Leadership,  Lifestyle,  Mindfulness,  Mindset,  Relationships,  Spirituality

How Do You Want To Improve Your Life In 2024?

I prefer going down a path of wonder, hope, and possibilities. I can see quite clearly that our world is spinning in potential flames and chaos. But I am also mindful that I am responsible for making my own decisions as to where and how I will invest my attention, much less my time and energy, every day. 

I thought I would ask you the same questions that a mentor of mine asked me as I approach midnight on New Year’s Eve. I wanted to generate a rich discussion among ourselves, and to stir ourselves within, so as to speak, to see what’s brewing inside. Like a self-styled spontaneous retreat, consider these questions in a spontaneous manner because they will result in shaping how you think about the way we will travel through the new year. Perhaps they will do the same for you.

Here are seven questions to consider for the New Year:


1. What do you pray for this coming year that is different from previous years? – this is a very thought-provoking question as it requires that we first consider where we are harboring something deep within us that we are praying for, either consciously or unconsciously. Are we praying for a change in our lifestyle for a new relationship, or perhaps for a divorce to finally happen? Before we even open up this discussion, let’s discuss the nature of prayer itself. What is prayer and what does it mean to pray for something or to decide that something is hopeless? Does it matter, for example, to hold in your heart or mind the value decision that a situation in your life is impossible?


Consider if you have had any inner situations that you have already listed as “impossible” in your heart. Situations that get into the “impossible” list may include relationships that have reached the end stage and/or illnesses in your family that have reached a terminal stage. No matter your age, 18 or 68, it’s easy to feel a sense of hopelessness or impossibility spill into your mind, especially in a society that is age-phobic. What should you invest your prayers in? Could you open yourself to thinking that you can actually meet someone and fall in love again? Can you dare even open that door? Could you ignite hope in your heart that you could emerge from your well-known pattern of seclusion and find a new community of friends within your church? What is the grace of prayer if not for igniting a cosmic-sized dream to lift you off? Hopelessness and prayerlessness should not be a viable alternative. If you are hoping to move forward with a divorce due to an abusive, or unfaithful marriage, perhaps you’ve danced around the idea or plan of divorce for years. Again, this is a reminder that hoping for divorce rarely gets anyone to court.


You have to help your prayers, hopes, and wishes along with a commitment to action.


Prayer is a powerful grace to press into the wonder and privilege of talking with God. It is this potent force that keeps us going through changes that we just don’t think we can endure. But we do. Prayer is central to the Christian life. Christians are commanded to pray “continually” (1 Thess 5:17) as we seek God and grow in intimacy with Him. Prayerlessness on the other hand, is devastating. I think we all need to reflect on whether we have unconsciously committed parts of our dreams to the category of “impossible” and if so, may I encourage you to review that category in your heart and mind to make certain that you really want to think about that part of your life as “impossible” forever.

2. How do you want to improve your life this year?improvements in our lives do not just happen on their own. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). It’s a funny thing about us humans that we tend to imagine that change in whatever form somehow gets delivered to our door. That is, we don’t realize how much we have to be the initiators in the positive changes we want to see come into our lives.


I for one, sometimes picture myself with one of those well-toned bodies that walks out of the gym after a 2-hour workout. This is the gym that I belong to, of course, but do I go? That would take some time, right? So, while I would like to improve my body—and who wouldn’t want to improve their body—once again, what am I willing to do to get it? How far am I willing to go? We all experience the dilemma of the improvements we would like to initiate into our lives this year, but we focus on how and why we sabotage ourselves somewhere along the line. It’s so easy to sabotage plans when we find excuses not to do what we’ve set out to do.


At the end of the day, each year of your life is either fated to disintegrate the quality of your life or destined to become better in some way. The choice is yours and it is a choice.


Not to choose, and to just let things go along in the same unsatisfactory routine is always a passive, negative choice that will result in some form of disintegration by the end of the year. Owning this at the beginning of the year highlights your responsibility for how well you take care of yourself, and how well you actually care about yourself.

3. What do you want to contribute to your community to make it a better place? It’s been my experience that not many people think about their place within their community. Parents may get involved in the schools their kids go to, but schools are only a part of one’s community. Community is made up of the people in your neighborhood, schools, churches, businesses, and the well-being of your neighborhood in general. I had an eye-opening experience when I started attending my home church this year. Before that time, I lived in a luxury apartment. I worshipped mainly online. Within two weeks of moving into my home church, I received a warm welcoming experience from the church members.


As the months went by, being a part of this church felt important to me. I love knowing the members, the pastors, the ministers, and the spiritual teachers, and knowing the names of the people in the church. I gradually feel a growing sense of responsibility for maintaining an interest in the policies of the church and the rulings that affect the lives of all of us within the church building we share. I decided to upgrade my commitment to the business of our home church, joining the Usher team, attending the prayer meetings, and keeping up to date on all the activities that my home church actively messages about. If they devote so much of their energy to making my church a special place, then I owe them as much.

4. How do you want to be different by the end of the year?This is a rich question and again one that requires reflection. This is not a question that you reply to without serious thought because you are setting an inner course for yourself. Think about this: How do YOU want to be other than the way you are now? Do you want to release an addiction? Or do you want to have finally settled a conflict with someone? Or do you want to have finally learned something about living the Christian life by signing up for discipleship classes at your Church? Or do you want to challenge how you think about unbelievers and non-Christians by learning more about them and how to impart them positively through the conduct of your life? Would you like to be a kinder and more thoughtful person? Or improve your financial situation and finally be out of debt? Fair enough.


Godly goals are powerful anchors for us.


They keep us focused on our walk with Christ and they give us a center point around which to make decisions.

5. Whose life do you want to improve and how will you do that?This is a fascinating question and it will take some more time than some of the other questions because the answer involves another person. You have to think about someone other than yourself in a way that says, “I am consciously choosing to help this person.”


Whether you are aware of this or not, stepping into the life of another person has to be done carefully and with great wisdom.


It is not wise to offer to do more than you can do. I love to help out the poor and the needy within my community through volunteer and outreach efforts. What has worked for me is to find a group of persons who need food, prayer, or toiletries and contribute to their support. I am also getting good at networking, helping people, and meeting contacts who can assist them with their creative endeavors. Again, I do this carefully. Some people have the time to do person-to-person care of another. I do not. I prefer group environments. My way is different. We each must find our way but all ways of helping another human being make the world better thereby fulfilling Christ’s great commission.


7. What changes are unfolding in your life that you need to cooperate with and what does that mean?Again, this is a very personal question for you to reflect upon. If you say that nothing is changing in your life, then you are not evaluating your life clearly or deeply enough as change is always unfolding. We are always moving through cycles of renewal and rebirth. Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”


From the repentance of a former way of life to arriving at the beginning of a reformed lifestyle that has your name written all over it, your life continues each day to present you with variations of all the different ways we are called to glorify God. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). 


Consider three examples of changes presently unfolding in your life. Now observe how you can tie every choice you’ve made and every thought and feeling to these changes. Every movement you’ve made through faith, whether intellectually, emotionally or in the silence of prayer, was breathing itself into all the many changes happening in your life. We can’t escape communion with God. When we pray, we engage in loving fellowship with the Maker of heaven and earth who has graciously invited us into a close covenant relationship with Him through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, what quality or attitude do you want to breathe into the current changes that are unfolding in your life? These revelations and realizations along with thought-provoking questions such as these are the reasons why contemplation is an essential practice within the life of a Christian and the Christian community in general. Meditating means spending time reading, thinking, marking and reviewing what we have read. It means asking how we must change and grow so we will live as God wants. Meditating and understanding God’s Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life. If you want to follow God more closely, you must take time to know what He says.


The more aware we become about the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and the price he paid for our sins by dying on the cross, the more attention we must pay to the quality of the kinds of thoughts we think and the choices and decisions we make in life— which leads me to my last question:

In what way or ways do you want to deepen your spiritual life?Here again, I leave you to answer this question. And I also leave you with this truth—the Christian life is not, I repeat—not, a mental, or intellectual experience. It is a prayerful, deep, and reflective journey that in fact, draws you out of your mental world. Even though I am in large part, a mindset coach, your mind is the last place you want to be in as you contemplate the nature of what is real in your life and what is of value. What good is your mind when it comes to these questions? You’ve programmed your mind to tell you what you want it to tell you. Your mind is filled with the values you put inside of it. What can your mind possibly understand about the spiritual realm? Nothing. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live in a fallen world filled with sin, and it is important to ask God to keep us safe from the unavoidable evil that comes our way. But we must also avoid evil motives, desires, and actions that begin within us. Therefore, we must seek God’s protection from evil but we must also ask God to guard our thoughts and actions.


Fall in love with the things of God and stop fearing it.


As God does this work in us, we do our part by purposefully working to fill our minds with positive thoughts and attitudes. We can also seek encouraging relationships with others who follow God. Quit looking for the distractions of sound and business and phone calls and computers. Stop trying so desperately to stay “connected”—get “disconnected”. Separate yourself. Consecrate yourself, and if you can endure the ego-shattering transition into being “dis-connected or disrupted” from the internet, return to silence and quiet.

Then ask yourself, “What is of value to me? Do I pray? How comfortable am I in my Christian skin and my walk with God? What do I know about God?”


This should work…


Have a blessed beginning to this new year.



Erica ❤️

This post is sponsored by: https://hype.co/@ericakenechi

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