Looking Back to Look Ahead

This is the time of year we begin to look back at where we’ve been and dream about where we long to be the same time next year. Unfortunately, we often do nothing but dream about our tomorrows instead of setting goals and plotting out a plan that will take us from where we are to where we desire to be.

And so we look back in order to look ahead.

Glancing in the rearview mirror is always good, but you can’t remain focused on it too long or you won’t be able to safely move forward. That’s just as true in the drivers seat of our lives as it is in our cars.

But we tend to only get a one dimensional look at where we’ve spent the last 360 something days. We look at where we are in areas like our weight, our kids, our marriages, our jobs and our ministries, but how about where we are in our walk with God? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to look at where we are in just about every dimension of our lives?

I decided that if I’m going to really live life with less regrets each year, I better look back a little more specifically and a lot more intentionally. Resolutions are just good intentions if we don’t follow through.

So, I’m planning on reflecting on my life primarily through the lens of how I was created:

Body – Where am I weight-wise, health-wise, strength-wise?

  • Do I weigh more now then I did at the beginning of the year? Did I lose that illusive 20 lbs?
  • Have I increased my physical activity or am I still making excuses?
  • Am I making better food choices?
  • Do I live more today like I consider my body a temple of the Holy Spirit than I did at the beginning of the year?

Soul – How am I doing emotionally?

  • Am I still carrying the same burdens I was carrying at the beginning of the year?
  • Have I forgiven others completely?
  • Have I been doing better about grieving over lost loved ones?
  • Am I still anxious, upset or angry over anything?
  • Have I chosen to stay in depression over something rather than choosing healing?
  • What have I read to help me walk in forgiveness, healing and hope?

Spirit – How am I doing spiritually?

  • How’d I do with my Bible reading this past year?
  • How’d my prayer life look in 2011?
  • Did my faith grow?
  • Am I more spiritually mature now than I was at the beginning of the year?
  • What book(s) have I read to help me grow spiritually?
  • Am I fulfilling God’s call on my life?
  • What have I done to stir up the gifts the Lord has given?
  • What have I done to step out of my comfort zone for the Lord?
  • How many people have I witnessed to? Discipled? Mentored? Ministered to?
  • As a writer, have I been faithful to complete the seeds He has planted in my heart?
  • As a writer, have I worked on learning how to be a better writer?
  • As a blogger, have I prayerfully planned out my posts or just write to put something out there?
  • As a speaker, have I been faithful to reach as many as I can with the messages He has given me?
  • As a speaker, have I worked on learning how to be a better speaker?

As I look back at last year in order to look forward to next year, I’m struck by the fact that I missed it in a lot of areas! I failed, fell short and completely overlooked some things I should have considered important. I’ve got a lot of growing to do and a lot of changes to make.

I wouldn’t have realized that if I hadn’t looked back more specifically through the lens of body, soul and spirit. Tomorrow, I’ll post about what I plan to do in 2012 with my blog. All I can tell you is 2012 will be very different from 2011.

What about you? Have you taken time to look back so that you can look forward and prayerfully make necessary changes to fulfill your God-given dreams? What do you need to work on?


  1. Love this post Steph. Thanks so much for sharing this! Much needed today!

  2. Thanks Cindy! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Now we're all moving forward into next year. Can't wait to see what Jesus does in 2012! Exceedingly, abundantly!

  3. Good questions Stephanie. Just this morning I paused to ask some questions and put into written words some of those reflections the Lord brought to mind. I need to keep asking and seeking.

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