The New Year is almost upon us. Of course, New Year’s Day is just a day like any other, but the culture and customs surrounding it can provide a valuable way to mark the beginning of something new. This is a chance to start over, reinvent yourself, propel your ministry forward, recommit to a life of radical discipleship to Jesus.

Plan your ideal week

Of course, your week will never actually be ideal, but doing this will give you framework to work from even if you have to rearrange your schedule on the fly. Creating a visual calendar in a spreadsheet will help you prioritize and be realistic about the time that you have and how you’d like to spend it. Michael Hyatt has a great post on doing this along with a sample spreadsheet.

Choose a word for the year

Think about the one word that you’d like to be a summary for what you’d like to accomplish this year. Maybe “Discipleship,” “Family,” or even “Forgiveness.” How can you focus your life on the most important things this year? Pick a word that will be constant reminder for you. As part of this you may want to develop a life theme and choose a word that plays into that in some way.

Write out your major goals for the year

Now that you’ve chosen a word or theme for the next 12 months, write out 3-6 major things you would like to accomplish. Consider focusing on developing habits (which have a long-term return on investment) and spiritual disciplines that support your theme for the year. Don’t just put down the goals themselves, create action steps and write those down, too.

Get some rest

You can’t start the New Year well if you’re tired and burned out. Get the rest that you need–physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You may have to make some sacrifices for this, but I know I’ve never regretted taking the time and resources to rest when I really needed it. Sometimes all you need is a single day of solitude to rest and recharge.

Get ready, be prepared and make the most of the gift of starting another year.