Two days in a man’s life are extremely important in my opinion: Birthdays and New Year Day. I don’t think they possess hidden blessings or special connotations, neither do they change the situations of people from black to white overnight. I think they are special because they offer us the opportunity for recalibration. I also agree that we don’t have to wait until one of these two days to recalibrate, but you see, most people if not all make resolutions for the future on these two days – and people make all kinds of resolutions, I tell you. So, they matter!

On the first few days of a new year, we have time to reflect on how the 2016 went and draw up strategies to make the 2017 better (that is if we haven’t done both already – it’s never too late for that). Regardless of how 2016 must have been for you, 2017 is a clean slate to start afresh. So, while we draw up resolutions and plans, here are five of many tips to help you have a better year:

  1. Forget the Past: There might be repercussions for some actions you took in 2016 but whether you had successes or failures, they are both history now. It is important to think back and examine these steps. Cherish the good memories, glories and successes of 2016 and draw strength and confidence from them. Also, draw lessons and experience from the failures and not-so-good moments to ensure you do not make the same mistakes in the future. Don’t dwell on them, move on!
  2. Draw up Long-Term Plans: Trust me when I say long-term plans work! You need to have a forecast of what the future should look like and where you are headed – the big-picture mentality. You find that having a big-picture mentality helps to guide your decisions and day-to-day activities. It is dangerous to live on the spur of the moment. Therefore, plan in detail and not just for 2017 alone. Have a big picture – what should my 2018 look like? Where should I be by 2020? Have a five-year plan – this is sufficiently long term. Ensure you write these down and paste them on your wall!
  3. Control your Every Day: After developing your long-term plans, you get a clearer picture of what should matter and shouldn’t. Then you need to ask yourself, what are the things I need to do to achieve my long-term goals? By so doing, you’re breaking your long-term, big-picture plans into smaller activities and actions points. You can then plan each day down to every hour! How awesome is that! Having such strategy helps to focus on what matters and you can distinguish between your necessary tasks and your hobbies. For example, one that plans to make huge progress in a music career will not focus so much on playing soccer – that becomes a hobby which you can do once a while! Also, ensure you track your progress intermittently. It is important to recalibrate multiple times through the year (maybe monthly or quarterly) to evaluate your progress and adjust accordingly.
  4. Touch a Heart: I see life as an open playing field where everyone has something to offer. You do not have to be President to positively influence another person. Being influential is intentional, so be intentional about it. In 2017, relate with people, make new friends and positively influence them, help meet needs, put yourself out there and make your life count! Showing love is the best way to tell the world about Jesus Christ. They see Him through your actions and will be drawn to Him certainly. Let your light shine!
  5. Be Tuned in to God: Spiritual growth is measurable, and while are external indications, your growth is best measured truthfully by you. Did you grow spiritually in 2016? If you did, then how can you keep it constant and grow some more? If not, what were you doing wrong and how can you improve? Remember that how you live your daily life – the company you keep, what you expose yourself to etc. – tells on your spiritual growth. This is the year to be diligent and disciplined in Word study and prayer! Identify a sound mentor, good bible study plans and materials, and consciously incorporate prayer times into your day – you can start with only 10 minutes daily. Consistency is the bedrock of Christian growth, so you must be consistent in studying the Bible and praying. Remember, God’s will is revealed in His word and via prayer, so the more you do these, the more tuned-in you are to His leading.

While you put these steps into practice, remember to always have fun! Don’t be too serious – haha! Find out what you love doing – travelling, socializing, singing etc. – and do them well! Give yourself treats occasionally. It all helps to reduce the stress and pressures all round. Do all things in reverence for God, it is super possible to be a Christian and have fun!

I sincerely pray this year works out well for everyone, and all your plans align with God’s purpose for you. I will be super busy this year, but I hope to be more consistent in writing the #LessonsFromScriptures series, my meditations from Bible study, at least once a week.

Have a great year 2017 and rest in His grace! God is on your side! Remember to share and leave a comment as well. 

Bright Egwuogu

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