Feeling overwhelmed about the new year? Get these 7 steps to a hopeful new year by focusing on the Lord and His will to bless you—plus a free worksheet!

The new year is always an exciting time because I feel super motivated to do all the things. But it’s also a bit nervous-making. If you’re anything like me, you know what it’s like to put too many expectations on yourself, and then end up feeling like a failure if you don’t think you’ve accomplished as much as you should’ve.

So I’m switching gears this time when I reflect on this past year, and I’m making note of all the things that God has done—focusing on His accomplishments instead of mine. I’m counting the blessings of last year and looking ahead with hope! So without further ado, here are 7 steps for a hopeful New Year!

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7 Steps for a Hopeful New Year by Focusing on the Lord

Reflect: Count your blessings

Take the pressure off yourself and start off the squeaky-clean new year with your eyes on the Lord by bringing to memory all the things He’s blessed you with over the past year. I honestly can’t think of a better way to start the year off with the best attitude possible.

1. Make a list

Grab a piece of paper (or your phone) and start writing down all the wonderful things you can think of that the Lord has done for you this past year. Big or small. God has a way of caring for us in such detail that we can often overlook His hand in the small things.

Here’s a recent thing I can think of that stopped me dead in my tracks. Last night I was spending time with my dad and sister. My mom went home to Jesus 5 years ago, and I always miss her, but especially around the holidays.

Anyway, we were watching Christmas movies and specials, and I randomly picked a Danny Kaye variety show. And the first song he sang was a song I immediately remembered from my childhood. It brought back a flood of happy memories and I started singing along.

It was a song I hadn’t heard in 30+ years. A song my mom used to sing to me when I was a little girl. Such a treasure the Lord blessed me with, and on Christmas Day. A reminder of my precious mom.

See how many small and big blessings you can count and write them all down. It’ll be something wonderful to look back on later, and definitely something that’ll shift your focus onto the Lord.

2. Prayer of praise

After you’ve written down your list of blessings, take the opportunity to go to the Lord in prayer and praise Him for all these precious things He’s done for you.

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All the everyday things we often take for granted, like food, clothes, a warm house to live in. Family and friends. Health. A job. And even bills.

Yes, I said bills! Bills mean you have a home, a car, heat, electricity, gas, running water, etc. I can definitely tend to groan about this, but instead I should be praising God for His blessings that allow me to afford it all. God is so good and loving that He provides for our basic necessities in a variety of ways—sometimes surprising ones!

And of course there’s the chiefest blessing of all: Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful that God loved me enough to make a way for reconciliation with Him.

I can’t wait to sit down and say a prayer of praise for all the Father’s provision for me this past year. Even reading your list to Him would be an amazing devotion of your time to praise Him.

3. Prayer of thanksgiving

Something I’ve started making a habit of—in addition to praising God for what He’s done for me—is thanking Him for what He hasn’t done.

The big one that comes to mind is that He hasn’t held me accountable to pay for my own sins! He chose to make a way to keep me out of hell and draw me back into a relationship with Him.

He hasn’t allowed me to remain in a place of shame and guilt, because Jesus took that at the cross along with my sins, hallelujah! I’m grateful for all these wonderful hasn’ts.

But then there are other kinds of hasn’ts. It’s easy to think about all the ways things didn’t work out for us, but what if they didn’t work out because God has something better in store? Oh my goodness, this is a hard one for me. Because I want what I want, dadgum it.

But I have to stop and think that…oh yeah. His ways are higher than mine. And right now, I’m only seeing things as a dim reflection. Hmm. Sometimes I just have to stop and say, “Yep. Okay Lord, you know all about it and I don’t. And I thank you for that!”

Just think about all things God has saved us from that we don’t even know about. Maybe I was stuck in traffic and late to work because the Lord wanted to reroute my path for whatever reason.

Maybe because the guy in the office that I bumped into who was so depressed wouldn’t have gotten a kind word and smile from me because, if I’d been there on time, we wouldn’t have crossed paths.

Perhaps the real reason I had to wait longer in the waiting room was because the lady I met there needed someone to listen to what was going on in her life, about her mom’s recent death.

All the lanes at the checkout were closed but one, and it was 5 people deep, but maybe that was because the Lord was providing a way to speak to the checker through me. Just a kind word, a listening ear, or even a short conversation that would lead to sharing the gospel.

How many times does something like this happen and all we feel is irritated because our schedule was interrupted? When, from an eternal perspective, it’s something we should be thanking the Lord for.

From protecting us from harm and illness, to using us to do His work when we allow the Holy Spirit to move as He prompts us… there are so many things to thank Him for!

Free Simple New Year’s Resolution cheat sheet

Want an easy way to make New Year’s resolutions that you won’t poop out on? I’ve got the solution! Get the password for the library with the free Simple New Year’s Resolutions cheat sheet here by filling out this form:

Related posts:

Refocus: Hopes for the new year

Looking back at all the blessings of the past year is an awesome way to get refreshed and ready for the new year. There may be challenges ahead—and when aren’t there?—but the Lord is with us and won’t ever leave us. Just see all the ways He’s protected and provided for us over the last 365 days. That means we can have a confident hope for a fresh supply of His grace for the new year.

4. Make a list

What kinds of things do you want to see happen over the next year? I love making plans, but we always have to keep in mind that the Lord is over all, and He allows what He will. We can’t know His exact plans for us, but I do know His will is to bless us!

What do you want to focus on in the new year? How will you prioritize your time? What brings you the most joy, where do you want to invest your time? What’s most precious to you?

If you need help creating this list, I’ve got a free cheat sheet to make it super simple—you can find it here.

5. Prayer of trust

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I say things like, “Oh, I hope this recipe is good, let’s see how it turns out.” Or “I don’t know if that’ll happen, but I hope so!”

That’s just how we use the term these days, but did you know that hope has substance? When we’re talking about hoping in the Lord, it’s not just one of those “oh, I hope it will work out” type of things. God has already worked it all out! Hope is faith—what we can’t necessarily see, but what we place our trust in.

And—confession here—placing my trust in God is something I struggle with daily. I’m the kind of person who feels like they need to be in control. I want to know what’s going on all the time, and if I don’t like it, I wanna grab the wheel and steer that puppy onto a path that’s nice and smooth.

But that’s not how God works. And why can it be so hard to trust Him fully? After all, would I rather have my weak little stubborn-minded self making all the decisions in my life, or would I rather hand it all over to the Creator of the universe, my loving Father who gave up His Son for me?

Uhhh… that’d be the last one obviously. So why is it so hard?! That’s where I have to lay down my worries and surrender my cares to Him.

Going to God in prayer to surrender the coming year to Him is the very best thing we can do to start the year off right. Even if you struggle with full surrender, tell Him that. Tell Him you know that He’s a loving Father, and that you’re trusting Him to protect and provide for you and your loved ones throughout the coming year.

6. Prayer of gratefulness

Oh my goodness. This kinda goes hand-in-hand with the part above about how God protects us from situations that we don’t even realize.

Start off the new year with a prayer of gratefulness. Think of all the ways He blessed you last year, and thank Him for all the ways He’s going to bless you this year that you don’t even realize yet.

Some of them will be huge and easy to recognize, and there’ll be others that we might not ever realize. But know right now that they will be there, and take the time to thank the Lord for those blessings before they’ve even happened.

We can be assured that there are blessings upon blessings to come in the next 12 months. How amazing is that?!

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7. Prayer of blessing

A way to remind ourselves that God is out to bless us is by speaking it out. Faith comes by hearing, and speaking the promises of God over our lives for the new year will build our faith and give us assurance. Proclaim God’s word in prayer as a blessing over the new year.

‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ – Jeremiah 29:11

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. – Deuteronomy 31:8

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. – Proverbs 3:5-6

For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. – John 1:16

If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him. – Matthew 7:11

And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Blessings and hope

Trusting the Lord is a work in progress for me. And I want to start out the new year with the right mindset by reflecting on past blessings and focusing on the promises in God’s word. It’ll do me a world of good, especially compared to how I’d feel if I just looked at my own shortcomings and failures. Focusing on all God has done is the perfect formula for a hope-filled new year!

Free Simple New Year’s Resolution cheat sheet

Want an easy way to make New Year’s resolutions that you won’t poop out on? I’ve got the solution! Get the password for the library with the free Simple New Year’s Resolutions cheat sheet here by filling out this form:

Related posts:

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7 Steps to a Hopeful New Year | new year | hope | hope for the new year | New Year's hopes | New Year's resolutions | focus | blessings #NewYears #NewYear #NewYearsresolution #resolutions #focus #blessings #hopes #hopeful

7 Steps to a Hopeful New Year | new year | hope | hope for the new year | New Year's hopes | New Year's resolutions | focus | blessings #NewYears #NewYear #NewYearsresolution #resolutions #focus #blessings #hopes #hopeful

 

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