Jan. 1 is one of my favorite days of the year. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, I am giddy with expectation: a new year, a clean slate. New adventures and experiences lie in wait as we step into a new decade!

I’m nothing if not reflective at this time of the year. I’m pondering the last 12 months, analyzing and grading myself while making plans — big and small — for the next 12.

At the beginning of 2019, I was reading something profound that encouraged me to make a mission statement or creed for the year. Being quite obedient, I immediately pulled out a pen and began to write on the back of a bulletin I had stuck in my Bible. With much thought and prayer I tweaked it until it was just right for me.

We all have a purpose, right? We know that God has a plan for us, right? Then realistically, this is a completely practical exercise. What are we working toward besides just a payday? What is our goal when we get up each morning?

These were the words I penned: “To make Jesus known through words — spoken and typed — and love. To encourage others, especially women, to trust Him, study His Word and to live for Him. To follow God’s leading — no regrets.”

Making a written mission statement has served me well. I have pulled it out and read it aloud often — for my ears only. It has reminded me to stay on task and to press on. On overwhelming days, it has redirected my focus. On painful mornings, it has helped me keep my eyes on the prize.

I challenge you to get paper and pen, or use the notes in your cell phone, and make a mission statement for yourself. Each creed will be different, for each person is different. What I write this year will differ from the me of years ago. My age is not the same, so my priorities are not the same, my outlook not the same.

At the beginning of “Voices of the Faithful” (a year of devotions written by international missionaries), Beth Moore reminds us that God is all about new starts, new beginnings. There is a new start every year. There is a new beginning every month: 12. We have a new start every week: 52, and one every day: 366 (2020 is a leap year). Did you ever think of it like that? I hadn’t!

Knowing all that, I sit here with blank paper in hand for my mission statement of 2020, excited!

Was it New Year’s Day when Paul wrote Philippians 3:13-14? “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Sounds like it to me!

Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at preacherswife7@yahoo.com.