Lots of people have Christmas traditions but do you have any New Year’s traditions? Of course there’s always the old stay-up-til-midnight routine, but besides that.

My New Year’s tradition

For the last several years I’ve made a habit of sitting down sometime around the New Year and summarising my whole year on an A6 card. That’s about 10x15cm or a fourth of a normal sheet of paper.

So I start by writing the first month and then I summarise that month in about two lines of writing. My card for 2004 starts out like this:


Jan – Christmas in PA. Wilds seminar. Decide to record.
Feb, Mar – Hymnology, Counterpoint.
April – Recording prep, school.
May – Graduate, intern at VFBT.
etc., etc.

It’s amazing to assess your year this way. I’ve often found myself looking back wondering, “what on earth did I do all month in June?!”


Zoom out

Here are some things this tradition does for me:

  1. It helps me see the big picture. All the stuff I’d missed while I was “zoomed in.”
  2. It helps me to remember that life is just a mist and my time is limited.
  3. It reminds me that what I do today makes a huge difference when I put all the “todays” together for a year.
  4. It often saddens me as I think of opportunities I wasted.
  5. It naturally challenges me to set my goals and direction for the coming year.
  6. It forces me to spend a lot of time remembering.
  7. It helps me see how far I’ve come when I remember where I was.
  8. It draws me to rejoice in God because of all the blessings he has given and the obstacles he has removed.

I’d encourage you to create a tradition that will do these same things for you at the New Year. I think you will find it a blessing.


I trust you’ll party the New Year in and schedule some time in all the ruckus to consider what God has done in 2008 and to prepare to use the opportunities of 2009.

Grace to you.

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About Jason Harris

Dr Jason Harris is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has a PhD from James Cook University as well as degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007 and serves as pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.


  1. Kez 31 December, 2008 at 9:17 am - Reply

    That’s a cool idea – the summarising of the year! Sounds fun to try out, but knowing me I probably won’t be able to remember at least three of the months… =D
    Why can you never remember June? Why June?
    Party time! Anyone asks, tell them Jason from InFocus said to so it must be all right…lol

  2. Belinda 4 January, 2011 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this one Jason. What a great way to start the new year, giving thanks for all that has been, and rejoicing in the security and knowledge of our Everlasting, unchanging Heavenly Father.

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