The new year begins in only 5 weeks time, ready or not!

I am sure you have a long list of things to do before then and I don't want to stress you out by adding to that list. However, here are 5 very important things that are well worth the investment of your time:

1. Reflect

Experience isn't the greatest teacher, only experience that is reflected on. Reflection helps us gain insight from our life so we don't repeat the same patterns and fail to learn the lessons God has for us. Take some time to reflect on your life, on the year that is about to finish, on what God may be saying to you, and about the direction your life is going.

Read also: Three Great Questions to Start the Day and Pause and Reflect for some more thoughts and ideas about reflection.

2. Evaluate

Take some time to prayerfully evaluate your own personal effectiveness this year.

  • What went well? What didn't go well? What did you learn?
  • Consider your priorities and your use of time. What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of? What will you do differently next year?
  • How balanced is your lifestyle? Consider your energy level, your family, your spiritual life, your social life, and recreation.
  • What areas do you need to grow or change in?

Plan any necessary adjustments or changes.

3. Relate

Life is about loving God and loving people. Spend some extra time with the important people in your world.

  • Encouragement – express appreciation for who they are.
  • Feedback – what have they done well
  • Coaching – ask in what ways you can improve?
  • Reconciliation – who do you need to rebuild a relatiuonship with before the year ends? Address and/or resolve any outstanding issues.

See also Connecting Skills.

4. Plan

Think about the year ahead - 2016 and start doing some planning.

  • Holidays – plan them now. Do something different and make it the best yet. Shut down, turn off and enjoy your God, your friends, and your family.
  • Major events or experiences.
  • Clean your office – make an appointment with yourself. Block out plenty of time for this. Sort through your filing cabinet(s), shelves, and desk drawers. Clean out your email folders. Throw away as much as possible. Get your 2016 diary up to date.

Check out: Time Management Tips and also Life Planning for a series of BLOG posts to help you plan for your best year ever.

5. Play

Work without play makes for very dull people. Jesus came to give us "life" and life to the full – not meetings, programs, projects or tasks, although life includes these. Stop and smell the roses. Take some time out. Do something fun. Laugh. Go for a walk. See a movie. Cook dinner for some friends.