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How do you spend Christmas break? Of course, there is family, food, fun, and reflection on faith. For me, it is one of the most strategic times to make the most out of my time for the new year. My hope, for you as a leader, is to make the most out of your time too. Here are five practical ways to make the most out of this season.

Make the most out of your relationships that matter the most.

Christmas is about being intentional in relationships. This might be a given but in the broken world we live in we need to build bridges with those who matter the most to us. Relationships with God, family, friends, and those who are less fortunate are more important than anything else we will experience in our short time on earth. Christmas is a great time to be intentional with God and others.

Make the most of your time.

Relaxation, recreation, and renewal are needed during the holidays... and yet there is a difference. An example of relaxation is watching the game or doing minimal tasks that take little energy. I think we ALL spend too much time in this area, yet, we are needing more. We also need to spend time in recreation; which is being active, playing games with family and friends and doing things that use energy. However, the BEST spent time is renewing ourselves. Renewal is intentional as it is taking time away from it all in order to reflect. For me, this includes reflection on:

  • What have been the highlights this year? Why? What are my learning lessons for the year?

  • What have been the lows this year? Why? How can I learn from my lows for next year?

  • What patterns have I developed that need to be corrected? Or changed?

  • What rhythms have helped develop me in a better person? Husband? Father? Minister? Or made me worse?

    This is a great exercise to do between Christmas and New Years as it is one of the quietest times during the year.

Challenge yourself to grow.

Growth is hard and uncomfortable, yet necessary to become a better person. This includes a plan to grow in the way God has created me. For me, this is a personal conviction. If God gave His very best to you and I (through Jesus), how much more should I give my very best (including the good, bad, and the ugly) to Him? Every year, I build a plan to help me stay focused and growing. This includes:

  • Growing in my character as a husband, father, person

  • Growing in my calling, as in the context of ministry/job

  • How to grow in my influence that God has given

  • Growing in my competencies including education and learning from others

    Do you have a plan? The reason I ask this is that growth does not happen accidentally. It takes intentionality.

Find a mentor.

This is a big one. If you are reading this, find a mentor who is intentional with you and will help you make the most out of the following year. Intentional mentoring will help you go further faster in your calling, character, and competencies. Check out #ANewMe Mentorship Journey for more details on this.

Live BEYOND yourself.

Living for others is the best way to live. Of course, we may want to lose weight, make more money, and live healthier, but those things do happen WHEN we desire to live for others rather than for things.

My challenge for you is to make the most out of this holiday season so that you can have the best year of your life.