2012 – a year of change, a year of stability, a year of grace, of favour? What about you? Many folk are saying that this year is a big year, a year of flux, a year of big changes in personal and world circumstances. So what about your life? What kind of thought processes have you been going through in regard to your personal goals? What is stirring in your heart at the moment? Are you feeling a sense of change in the wind? Or is this a year for you to put down roots in your personal or work life?
It seems that whomever I speak with, the predominant feeling is that this is a season where a great deal of grace and favour lies upon the decisions we make. My feeling is that as we begin to step into what we know deep down we are called to do, we allow an opportunity for our circumstances to open up and shift. We make room for new opportunities to arise and we give ourselves permission to let go of what may be holding us back.
My personal agenda is always coloured with what I feel God is highlighting for me and so I tend to launch into my own practical planning for the year to come, from a place of having ‘listened’ for what He is saying first. This tends to be something I do either in December the year before, or very early on in January. I do set aside time and intentionally sit in waiting while He speaks. It’s a trust thing. As I wait, I listen and I don’t filter it. I just write what I hear. It’s almost like taking dictation.
Once I feel that He has shared his heart with me about my future, I might ask some questions to gain more information or I might just feel that it’s enough. Either way, I write down anything and everything that I can. I have never found that when I ask, his words would be contradictory to what he has said in the past. Often, it’s a refinement and a consolidation of what has been and what is to come.
As for the practical side of planning for the unknown space ahead of us, I find it helpful to pop on some great peaceful music that stills my mind, get my laptop out and start typing without a ‘filter’ (without initially processing what I am writing) or getting some paper, coloured pens and highlighters, I dive into some mind-mapping to kickstart my ideas.
I know that it sounds a little laborious to some, but if you are a planner like me, you will crave the need to define and redefine, knowing that you are continually working toward achieving your goals. So be encouraged to plan ahead, even if you don’t consider yourself a planner. It is an invaluable process – to ‘take stock’, to ‘ponder’, to pause and reflect. And if you can, pop into your calendar an hour or so a few times a year to review what your initial plans were from the start of the year. It helps to keep on track!
I guarantee that it will be advantages and when you come around to doing it again in 12 months time, you will feel like it was well worth the effort!