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Time to Reflect & Refine

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23

As we approach the middle of the semester, this is the perfect time to reflect on our journey. One of my favorite verses reminds us of the Lord's faithfulness and that His mercies start over fresh each morning. That means, with every sunrise, no matter what happened yesterday, we can be secure in the steadfastness of the Lord and start fresh. Reflect on your academic and personal journey so far this school year. What is going well? What areas would you like to improve in? As you reflect, ask the Lord to bring to mind areas you need to work on. Then, ask for the wisdom to know what to do about it! Proverbs 16:3 says that if we commit our works to the Lord, our plans will be established. Maybe you have a personal goal to spend more time in the Lord's presence so He can give you guidance each day. You might need to be more organized and commit to a time management routine to get those assignments in ahead of time and avoid the stress of doing things at the last minute. Whatever your goals are, tomorrow is a new day to get better!

Write the vision and make it plain. Habakkuk 2:2

One of the most important parts of reflection is to write down your goals. I like to think of this process in three steps: Prioritize, Plan, and Practice. Prioritize the 1-2 areas you want to improve in. For example, if time management is your overall goal, you might write down some of the following areas to work on:

1) Use an electronic calendar or paper planner;

2) Start working on assignments the same week they are assigned;

3) Designate study time each day; or

4) Eliminate time-wasters.

Look at your list and choose the ONE area that will give you leverage, but is also realistic for you to achieve. That becomes your priority. Next, plan 1-2 strategies you will put into practice each week to achieve your goal. Let's say you prioritize using an electronic calendar or paper planner to maximize your productivity and decrease idle time.

Two weekly strategies you might put into practice are:

1) Sit down by Friday of each week to review and update my calendar for the upcoming week; and

2) Put all assignments and time commitments on my calendar as soon as I receive them.

If this is not a habit for you already, you might forget to put an assignment on your calendar or you might miss a Friday deadline to update your calendar for the week. Don't get discouraged or give up on your goals. Just do it today. Remember, every day is a brand new mercy.

What we do today predicts our tomorrow, so don't live in yesterday.

Where ever you are right now, take time to reflect. If God is prompting you to focus in on certain areas, write down your priorities, make a plan, and put your plan into practice. The Lord is faithful to give us what we need. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies are renewed every morning!

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