. Now, it has become a powerful way to frame my year. I encourage you, whether you are a journaler or not, to take an hour and reflect on your year. What were your losses? What were your gains? Your accomplishments? Your shortcomings? What did you learn? Where do you still need to grow? What were the highlights and the low points of the year? Where did you see God, and what did He teach you? If the year was paving a path to next year, where is it leading you?
Surprisingly, an hour or so of reflection can become the spark that ignites the next 12 months. Even if it doesn’t, isn’t a year’s worth of living worth an hour’s worth of reflection?
I hope you will try this year-end reflection and that it will be as meaningful to you as it has been for me. I look forward to my time in the next few days.
Happy New Year!