In preparation for a New Year, I invite you to start 2018 by leaving some things behind. I challenge and encourage you each week to take steps toward your vision, to dream a bigger dream, listen to your life, and focus on what’s truly important to you. To do that, you must first ensure that you have a strong foundation on which to build your best life. That means making a fresh start, if necessary.

There is no point in building a vision on a foundation muddied with unfinished business, unresolved issues, hurts and regrets because the vision will not be fully realized. Now is the best time to let go of any attitude, project, relationship, or issue that weighs you down or impedes your progress towards a more purposeful and joyful life.

In Philippians 3:13, the apostle Paul talks about “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” What things do you need to leave behind? Make a list this week and choose not to carry certain things into 2018. Here are a few examples to get you started:

Projects and activities that you are not passionate about. (You don’t have time to spend on things that really don’t matter to you anymore!)

“Friendships” that drain your energy, are not reciprocal or are just plain abusive or inappropriate. Love and respect others, and expect to be loved and respected in return. Accept nothing less.

Grudges and unforgiveness. (They keep you stuck in the past, and drain you mentally and spiritually.  Over time, can even make you physically sick.)

Superficial status symbols. (Is it possible that you need to let go of something that makes you feel more important – a job title, a certain relationship, a material possession you can no longer afford – so that you can pursue a more purposeful path?)

Negative attitude. (Make a decision not to rain on your own parade. Stop embracing the reasons you cannot have the life you want and start embracing the reasons you CAN have that life.)

These are just a few examples. Create your own personal list so that your foundation for 2018 isn’t cracked by negative influences, attitudes or habits. Then choose to leave these things in your past. It is an act of faith. We hold on to the old because we are afraid to let go. Pray for the wisdom to identify what you need to let go of, and for the courage to actually let it go. You will be delighted to see how God answers your prayer!