The beginning of a new year is a time when people feel like they get a new opportunity to do things differently. It is more symbolic than anything when it comes to making changes, but many people take advantage of it. They set goals, make plans and prepare to accomplish every goal.

For me, the week ending the previous year and heading to the new one gets a lot of attention. I reflect back on the previous year. I evaluate the things I set out to accomplish. Where was I successful and where did I miss it? What were the reasons for both? I have never had a year that I accomplished everything. As a matter of fact, there have been times when the situation I was working on got worse instead of better. 

This year will be no different. It will not be any different for you either. I encourage you to spend time planning for the new year. Call it whatever you like: resolutions, goals, visions. It doesn’t really matter. What I know is that no matter what you put on paper, you will need two things to have a good year and make some headway in the areas you desire.

Discipline

There is no goal or resolution that is accomplished without discipline. It might be a common weight loss goal, a financial goal or a relationship goal. To get to the place you desire, it will require discipline. You will need the discipline to make hard choices. You will need the discipline to move forward even when you do not feel like it (the people still going to the gym in February are the people who go when they don’t feel like it). Luck is not a strategy, but it seems the more disciplined you are the luckier you get.

Grace

Some things will just not work out this year. No matter how disciplined you are, you can only focus it in so many places. Unexpected circumstances may arise. There may be better opportunities that you need to focus on. Some things you set out to do will just not get done. You will need to show yourself grace. We have a tendency to focus on what did not get done instead of being thankful for what did get done. Much like the kid bringing home a report card with 5 A’s and 1 C. Parents get distracted and spend all of their time talking about the C instead of offering a little grace and celebrating the 5 A’s. Celebrate the things you accomplish but offer yourself grace on the things that you don’t.

I am pulling for you this year. I hope that every plan comes to pass and every resolution you make is completed. I pray you have the discipline you need to see everything through. I also hope you have grace to accept the times when you don’t. May 2020 be your best year yet!