Advent is upon us…are you ready? Not only ready for Christmas, but ready for the “new year”? The church’s new year began with the first day of advent yesterday of course…and it made me pause and reflect on where this past year has taken me…with relationships, my career as an author, speaker and book coach, and with my personal growth in all areas (physical, mental and spiritual). I usually take stock of all of this at the end of the calendar year, but I think it’s better to do it now, before the rush of the holiday season and the first of the New Year are upon me.
Besides looking ahead to next year and all I want to accomplish, I find I am looking back over this past year a little harder than usual – doing an in-depth inventory – to see if I met the goals I set last year. And I see a few places where I hit the mark and a few places where I fell short. Without trying to beat myself up too much, I see I fell short when it came to selling more books, getting more book coaching clients, making more money and losing weight; and I see I did a pretty good job when it came to strengthening some relationships with a few family members and friends, growing in my faith in God, and finding more peace and joy in my life. I know the end result is to have balance – and usually when I focus on those first few, the latter few suffer and vice versa. (The year before I sold more books, made more money and lost weight…but I lost my joy and peace and felt like that negatively affected a few relationships in the process!)
So how to find balance in the coming year? I am planning to use this season of Advent to take a deep breath, plan ahead, and focus on balance…because I believe that we can achieve whatever we put our minds and hearts into. It takes more than wishing or hoping…it takes preparing. If we didn’t prepare for Christmas (ie., shop, decorate, etc.) we wouldn’t be ready when it arrived. The same can be said for Christ…and for life. So in addition to all of the holiday hustle, I’m planning to meditate more, set a plan in place NOW for all of the important areas of my life, and then pray about it, meeting God “half way” as they say.
Happy Advent and Happy (Liturgical) New Year! I hope you and I can both be ready for all God has in store for us!