I came across a recent resource that briefly discussed prioritizing the new year with what I want to be thankful for by the end of it.
I never really thought about this before. Entering the gates of 2017 by creating milestones as to what I want to be thankful for by the end of the year sounded like a great idea.
I decided to create a list for this coming year based on what I want to be thankful for. It worked so well for me; I decided to pass it on to you.
Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving
Psalm 100 tells us to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. As we enter through the gates of 2017, I believe that it’s right to do so with thanksgiving. Determining what we want to be thankful for 12 months from now and making these Thanksgiving milestones our priorities for the new year keep God in the center of our goal setting process.
Creating a Thanksgiving Focus for 2017
There are only two steps for creating and prioritizing a Thanksgiving focus in 2017.
1. Get your journal and calendar out, and review 2016 with thanksgiving.
Get your journal or a piece of paper out, and begin to jot down what you were thankful for in the year 2016.
If you’re like me, both the good and bad will surface. Try to focus on the good and begin writing things down. Pay attention to the little things as well as the big items. Partner with the Holy Spirit to help recall His goodness to you throughout the year.
Personally, for me, 2016 was a rough year for several reasons, so I was a bit disillusioned before I even began. As I stared at the blank page in my journal, I asked the Lord to bring to mind every good thing that had taken place in 2016.
So I started with the obvious things, like the fact that I’m still breathing, God, my wife and kids, grandchildren, etc. The more I prayed and thought, the more came to me. Before long, I had over thirty pretty big items that I was thankful for.
What was amazing to me was how the Lord directed me to the painful places in 2016 and showed me how He had helped me through each one. These painful places became the occasions for the greatest offerings of thanks for the year. I wrote these down in my journal as well.
Here are a few things I jotted down in no particular order:
- Lost 32 pounds.
- All Convergence debts paid off.
- Great time in Florida.
- Family loving Jesus and healthy.
- Celebrated the one year birthday of our second set of twin grandchildren
2. Ask, “What do I want to be thankful for one year from now?”
Take the Thanksgiving list you just created, along with any other goals and dreams, and bring them before the Lord asking, “What do I want to be thankful for one year from now?” Get your journal out and begin writing. You will need to glance over your 2016 list, and These will be your focus for 2017.
Here are a few from my list.
- That I’ve lost a total of 45 pounds and feel great.
- That I had a great time of ministry in Germany.
- That I read through the entire Bible.
- That Lydia graduated from High School.
- That I’ve completed and published the Ekklesia chapter for a recent book.
As you write out what you want to be thankful for, faith will become activated and hope ignited. This then moves us into a place of faith-filled declarations around these milestones of Thanksgiving.
Make these Thanksgiving milestones opportunities for daily/weekly declarations throughout the year!
Begin Working Toward What You Want To Be Thankful For
Keep these Thanksgiving milestones in front of you and begin working toward them to see them realized.
The exercise will take about thirty minutes from start to finish but expect a generous return that far exceeds the time spent.
With a grateful heart begin the journey towards what you want to be thankful for as you enter through the gates of 2017.