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What will be your source of comfort, strength, joy and peace? When distractions and discouragement come, what will be your go to focus and response? As we celebrate the arrival of a new year, let’s not lose sight of how to survive and thrive in the new year. Sit down with yourself and strategize on how you will successfully win in the new year.

Like anything else in life, success and joy need a plan. There’s no sustainable success or joy without a plan. First start with God’s plan. What are His plans for your future and for your today? This is very important. Trying to accomplish anything outside of His plan for you is fruitless and will leave you thirsty and dry like a fish out of water. You’ll waste time trying to belong and make things happen but without divine direction, you’ll go nowhere, nowhere that matters anyway.

Understanding God’s plan for your life, your future, requires spending time with Him and finding out his plan for your tomorrow, your today and your daily life. In the new year, it is imperative now more than ever that you live one day at a time. Don’t go ahead worrying about next week, spring or summer. Focus on today. Seek God about His today plan for you.

When discouragement and disappointments come in 2016, you must combat them with thankfulness. Setbacks and discouragement come to steal your hope, focus and your joy. Focus on God’s beautiful plan for your today and for your future. Those plans include promises of joy in sadness, strength in weakness, peace in the midst of chaos, and love, perfect love which eviscerates fear and gives hope.

Don’t allow your feelings to overstep your faith. Subject your feelings to your faith not your faith to your feelings. Go beyond what you feel and focus on what God said and what He’s saying. Read His word. Meditate on His goodness.

Make serving others a tangible part of your new year. Don’t wait for National Day of Service but find a place where you’ll commit to serving others as an important part of life in the new year. Whether an hour or two once a week at nursing home, homeless shelter, veterans hospital or daycare, serving others enriches your life like nothing else. It reminds you how valuable you are to humanity and the joy you’ll get is immeasurable.

Now that you’re equipped and ready for 2016, have a healthy, happy and purposeful new year.