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5 Game Changing Questions for your 2016

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5 Game Changing Questions for your 2016

Christa Hesselink

1. How will I use my power this year?

Believe it or not, we all have quite a bit of power. 

Most of us have the capacity to choose the major and minor parts of our lives.  Where do I want to live?  Who do I want to be friends with? How will I spend my weekend?  What do I want for dinner? 

We also have quite a bit of power over others.   How will I treat my family when I’m tired?  How much time will I give to my friends? What words will I use with my coworkers? What attitude will I have towards my boss?  We have lots of control and every action we take influences someone, somehow.  It’s power.

It’s like we are all mini super-heroes with extraordinary power to either save the world or destroy it. We may not be running around with a cape and tights but we can either be a hero or a villain depending on how we use our power.

I think one of the most fundamental questions we should be asking ourselves is how will we use our power this year.

I think this is the fundamental question that is asked throughout the scriptures - How will you use your power? And we see Jesus answer that in the most radical of ways - “I’ll use my power to serve you.”

No one is asking us to move mountains, dodge speeding bullets, or hold flaming comets at bay - but we are being invited to use our power for good.

  • Use our words to build others up instead of tearing a strip off their heart. We’re all in need of kinder, gentler words.
  • Use our time to help someone instead of wasting it away on things that disappear. We all need people to reach into our lives and give us a hand.
  • Use our money to support someone who can’t make ends meet instead of buying one more thing we really don’t need. This world is desperate for more simplicity & generosity.
  • Use our influence to heal rather than hurt.  Each of us has someone “following & watching” us (your child, nephew, coworker, neighbour) and every action we take has a ripple.
  • Use our skills to generate more love and life for others instead of wondering if we have any talents that matter. We all need you to do the thing you do! 

I’m okay for us to be “power hungry” as long as our power looks like love and our hunger for it ends up serving each other.

2. What will I regret in a year if I don’t take action in 2016?

So, here we are, sitting on the cusp of a new year.  I’m not one for digging in on new year resolutions; It’s likely because I really suck at it. 

No, I’d rather take a more gentle, subtle approach to welcoming a new year, knowing that I need to take the long view if I’m really serious about personal transformation.

Sometimes the most helpful thing for me to do is to consider what I want my life to look like a year from now… a few days before 2017.

If I am given the next 365 days to enjoy and work and live on this planet, then what do I need to do in order to not live with regrets?

We have a way of getting that 20/20 perspective when we look back. Hindsight is everything. So, let’s imagine we’re looking back over the year to come.

What do I need to do (or not do) in order to have no regrets for 2016? 

  • Is there a habit you want to break, or begin?
  • Is there a relationship that you want to move the ball forward on?
  • Is there a skill you know you want to develop?

I’m not talking about circumstances, I’m talking about character…stuff you have a hand in changing.

Does anything ping on this list for you? Any area you want to press into for all of 2016 in order to live with no regrets?

3. How will I get the still and calm my soul regularly needs?

I don’t need to tell you that we live in a fast world. 

I’m an active participant in this hurried life and an acute patient with hurry-sickness.

But if I’ve been learning one thing over these years, it’s the direct cause and effect that a healthy practice of solitude in my life has on the quality of my life.

Perhaps 2016 is the year where many more of us will learn how to sit quietly with ourselves, undistracted, with absolutely no agenda for 15 minutes each day.

IMAGINE THAT?!   It could possibly be the most radical thing you do all year.

I’ve written about this before in FRAYED | FULL | FRINGE as well as in PLOTTING FORWARD.  Feel free to check those out.

For now, here are a couple more questions to consider:

  • Am I adjusting my routines to find more time for quiet and solitude?
  • Am I getting enough sleep? If not, what needs to change to give me a chance at some fantastic shut-eye?
  • Am I running life too fast? Do I have any margins to really savour moments or is busyness wearing me thin?

Here's an excellent resource to simplifying your life: BECOMING MINIMALIST with Joshua Becker.

4. What am I curious about?

When a two year old is constantly tugging at your pant leg asking you questions, you may be tempted to dismiss them - it can get old after a while. But these questions are the essence of being human. These questions come from that deep place within us to wonder, to explore, to muse, and to stand in awe. I think to be the healthiest version of ourselves we need to get in touch with that deep place within us that has been hushed and buried as we’ve gotten older.  We can take our cues from the young ones.

Why?  How?  What? When? Who?

This is the stuff of curiosity. This is the stuff that leads to adventure. This is the stuff that leads to reverence and appreciation for this insane, beautiful, heart-breaking, captivating world.

So, what is peaking your interests lately? It could be anything really. Google is at your finger tips - what do you find fascinating? Follow that. Explore it.

It’s not wasted-time, it’s wonder-time. And it’s good.

Take a look at one of my favourite videos and consider what you could do in 2016 to live with more awe. 

5. How will I show my gratitude to God everyday?

We’ve just come through the Christmas season that tapped into the beauty of generosity and the response of gratefulness. 

We gave gifts and we were given gifts.  We prepared parties for people and we attended others prepared for us. We said thank you and we received thanks back.

This is a natural reciprocity that’s wired into us. Give - Receive - Give - Receive.

Doesn’t it make sense to focus ourselves on the cosmic give and receive of our own lives?

We’ve been given so much.  

This breath. And the next. And the next.

The warm house and the duvet on the bed.

The food in abundant supply - not to mention the variety and options at our every meal.

This breath. And the next. And the next.

The job, the car, the education.

This breath. And the next. And the next.

You get it.  All of our life, every moment, is a gift and our most natural response is to say thank you to the Giver.

Could 2016 be a year full of grateful thanks directed to God in a way that means something to you?

Is there a way that makes giving thanks fresh for you?

 

Happy New Year! See you in 2016!