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Year-End Disciplines

New Year’s Day marks an unusual experience of reflection for me. I can hardly think of a better time to reflect back upon what has happened in the year past and to look forward to the year just beginning.

Though wisdom, whose name is Laura in my house, suggests this good reflective practice every year, it is not an easy discipline for me…nor is it one that I have utilized as I should have. But this year, I have a bit of a plan that I thought I would share in case it proved helpful for any of you.


Top Ten List
This year I will take the time to write down my top ten significant experiences of 2019. (Ten helps me feel like I can complete this project and not get too overwhelmed.) Some of these things happened to me and my family, but other events that impacted my year happened to my dear friends and a few items of note happened somewhere else in the world. The purpose of this list is to prompt my remembering and reflection over what took place in 2019.

I plan to spend time writing a note of gratitude to God. I suggest spending time to thank Him for various ways you saw His attributes displayed in your life and the lives of your family and friends – like His love, faithfulness, generosity, provision, etc.

Next, if you are married, I suggest you write of note of gratitude to your spouse. Consider retelling a story or two of their care and love for you this past year – and how you see it and value it. If you are not married, this easily applies to a very valuable relationship in your life.


Wish List
I do not like resolutions! I never have. Maybe it’s too much commitment for me…and I don’t like to fail…but avoiding naming my desires has never led me to faith and growth, moreso to procrastination and stuckness!

So, I plan to write out a handful of wishes. What’s a wish? you may ask…for this exercise a wish is something I’d like to see come about, grow, change, diminish, or cease. The rule for me is that I keep the focus on things I wish for myself – not my spouse or kids. That just helps keep a healthier focus.

Then, I plan to share my list with my wife Laura. Vulnerability has always been difficult for me, but a learned value that I know bears fruits of intimacy in my life.

You may have other great ideas you may want to share below! Here’s wishing you and yours a happy new year.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. John Markman


    Great article! Thanks for sharing and it seems so practical. We turn a brown grocery bag inside out and reflected with the kids a bit what last year looked like with a sharpie.

    Great to hear what mattered to the kids as well.

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