A New Year – a New View – a New Song – New Opportunities to Seek God's Approval

Categories: Freshness and Newness

If you have done this activity in the past, ask the students to review their spiritual goals from last year and see what kind of progress they made. I just did an assessment with my class and most of the goals were achieved. The few that weren't were "almosts". So the class made a new list. It was a more realistic list of goals. Help pupils to write goals that are achievable and assess them once a month. Sometimes they need help in accomplishing those goals. Sometimes they put goals on their lists that they think you want to hear. Make sure they are specifically designing ones for themselves. One girl last year wanted to develop more confidence. Her family told me what progress she made on that one, but she feels she needs to keep it as a priority.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.

As we ring in the New Year, we can help our pupils see the differences between the old person we were this past year and the new person we want to be in the new year.

Ask the students to make a list of the past year's mental garbage they are willing to throw away and what new qualities or concepts they want to replace it with for the new year. Find the labels that seem to fit the "old you" and pull them off and replace them with goals for the new year – what will the "new you" do instead?

In the past, middle school and high school students have shared the following ideas:

Fear – I was afraid of being alone at night, but now I want to trust God more.

Jealousy – My best friend has all the guys in school drooling over her, but I want to be grateful for who I am.

Comparisons – I want to stop comparing my life (body, complexion, grades, clothes) with my friends and be grateful for how God made me.

Criticism - I sometimes find more things wrong with life than is right. This next year, I want to find the good and be less critical.

Gossip – I have a tendency to share bits and pieces of information about people without really knowing what's true. I want to stop spreading gossip and only tell the truth about people.

Complaining – I complain about everything, my teachers, my parents, sister, brother, friends, classes, food at school, my allowance (what allowance?) no car, you name it. This is going to be a tough one to stop, but I want to see how much more I can praise the people in my life.

Stupid mistakes – I want to totally forget all the dumb things I did this past year trying to be someone I'm not. I really want to be happy with being me.

Cheating – I want to quit thinking someone else has better answers and trust what I know.

You might also work on making a list of goals for the new year.


  • Forgive
  • Be a better athlete
  • Use wisdom about what I eat
  • Master the unsaid rather than be a slave of the said
  • Be kinder
  • Be more thoughtful
  • Be a better student
  • Be nicer to my siblings
  • Tell the truth to my parents

Help them discover what states of thought they have outgrown. A poem by Samuel Longfellow concludes: "The Life that makes all things new." Help them see how God is making them "new" moment by moment. They never have to wait for January 1 to be made new. It takes place hourly.