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Happy New Year, everybody! All two of you loyal readers, that is!

Like everyone else, I’m looking for ways to take stock and take action toward becoming a better person in this, my 52nd new year. And like most people, I’ll set some big goals, make some big plans, and take some very little steps.

At any rate, here are a couple of ideas I’ve been thinking about during this first day of 2013…

  • Looking Backward/Looking Forward. This is certainly one of the most common themes for any new year. In my line of work, a lot of guys will pull out familiar words to help focus on the future. While this is all well and good, some of them will miss an important admonition just a few lines down. Yes, 2012 is in the rear-view mirror. And yes, 2013 is out the windshield. And I know that if you focus more on the mirror than the windshield bad things are bound to happen. But don’t forget to hold the ground you’ve already taken. Be sure to secure your progress. And you can only do that if you think on the lessons learned and continually improve on the things that got you where you are.
  • Seasons. Every year I read through the Bible using the One Year Bible reading plan. It’s familiar, yet surprisingly fresh every time! I’ve read Psalm 1 hundreds of times in my life. And today, as I kicked of the OYB plan, I noticed this phrase: “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.” Our lives consist of seasons, it seems. Just as the winter gives way to spring, and the summer loses its identity into fall, so our lives reflect a passing and changing seasonal nature. One of my areas of improvement this year is to recognize the season in which I find myself. I’m not the man I was 30 years ago, or even six months ago. I hope! So, my new year prayer today is: “Lord, let me be fruitful in this season.”
  • Challenges. Every new year presents new opportunities for growth. We often fail to realize those opportunities are disguised as challenges. We tend to see the obstacles and make excuses, rather than focusing on the opportunities and developing new skills and strategies for moving through the difficult spots. What obstacles are in your way as 2013 unfolds? Are there any opportunities waiting within the obstacles?

I hope your new year will prove to be a season of growth and success. I pray that for you, your family, and your team. Happy New Year indeed!