Chinese Christian Herald Crusades UK

青年園地: Accepting the Past, Welcoming the Future

文/Andy Lee









Happy new year! So what new year’s resolutions are you going to make this year? That’s a common question around this time of year! Unfortunately, the success rate of new year’s resolutions is pretty poor. That’s not me pointing the finger, that’s just statistics for you. Out of the 66% of us that make them, 70% of us give up by the end of January. So I stopped making resolutions a long time ago – didn’t really want to set myself up to fail!





Instead, a tradition of mine that I started a few years ago takes time out to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly side of the year just ending. Then when I’ve done that, I look forward to all that the new year has to offer. This has been great in simply taking time out to reflect and review. Depending on your current stage in life, you may find time passing you by in the blink of an eye. You owe it to yourself to stop, press pause and engage on a deeper level with the one short life you’re living. So get a notepad and pen and let’s do this!








The Good – Make a list of all your achievements and accomplishments, memorable events and experiences and everything that you’re thankful for. If you’re struggling to remember, go through your diary. I promise you’ll be surprised at what you’ve been through this year. For example my list would include big events like weddings, through to the small, but significant, things like meeting an old friend for dinner. Don’t rush through this as you’ll run the risk of playing down the things that have happened that have shaped you. The Bad and the Ugly – Next, make a list of the things that you want to leave behind and not take forward into the new year. We all have things in our lives that are no longer of any use to us. These can be both tangible things like physical objects and even people, as well as intangible things such as habits, unhelpful thought patterns, and restricting beliefs. Irrespective of whether the bad thing was our fault or not, it may be time to let go or strive for closure over something that is taking up too many of your resources. This is where you might deal with resentment, or forgiveness.









The Future – Now take some time to consciously and deliberately think about your dreams and goals for the coming year. What new experiences would you like to enjoy? How would you like to grow as a sibling, parent, friend, worker? What skills might you want to learn in order to achieve that? What kind of person would you like to become? Are there relationships that you want to improve? Do you have fitness goals you want to achieve (always a favourite!)? Do you want to have a deeper knowledge of God and a clearer knowledge of His will? Write it all down! If you don’t know what you want, try pretending that you do. Push the boundaries and think to yourself ‘If I did know what I want, then I’d want…’ See what happens!









Now that you’ve got 3 lists: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and the Future, here’s what to do next:



1. Looking through the Good list, spend time giving thanks for it all. If there are photos, look through them. Be thankful for all the great things that have happened – the laughter, joy, rewards, relationships, and positive experiences. Share it with someone close to you, give yourself the opportunity to relive it, if only as a memory, to remind yourself of the goodness of the year. You could even send a small thank you to those who were part of your positive experiences, and let them know how grateful you are for them.









2. Going through the Bad and the Ugly list, release to God the bad things that have happened but still have a stronghold in your head or your heart. Are there issues of forgiveness held back from others, or even yourself? Are there relationships that have become unhealthy, or simply apathetic, that take up space where new relationships could flourish? There may be some tough pruning required here. But the purpose of pruning, despite being difficult at the time, is to encourage healthy growth and new beauty to shine through.









3. Now that you’ve effectively closed the year by being grateful for the good things and dealing appropriately with the bad things, you’ve now hopefully cleared some space to look ahead. You now have a much higher chance of achieving your goals because you know what they are. You can increase that probability even further by putting a plan together and maybe even sharing that with someone you trust to keep you accountable throughout the course of the year. Let me clarify, this isn’t going to be easy but it is always worth the effort. It will cost you, either in time or money, or both. So plan carefully and plan to succeed. May this be as helpful to you as it has been for me in the past. May it give you peace and resolution for the past, as well as a renewed anticipation and excitement for the future. Blessings and love!



“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9