This year, 2014, is coming to an end. But before we say goodbye to it, let’s reflect on what worked, and what didn’t work in 2014.
Today I will share with you a few of my own reflections on 2014. I used some questions from Michael Hyatt to help me think through my year. I want to learn what I can learn from this year, and I want to celebrate what I can from this year too.
Some of these questions are easy, and some are a bit harder. Some are fun questions, and a few not so much. If you choose to use these questions to reflect on your year, be more honest than what I am on this public post. I get more honest in my personal exercise too. But I’ll only share what I feel comfortable for the world to see.
So here goes!
If the last year of your life was a movie, what genre would it be?
You can choose any genre you think fits: Adventure, Drama, Comedy, Tragedy, Action, etc.)
- My life? Drama. With a bit of Adventure thrown in. Seeing that in many ways it was a season for change, I felt like there was a lot of getting ready to get ready, or something like that. But the adventure came from realising that God was asking me to trust Him with my future more than ever before, and just a sense that He was involved in the change, and He was saying now is the time. And that added a bit of excitement to 2014 for me.
What two to three major themes kept recurring in your life this last year?
- What is essential? Over and over again I found myself asking what was essential. How could I simplify my life? What stuff could I eliminate? What activities could I cut? What were the things that were absolutely essential in moving me towards my dreams?
- Trust God. With all the change, I also found myself doubting often. Life felt a bit chaotic at times. But consistently I sensed God breaking through those doubts, and asking me to trust Him. Trust Him to lead me. Trust Him to use me for His purposes. And also to trust Him to provide.
- You were made for a specific purpose. This one was kind of mind-blowing to me. Specifically, how many people affirmed that I was called for a specific call from God. I still can’t say that call is clear, but the affirmations said I was moving in the right direction with all the change up.
What accomplishments are you most proud of this last year?
Honestly, I have a hard time celebrating my own accomplishments. I tend to undervalue them, and think I could have done better. But looking back over this last year, these are the things I celebrate above all others.
- Praying with two young men as they surrendered their lives to Christ. I am still always surprised when I get those opportunities. And every time, I am so keenly aware of how little I do in this process. It is all about what Jesus does through the Holy Spirit. But just the opportunity to be used in that manner by God? I would give my whole life to make that a regular occurrence.
- The hours spent mentoring young men. Every coffee with them is a blessing to me as much as to them. And this year I spent more hours than ever in coffee shops, talking about life with young men. Every confession I hear is a privilege, even if all I can do is assure them that the Holy Spirit is well able to free them, and to heal them. And that God loves them.
- Becoming consistent in blogging. Okay, so I have dreams of this blog having an eternal impact once I get my stuff together. And every post I write is an opportunity to get better at writing. Because after all, repetition is the mother of skill.
What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for?
Most of the things I wrote down for this one don’t make the cut for public consumption.
- However, I think at least one of my clients could do a better job acknowledging the over-the-top service I try to provide. Instead, I am wondering if I need to fire that client.
- And if I am honest, I don’t know if I really feel I should have been acknowledged for this, but I wish I got acknowledged for the gifts God has placed in my life. Even if I know that the desire to be acknowledged is born out of my own lack of confidence that my purpose in life matters. Some days, I am tired of hearing I have potential. I need to know my life matters a little bit now too.
And there you have evidence that there is still some more growth ahead of me!
What disappointments/regrets did you experience in 2014
- The move towards my goals was painfully slow this year. I seemed to make more missteps than forward steps. Probably, because the goals seemed like a shifting mirage on the horizon. And that partially because at times I found it, and continue to find, trusting God hard.
- I had hoped to make greater strides forward financially. I could have made a few more quick and decisive decisions that would have helped. But moving towards mirage like goals, steals a lot of confidence.
What was missing from your life this last year?
- A clear sense of direction. The kind you can hang your hat on. The kind that motivates action. Like I said, the goals seemed to be a bit of a shifting mirage. Good thing they crystallized a bit towards the end of the year.
- Friends to just chill with. I spent more time in coffee shops chatting with people than I have in some years already. But I became keenly aware that I didn’t have too many friends to just chillax with. Guys who were my equals rather that mentees or clients. I need to do something about that.
- A defined mastermind group. I have always had a mastermind group per se. But not necessarily a defined one. Where they also know they are in my mastermind group, and they are aware of the others in that group. I need to work on that for next year.
What major life lessons did you learn?
Just so you know, the more accurate phrasing would be: What major life lessons am I continuing to learn.
- God is my Provider. I am simply a conduit for Him to use. Honestly, not sure if this one should make this list because I am far from done learning this one. But it was definitely one of the lessons in 2014, whether I passed or failed. I am guessing it is a re-take kinda grade I got on it.
- Christ is my freedom. In the new covenant it is Christ through the Holy Spirit that works in me to will and do according to His purposes. It is He that writes the law of God on our hearts. It is the Holy Spirit that causes us to walk in righteousness. I have so little to play in the success of this Christian life I live. It seems the only thing I get to do is respond to God. Confess my sins, accept his provision, pray for His kingdom to come into my life. That pretty much seems to sum up my role. Ok, so it is a little bit too simplistic, I know.
- I was designed to build people, not homes. It is crazy how many people God needs to use to get this message into my heart. And yet, it is not even a new or surprising message. It is just that I am better at not believing God than I am at taking Him at His word.
And there you have it and it’s a humdinger of a year… or not!
Like it or not! That is the year of me. Well the more public, censored version. Like I said, the questions for this exercise are Michael Hyatt’s, so if you wish to, go over and thank him.
For me, they added perspective to my reflections of the year. They added context for honesty and reality. Nobody’s year was all bad, or all good. So we learn what we can, we celebrate the accomplishments, and prepare for the road ahead.
Oh, and if you stayed with me till the end, congratulations! You have won… well, nothing! But you stuck it through one of my very longest posts ever.
Go ahead, use these questions, for your own reflections of your year. How did your 2014 shape up?
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