Reflect and prepare with your family for the new year

Written by Jeanette Tapley
Published on December 21, 2023

I love this week between Christmas and New Year! I love the smell of a fresh planner and opening a new pack of pens. And to make it even sweeter, I went all out this year and bought a big fancy wall calendar. This week in-between is a week to dream, plan and prepare for growth. With the flip of the year comes the hope to dream and remember that joy comes in the morning.

I know there is nothing magical about the switch of the calendar. Changing the year doesn’t erase the burdens of the past year, and the unanswered prayers will likely still be unanswered come January 1st.

To be frank, this year was really hard. I felt like our family stumbled and crawled more than we walked upright. We carried the burden of a family member’s cancer diagnosis, our kids’ sin struggles, loss of work, and at times loss of hope. Crossing into the new year feels like an exciting new beginning. Not that any of these things are fixed or changed. But there is a new expectant hope.

Hope for joy in the new year, hope for relief, and hope for healing. I love dreaming and looking forward, but we must look back and see where we once were. I can easily remember the hard, but what about the good?!

I love bringing my children into this with me, I want them to see the good and the hard. I want them to sit with me and say, “This far the Lord has brought us. And we believe that he will do it again!”

It is why I created the Family Reflection & Preparation guide. I wanted to take some intentional time to ask my kids a few questions;

• What was your favorite memory of this past year?

• What worked? What didn’t?

• What do we want our family to be known for?

• What goals can you set for the new year?

And more! These questions offer you and your family an opportunity to get to the heart of what you are about as you enter a new season!

I know I have been great at setting goals for myself and even family goals, but in the past, I didn’t include my family. So I had many expectations for us that no one else knew about, and I was working toward these things all alone, and that made me angry and bitter.

Once I realized that I was alone in these things, by my own doing, I invited them all into this practice, and now we work together as a family towards our goal and mission for the coming year!

This practice or project can be enlightening and simple. Let me give you a few tips for making this practice work! After all, I know first hand if it’s too hard, we won’t do it!

• If you have big kids (10-older teens), give them an incentive! It’s not bribery. It’s an incentive! Grab your copy, print it off, and give them a day or two to write down their thoughts and put them on paper. Then as a family, sit down with a favorite snack or meal and go through it. We have done this at our favorite restaurant or over a delicious snack board at home!

• For younger kids, take this opportunity to have some one-on-one time. Ask your child the questions, and write down their responses. It could be fun to video their responses since their little voices change so much!!

• Gather for dinner and talk through the questions. No writing necessary! You know your family best. Do what works for your family!

You can make it super formal, or you can make it super chill. Taking the time to do it is the important thing!

Taking the time to look back reminds us of all that God has done. Preparing for what is coming helps us place our trust in God’s plan and reminds us that we don’t hold the future, but we trust the one who does!

A few verses for you to ponder as you hope and plan for a new year!

Proverbs 15:22 ESV

1 Samuel 7:12 NIV

Psalm 30:5 NIV

Lamentations 3:22-23 CSB

I am praying big things for you and your family this year! For peace, joy, and so much fun! Say “yes” a little more, teach that kiddo to make fried rice, enjoy the mundane moments, and trust that God will move mountains for you and your family! 

Consider a few extra resources:

Live perfectly imperfect

Get daily emails with practical and spiritual advice geared towards helping you set aside perfect and grow into the parent you want to be every day.

Join over 75,000 parents growing into who God made them to be.

Jeanette Tapley

Jeanette Tapley is a podcast host, author, speaker, and friend who loves all things friendship, laughter, and a good cup of coffee. When she is not recording for her podcasts, It’s Time For Coffee & Moms At Work, you can find her hanging with her 3 favorite teens + handsome husband. 

Her heart beats for people to be heard, valued, and never alone no matter what stage of life they find themselves in. Whether that be through navigating friendships, figuring out faith, raising a family, or life as an entrepreneur.  She is the internet friend everyone needs who encourages people to walk through it!

Read more about Jeanette

You may also like…

Privacy Preference Center