Thoughtfully Entering the Year (A Guided Reflection)

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of kicking off the new year by “retreating” to a lovely lake house in Ft. Worth with the current Faithwalking cohort. During our solitude time we reflected on the joys and challenges of 2018, as well as our hopes and goals for 2019. We then gathered together to share what had come up for us during the reflection time. By reflecting in solitude and sharing in community, I was able to see some “big picture” patterns that I might otherwise have missed! For example, 2018 was a year of heightened anxiety, but it was also a season of growing in confidence. Both of those realizations are important to me as I think about how I want to approach this new year.

If you haven’t yet gotten a chance to meditate on 2018 and thoughtfully enter 2019, I encourage you to take a look at the reflection guide below. We are 10 days into the year, but it’s not too late to be intentional about how you approach this season! I encourage you to set aside some time to be alone, without distractions, and sink into these questions. Afterwards, speak out your observations to someone you trust.

PART 1: What are you bringing into the space?

  • What are you present to in your mind and body right now?
  • What would help you get the most out of this solitude experience?
  • As you reflect on 2018…
    • What gives you joy? What gifts were you given?
    • What grieves you? What do you still need to process or let go of?
    • What caused you anxiety? What challenges did you face?
    • Where did you grow? What obstacles did you overcome?
    • Where do you still feel stuck?
    • What do you long for?

PART 2: What are you seeking?

  • What do you need, right now, in this moment?
  • When you think about 2019…
    • What personal growth would you like to see?
    • What relationships would you like to work on?
    • What is one thing you want to accomplish?
    • What do you need more of? (e.g. peace, joy, hope, clarity, vision, acceptance)
    • What topics or questions could you use some coaching around?
  • What is something you desire that you cannot achieve or acquire in your own strength? What do you want to ask of God in this regard?
  • How could reflection, connection, and surrender move you toward what you seek? What are some practical steps you can take in the next week? Who can give you the support you need to take these steps?

[Note that the questions above have been slightly modified for a wider audience. For the original solitude guide, download the PDF linked below.]