Your future can be better than your past or your present. As this year winds down, and a fresh year unfolds, it is a natural time to take some to reflect on your career and calling, and to set goals for the coming year. Here are some ideas for your own list of New Year's resolutions. Together, you and the Lord can transform your life

Five Resolutions for Discovering & Living Your Calling

1. Take a fresh look at your God-given design. God has created you for a specific purpose, and is in the ongoing business of transforming you so that you can carry out His will for your life. Discovering your vocational calling begins with having a clear picture of how God has designed you. Within you resides a special combination of gifts-talents, interests, skills, personality traits, and much more-that is the foundation of your vocational calling. There has never been anyone else like you in human history, and there never will be another you again. You are called to be "you": the unique, gifted, capable person who was designed by God and created to fulfill a divinely appoint purpose with your life. (Live Your Calling contains six self-assessments to help you clarify and deepen your understanding of your design.) Other powerful options include professional career testing that can help you identify and match your interests and motivations with job and career choices that fit your God-given design.

2. Stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone. We humans are easily entrapped by our comfort zone. We become defined by our habits and routines, and resist even considering the unfamiliar. Jesus never hesitated to call people out of their comfort zones; in fact, He specialized in it! Hearing God's calling is difficult if you are blockaded in your comfort zone. Start small in breaking free: drive a new way to work; eat lunch with someone different; take time to read about a career you have considered; start a new hobby or activity. You are the biggest barrier in your own life; doing new things will help you see that you can make changes in your life and aren't limited by your current comfort zone.

3. Look for needs you can meet each day.  Our human nature encourages us to focus on our own needs. God, however, calls us to direct our attention to the needs of others; to be the servant of all (Mark 9:35). Needs come in all shapes and sizes. See who God brings into your path whom you can help. As you serve others in small and not-so-small ways, pay attention to what brings you a sense of joy and fulfillment. A key part of finding your vocational calling is discovering the types of needs you especially enjoy meeting.

4. Develop "an attitude of gratitude." Take time to write down everything for which you are grateful in your life. Ask God to bring to mind every blessing-large and small-that He has given you. Cultivating a grateful heart and mind will help you see how God has been at work in your life, and will enlarge your sense of trust in God's faithfulness for your future.

5. Start today taking prayerful action. "Tomorrow" may seem like the best day to start making changes in your life, but it's not! Procrastination is a dream-killer. Big changes are usually the result of taking lots of little steps. Break your goal into "bite-sized" steps. Find a small step you can do today and find a support person to help you take it. (The bigger the challenge, the more support you will need to accomplish the goal.) Living your calling requires combining prayer with action. Stepping out in faith will help mature you into becoming the person you need to be to do the things God is calling you to do.