Here we are, once again, at the beginning of another year. The age-old tradition for most people is to set New Year’s resolutions. Some choose a word for the year. Maybe you’re planning to make a 2020 vision board. The challenge for many, though, is actually fulfilling those resolutions.
“You can’t change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.”
Maybe your goal is to swim laps in the pool and improve your backstroke, but you only get as far as filling up your bathtub and leaning back as you relax. It’s okay to laugh, but we all have similar stories of our own. We have a vision but don’t execute it. When we don’t fulfill the goals we set for ourselves, it can be very discouraging. Is there anything we can do to solve this problem? So glad you asked.
20 Questions That May Help You Shape, Define, and Maintain Your 2020 Vision
1. What is vision and what do you need in order to develop a vision? Vision can be defined as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. So, to have a concrete vision, we first have to think about and imagine it. Think about the device you’re using to read this text. Someone imagined it. They had a vision of it. Then they created it. For 2020 vision, we imagine what our lives could be or what we want out of the year so that we can make a plan. It’s difficult to plan for something you can’t imagine. Wondering how to actually find that vision? Try going through Chazown.
2. What lessons did you learn last year? Knowing where you’ve been is very helpful in planning where you’re going. Ever burn your hand on a hot stove as a child? It doesn’t take more than once to know you don’t want to do that again. You can either learn from your mistakes and turn them into lessons, or you can repeat your mistakes and turn them into choices. Looking at your last year, what did you or can you learn from? What lessons can you take into the New Year? Take some time to reflect on that, and consider how you can develop better habits this year. Check out this guide for some help on creating healthy habits.
3. How did you feel last year? If you don’t want to feel a certain way again, take steps to change that. Spread thin? Maybe you need to be intentional with how you plan your day-to-day schedule. Lonely? Maybe you need to find friends you can share life with. Listless? Maybe you need to get connected at your local church and learn what serving opportunities they have. Taking stock of how you felt during the last year can be very helpful in figuring out your next steps for the New Year. Anxious? Check out this guide or seek the help of a counselor.
4. Where do you want to be financially by the end of 2020? Be practical. Look at where you are now and consider where you want to be at the end of the year. And not just financially. Maybe you want to be in a different place emotionally, spiritually, or professionally. No matter the area of your life where you want to see change, consider the situation now and plan for where God can take you by the end of the year. Here’s a great series from Pastor Craig that can help you set the foundation for your financial future.
5. How did you make the world a better place last year? What’s your story? How can God use your story? What’s your purpose? We were all created with an assignment to complete. Do you know what yours is? Maybe it’s time to discover it. Or maybe it’s time to take steps toward living it out. Check out this series to help you discover your divine direction in life.
6. Are you hoping and praying? You have a vision. You hope to “insert your vision here.” But you need more than your vision and some hope and faith for it to happen. Pastor Tome Dawson, in his message, Hope in Action, said it best: “When you have a vision to do something in your life, you’re going to need the God of heaven to help you.” As you think about what you hope to do, also pray to God about how to do it. Hope will point you in the right direction, but there’s only one way to reach your goal. And that’s with God’s help.
7. What are you grateful for? Maybe you’re grateful for family and friends. Imagine a year full of intentional quality time. Maybe you’re thankful for good budgeting. Plan to be an even better budgeter this year. But what if gratitude is a challenge for you? What if you stumbled over this question? Maybe your word for the year or vision could be centered on gratitude. Consider starting a gratitude journal or developing a vision to become selfless.
8. Are you doing something difficult this year? Are you taking on something that you know will stretch you and challenge you in a new way? Working on being patient with that difficult person? Extending grace and love when all you want to do is stay angry and be petty? Sometimes you want to do the easy thing, but doing the difficult thing can be so rewarding. Don’t just have a resolution you know you can accomplish. Consider making plans and having a vision that will stretch and grow you.
9. What or who has influenced your life? Influence shapes our lives and moves others to action. It’s the shadow we cast and the shadow we live under. So—who’s influencing you? How can you turn that influence into action?
10. Are you just chasing fame and fortune? What really makes for a happy life? If you’re always hungry for the next big thing, but frustrated because it never seems to satisfy, it’s time to hop off the treadmill and chase after something real. Don’t focus on the superficial things; focus on the significant.
11. Do you need to change your habits? Small disciplines lead to big results. Maybe you can start by changing or implementing some new habits in your life. Change isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either.
12. How can you invite God into your life more? When you invite God into the driver’s seat of your life, when you turn to Him, when you lean on Him, anything is possible. This year may be the year you let Him truly be in charge of your finances, your single season, or your marriage. This may be the year you truly let go and let God, as the saying goes. What small step can you take to do that?
13. How’s your thought life? It’s hard to stay dedicated to our goals. If you want to lose weight, you may get into a routine at the gym, but you know it’s hard to resist a treat! But if you change your thinking, you can change your life. There’s power in what we say. If you say and think things like, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and, “If God is for me and with me, nothing is going to stop me from accomplishing this,” you’ll find it’s a lot easier to tackle your goals. Our thoughts are a powerful force for shaping who we are and who we can become.
14. Do you need to change your perspective? There’s also power in how we look at our situations. We can’t just change our thoughts; we also have to change our perspective. In his message, Not a Hostage, Pastor Steven Furtick teaches that changing our perspective can change our circumstances. It may seem hard or like you’re not making any headway in completing your goals, but choosing to see things in a new light can really help you keep pushing toward your goals.
15. What do you need to let go of? Leave your baggage behind and travel light. When the weight of the world is on your shoulders, you feel slowed down. Burdens, stress, worry, and regret can’t stay with you in this New Year or as the year progresses. Check in with yourself to make sure you haven’t picked up any extra baggage as you pursue your vision.
16. Is there anyone you need to forgive? The past doesn’t always stay in the past. Sometimes you carry it with you. When people betray your trust, it’s easy to be consumed with pain and anger. But you don’t have to hold on to the bitter memories and painful moments that steal your joy and weigh you down. You can be free by choosing to let go of your grudges. It’s hard to make or maintain plans for your future when you’re still carrying hurts from your past.
17. What are you dreaming about? It’s not just God’s will for you to dream, but to dream big. Proverbs 29:18 KJV says: Where there is no vision the people perish.
18. What’s your next step for 2020? Once you discover your vision, write it down. Post it in places where you’ll be reminded of it. Tell other people so you can be held accountable.
19. Do you have the right people alongside you? It’s impossible to live the right life with the wrong friends. Who are your people this year? Maybe it’s time for you to get into a LifeGroup this year. We have LifeGroups for young adults, blended families, married couples—you name it, there’s a LifeGroup for you.
20. What do you need to leave in the past to move on with your present? What toxic behaviors are you leaving behind? How can you invite more God and less junk into your life? Maybe this looks like minimizing your stuff. Maybe it looks like letting go of past hurt and taking the hard steps toward healing. Ask God to help you release past pain to move on to today’s purpose.
If you’re still with me, thanks for reading. God is going to do some big things this year, and He’s going to do some big things in your life. There’s a fire inside you. You have a God-given purpose waiting to be discovered. You have people around you ready to encourage you. And you may not know it yet, but you have everything you need to chase your passion.
Bonus Questions for 2020 Vision
1. What are you most proud of in 2019? Can you build on that accomplishment this year?
2. What was your biggest mistake? How can you repent and not repeat that mistake?
3. Did you make time for yourself this year? Do you need to make more time for yourself or others this year?
4. If you could snap your fingers and master one skill, what would it be? Why not learn it this year?
5. Who do you want to be by the end of 2020?
6. What didn’t you get to accomplish last year that you can take up this year?
7. Have you picked out a word for the year?