The new year is an extremely exciting time. It is another chance to start over – an opportunity break out of the darkness that existed in the previous year. This year, I am focusing on drawing nearer to Christ. Rather than making unrealistic goals for myself (A.K.A. healthy eating and going to the gym), I want to challenge myself to dive deeper into my relationship with God than I knew I could.

1. Love recklessly.

One of the best things I have ever heard is that we should love people so recklessly that they are forced to ask why. In a broken world, the biggest gift we can give to people is love. We have the ability to be Jesus to those who need it most – I want to take advantage of that.

2. Lose myself.

Sometimes in order to let Jesus totally in, we have to empty ourselves. I want to give him all of me so that He can make the changes that He needs me to make. When we live with a self-absorbed mindset, we can fall for the idea that God isn’t working in our lives. The truth is that He didn’t have room to come in because our focus was ourselves.

3. Seek the kingdom.

I want to fearlessly and totally be set on Jesus. I want be less worried about my weekend plans and more concerned with how to live more like Him.

4. Pray constantly.

The bible tells us to make our requests known to God. I want to lose my own thinking and worrying about how things will turn out and instead turn them over to the Creator. He always answers our prayers – even if the answer is what we want.

5. Work to discover my purpose.

I want to be open to what God declares over my life. I am going to work towards more “Yes” and “Amen” and less doubting my abilities. I want to listen to what He says I am instead of what the world wants me to be.

6. Be salt and light.

I want people to see Jesus when they see me. I want him to see me as a good and faithful servant. We have such an incredible opportunity to represent him and I don’t want to take this gift of life for granted.

7. Work earnestly and diligently.

In everything that I do, I want to act as if I am doing it for God. In each class, in each responsibility, in everything, I want Jesus to be the center. I want to push as hard as I can until I accomplish the goals that I have set for myself.

8. Act with intention.

I don’t want to live my life going through the motions. I don’t want to live lazy. I want to live for Him and live to make a difference.

9. Love myself.

Society today has created a thin line between being too humble and too conceited. 1 John 2:9 says, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.” This applies to loving yourself too. God created you in his perfect image and has made you to be an amazing display of his goodness.

10. Be grateful in trials.

With each year comes new joys and new trials. Trouble on earth is inevitable. I want to recognize that I am being refined when I am under fire. I want to keep Jesus at the center even when it feels like He is miles away.

11. Show my faith through my actions.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). I want to live out His call on my life. I want to bring as many people to Him this year as he will let me. I want to wake up knowing that each day is a new chance to be his hands and feet.

12. Forgive because He forgives.

If He can forgive me for every bad thought, unfaithful action, or mean word, I can forgive another person. I want his strength to forgive the people who wrong me.

13. Know my worth.

I want to be 100% what he called me to be. I don’t want to settle for less than what he has for me. I choose to stand against the enemy when he puts thoughts in my head deeming me as less than what my Father says that I am. I am found in my Creator. (How cool ?!)

14. Be present.

I want to be present for the awesomeness that He has given to us. The idea of being present is not just to put my phone down. It is to be mentally there in every situation that He puts me in. There is so much beauty in the world around us and I want to enjoy it. I sometimes get wrapped up in a heavenly mindset. I get so excited for how cool heaven is going to be that I forget how cool it is that we get to be on earth.

15. Be bold for the one who sets my soul on fire.

I am so grateful for the life that I have been given. There is no place I would rather be and no people I would rather be with. I have been blessed beyond words with this sweet, sweet life and I want to live it for the One who gave it to me. I want to be bold. I want to be on fire for Him. I have the best opportunity to spread the joy that is Christ on the college campus.

2018 will come with all sorts of experiences. Just how I'll feel sad and scared at some points, I know I will be happy and excited. I am excited for what’s to come and I hope that you will take something from my to do list. You’re never too far from the life He has for you.