Why Transformation Requires You to Look Backward, Before Moving Forward


Are you ready to jump into 2019 with two feet forward, ready to make changes in your life so that you can be healthier? 

After all, 2019 is your year to take this leap into a new and different you! It is your year for a fresh start, a renewed you, and a better version of yourself. 

But, wait!

Before you jump, I want you to pause. 

Pause and reflect on the year you are saying good-bye to, before welcoming in the new year. 

By giving yourself permission to look backward, you are blessing yourself with opportunities to move forward. 

You see, it is only through an honest exploration of the past year's successes and challenges that will bring you to a full awareness of where you are today so you can move forward tomorrow. 

So before you jump into 2019 with both feet, spend some time sitting in 2018. 

The best way to do this is through journaling. 

Why Journal

I hear it all the time from women - "I don't like to journal." "I don't like to write." 

As you nod your head agreeing with these women, I encourage you to be open to hearing me out. 

Journaling or the act of writing out your thoughts is not just another task to do on your ever-growing responsibility list. It is an exercise that will get you crystal clear on where you've been, where you are, and where you want to go. 

Dawson Trotman was quoted in saying, "Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips." 

The difference between thinking about and writing out your successes and challenges comes down to clarity.

Processing your year through thinking alone leaves you feeling unsure. Everything will still be fuzzy because your brain has so many other thoughts it is also processing at the same time.

Have you ever experienced a thought exiting your mind as quickly as it entered? Maybe you were on a mission to get an item out of your bedroom. On your way, your daughter stopped you to ask a question. The door bell rang, and the dryer alarm went off. By the time you walked into your bedroom, you have no idea why you are there.  

Sound familiar? 

All those extra thoughts and distractions on your way to your bedroom caused your initial thought to be pushed back into your conscious awareness. The end result is nothing but forgetfulness. 

But, what if you were to write down what you needed to get out of your bedroom before you headed off in that direction? While the same distractions would occur, the written reminder would serve as your guide. Forgetfulness is no longer an issue. 

This same line of thinking is true as you process the successes and challenges faced in 2018, before understanding what is needed of you in 2019.

Therefore, I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee, a cozy blanket, and your journaling worksheets, writing down all that has gone well in 2018, what has not gone well, where God has been working, and where you need God to continue working.

When you do this exercise, you know exactly where you stand and can move forward to making goals for 2019. 

Bible Verses and Journal Prompts 

There is no better way to process 2018 than to use Biblical truth to guide you. Below is your truth guide, along with several journal prompts. Use the verses and prompts to guide your time with God, asking Him to reveal the areas of your life that He is pruning and where more pruning is needed. 

”For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7: 18-19). 

Journal Prompts:

  • In what way have you wanted to change, but have not found success in doing so? 
  • What has prevented you from making progress? 
  • How strong is your desire for change?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Journal Prompts: 

  • How do you conform to this world? 
  • How would a transforming of your mind impact your life and those you love? 
  • What would happen if you continue to conform to this world and not be renewed in your thinking? How will this impact you and your loved ones? 

”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5;17)

Journal Prompts:

  • In what way do you want “the old things passed away?” 
  • In what way do you want “new things to come?” 
  • What is your role and that of God’s in this passing of the old and the coming of the new? 

It is my prayer that you don’t just read these truths and journal prompts, but you put them into action. After all, change will not come without you taking a step. 

You can find these bible verses along with the journal prompts in the resource tab on my website. With a quick (and free) download, you can use these pages to help you look backward on what prevents you from making transformational changes, while also encouraging you to move forward.

Friend, transformation is a journey to be wrestled with each and every day. Rather than viewing your messes as failed attempts, medidate on this truth: 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

With each new sunrise, God reminds us that our messes from the day before are behind us. The day is new and fresh. Use it for His glory.

Praying you through,


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Photo by NordWood Themes and Hannah Olinger on Unsplash


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