The Best Way To Start your year – Retreat

2021 was a rollercoaster of a year. For some people, it was a year of recovery from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic. For others, it was a year to plan and re-strategize.

Now it’s 2022 and we’ve set new goals and resolutions and are definitely determined to achieve them. But just setting goals and writing them isn’t a guarantee that you will achieve them.

The reason why a lot of people are not able to make the most of their year is because they don’t take time to prepare for the new year.

Most people just jump into the new year and believe everything will work out nicely. Unfortunately, experience has shown that planning is everything.

This is where having a retreat comes in. A retreat is where you go away for a time to evaluate the previous year, pray and plan for the new year.

This is the real secret to achieving your goals. Now when I talk about “going away,” I’m not referring to taking an evening or a day to think. No. An ideal retreat should be in a place where you can be alone for at least two days.

Some people like to have theirs during the first few days of the new year but the date doesn’t really matter as long as it’s done during the first month of the year.

So pick a time when you will be free from any distraction and can give a few days of your time effectively.

How To Maximize Your Retreat.

We all want this year to be different for us and that will only happen if we start the year properly. So here are the major things you have to do during your retreat to kickstart the year:

1. Thank God for the previous year
You definitely can’t start the year without thanking God Almighty for the previous year. Infact, the first day of your retreat should be solely for praise and thanksgiving to God for His love, protection and provision,etc in the previous year.

Sometimes we forget just how good God has been to us.
King David in the book of Psalms says we should count our blessings and name them one by one. Sometimes we generalize what God has done when we thank Him but not this time.

Open your heart and with gratitude remember all His benefits and blessings He bestowed upon you in the previous year. Doing this will open the door to the new year and all God has prepared for you.

2. Review the previous year
This is the part of your retreat that will probably take the most time. What you do is make a list of the six areas of your life and thoroughly review how that area of your life fared in the previous year.

To make this work, you have to be honest and allow The Holy Spirit to expose the areas you didn’t do well in so you can be better. So get a book, list all these areas and one by one, review them.

Spiritual growth and relationship with God – This is where you measure how effective you’ve been in your personal walk with God (prayer life, personal Bible study, giving, service in the house of God and the overall advancement of His Kingdom).

Health – We tend to neglect this area of our lives. So here you reflect on how well you’ve taken here of your overall health (have you been working out, eating healthy, etc).

Finances – This is where you reflect on how you’ve used your money and other resources in the previous year.

Purpose & Assignment/Career – How effective were you in your God-given assignment? How have you grown in your career?

Mental Transformation/Character – how much did you grow mentally and character wise? Are there mindsets and habits you need to get rid of? Did you learn anything new? How many books did you read in order to grow mentally?

Relationships – Nope, this isn’t just for ‘boos’ and ‘baes.’ Here you evaluate your relationship with your family, spouses or partners, friends, colleagues, subordinates and mentors.

Remember to be honest. It’s alright if you discover that you didn’t do well in most areas. Don’t condemn yourself. Ask God for mercy and ask The Holy Spirit to help you do better.

When He brings to mind some things you’re doing wrong or chastises you, don’t feel bad. He wants you to do and be better.

3. Prayerfully set goals for the new year and a plan of action to achieve them
The key word is ‘prayerfully’. Trust me when I say that when you acknowledge God in all your ways, you’ll be amazed at the things you can achieve.

So pray about your plans for the year. Commit them into His hands and allow Him to cancel out some things that may not be important. Doing this will help you devote energy to the most important things.

Most times, we end up wasting energy on things that are not so important.
Set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time – bound goals for the six areas of your life mentioned above. Don’t be vague.

Don’t say, “I want to build a strong prayer life by the end of year.” You’ll find it difficult to measure your progress. Instead say something like, “I’ll pray for two hours everyday.” That’s measurable and specific.
You can also review your goals at the end of every week or every month

4. Speak and Declare The Word of God Over the Year
The power of prayerfully speaking into the year cannot be overemphasized. Speak the word of God into the year, declaring your success and the manifestation of the things God has in store for you.

However, you have to keep speaking these words everyday throughout the year.

So there you have it. 2022 can be the year your life turns around completely. A lot can happen forbyou this year so trust God and give your best.

Remember that you are not in a competetion with anyone but yourself. Strive to be the best of yourself and keep at it. 2022 will be awesome!!!

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