I just spent what may be the most valuable $17.45 of 2010. That’s 2 x $4.60 for two flat whites, $5.50 for a large strawberry thick shake, and $2.75 for a pen when my other pen ran out.

Oh, and I spent about four hours.

This is an annual New Year’s ritual I’ve been doing since about 2004. Here’s what I do.

I gather several key items… my Bible, my diary for the past year as well as my diary for the coming year, My “Daily Companion” which contains a list of my roles and goals, some paper (ok, a lot of paper), and a good pen (make mental note to check ink levels next year!).

Then I set off for a favourite coffee shop.

Having settled myself in a comfortable booth with a good view and having ordered the obligatory flat white with one sugar, I set to work.


This year I started by reading what is perhaps my favourite passage in all of Scripture: Romans 8. Nothing puts my focus back in line quite like Romans 8 does.


Then I took out a card and last year’s diary and remembered and summarised 2009 (check out my post last New Year’s about this).


Next, I took out my list of roles and updated and adjusted it to make sure it was current. These are all the roles I currently fill. I then did two things with the list:

1. I spent some time considering each role and whether it was a role I believe God wants me to continue to fill.

2. I took some time to think through whether I was meeting my responsibilities in each of these roles. This ended with a list of “to dos”—areas in which I am not meeting my responsibilities effectively and how I intend to change that.


Next I took out my list of goals for last year and assessed which ones I’d met, which ones I’d failed to meet, and which ones I should never have had in the first place. This led me to develop a set of goals for 2010 in various areas: physical, social, financial, career, spiritual, study, and ministry. I also assessed my long-term and life goals and made some adjustments.


The final stage of my time (and yes, by now the coffee shop staff are like family) is devoted to planning.

First I focus on the long term plans of how I intend to accomplish my goals. This is where I get out my 2010 diary and start plugging in specific dates and tasks. Then I turn my focus to the next several weeks and how I intend to make the adjustments that I’ve been making notes about all morning.

By now my coffee cup (the second one) is going crusty and the staff are wondering if I’m planning to spend the night. My mind is starting to spin, but my heart is full of joy and gratitude as I remember what God has done and look forward with hope to what he will do.

That’s $17.45 well spent.

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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. Alen 6 January, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for the post. By the way, what prompted you to first begin this ritual? :)

  2. Jason Harris 6 January, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    The coffee. =D

    No really, it’s just kind of evolved one piece at a time over the years.

  3. RoSeZ 6 January, 2010 at 6:13 pm


  4. Jessica 19 January, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Thanks for sharing– this is encouraging. I think I shall try to do the same in the future. Sounds like a profitable ritual!

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