New Year’s is the time for resolutions, starting fresh, and beginning a new chapter of our lives on the right foot. It’s a time for changing the things we want to and keep doing the things that are good for us.

I think so many people get the wrong idea about how to approach the new year. The idea of changing so many things can make us a little crazy at times, leaving us feeling unaccomplished and disappointed in ourselves.

This year, I want to encourage you to approach the new year in a different way. Create a set of resolutions that are not only realistic, but will benefit you, your relationship with the Lord, and how you interact with others.

It’s so easy to create a list of “eat healthier, sleep more, get better grades…” to realize at the end of the year you’ve completely forgotten about it. Sound familiar? It’s great to strive for these things, but can be a bit vague and hard to stick to.

This year, I encourage you to develop a true New Year’s mindset. Sit down, grab a journal, and begin writing about where you envision yourself once the year comes to an end. You may discover you want to build a better relationship with the Lord. You may discover you need to be more patient, forgiving, kind, etc. Whatever it is, figure out what YOU want and where you see yourself in 12 months.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.”

When I considered the year ahead, I kept Matthew 6:33 at the front of my mind. When I look at where I want to see myself at the end of the year, does it align with where God wants me to be?

Although we don’t always know the answer to that question, we can ask God for guidance, advice, and clarity. God will slowly reveal his will for your life and the path he wants you to follow. When we place his wants and needs for our lives above our own, it surrenders control to him, allowing his plan to unveil.

I heard a sermon recently talking about approaching the upcoming year with a “cover to cover” mindset. What he meant by this was beginning with the intention of finishing. When we discovering what God wants us to pursue, we should continue to do so through every month of the year. Talk to God and ask for his guidance, trust, and encouragement!

Last year, I sat down with God and asked him what he wanted from me, not what wanted from him. Surrender your control and desires this year so God can truly work through you for his purpose. His plan is always better than our own. It just takes us to let go and let God!

– Chelsea