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Living Intentionally in 2024

Lucia Navarrete

The beginning of a new year offers a fresh start and a time to reflect, not with shame or regret, but with an open heart, embracing the potential for growth and second chances.

January served as my dedicated reflection period. Approaching reflection with the intent to learn and grow minimizes the likelihood of repeating mistakes and staying stagnant. The first Sunday service of 2024 at Next Level Church, led by Pastor Sarah, focused on reflection. Inspired by her, I compiled a list of reflection questions that anyone can use to guide transformation in the new year.

An important question to start the reflection process is, “What am I grateful for?” I once heard that life isn’t about what happens to you, it’s about how you react to what happens to you. Recognizing the goodness in the past year and practicing gratitude, even amid challenging situations, is the first step to character growth in 2024. Personally, I am grateful for my published articles and the sleepless nights some of them required. I have also grown through the growth of the girls that I mentor, as well as through my evolved friendships—both the ones I’ve outgrown, and the ones that have grown with me.

Another important reflection question is, “What was my life short of?” Acknowledging what was lacking in the previous year helps pinpoint areas for improvement. I wish I could say my life was short of wasted opportunities, meaningless conversation and heartache, but the list looks more like memories with friends and family, intentional time with the Lord and healthy boundaries. I chose work over a night out with the girls, oversleeping over talking with Jesus in the morning and giving too much of myself to the wrong people. In 2024, I intend to prioritize meaningful memories, early mornings with Jesus and authenticity in situations that would be more easily overcome by passivity.

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Similarly, reflecting on “What was my life full of?” can help you figure out what you’d like to increase and decrease. The hours spent on social media, Netflix, or gaming can be redirected to beneficial activities like reading, learning new recipes, exercising and building relationships. Addressing destructive emotions, like fear and anxiety, is also crucial. Last year, I was run by my fear of failure. My anxiety also impeded growth in the relationships that mattered most to me. This year, I am committed to making decisions with strength, courage and certainty, trusting that God will provide guidance even in my mistakes.

Moreover, I strive to make God my source of encouragement, ensuring that my peace, joy and hope remain amid changing circumstances. Proactivity in my school and job, as well as fearless pursuit of opportunities and networking, is my goal for 2024. Overall, I strive to be a friend who prioritizes meaningful connections and others’ needs without losing myself in the process.

My focus for 2024 is on gratitude, proactive living, and mind and heart transformations, led by positive reflection and commitment to my personal and spiritual growth.

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About the Contributor
Cristina Pop
Cristina Pop, Eagle News Assistant Opinion Editor
Cristina Pop is majoring in journalism. She is a new addition to our team of editors, which has been her dream since she started grading papers with her English teacher in 7th grade and writing for her personal Christian blog. Aside from writing, Cristina enjoys volleyball and sunset swimming at the beach.

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