Tracey Jackson has some advice on how to finish the year strong.



Special to South Florida Times

The summer is over. School is back in and the highways are once again congested with traffic. Some stores even have Christmas decor on display.

It’s official, the end of the year is right around the corner. You have four months left to make 2017 the best you possibly can. What did you say you’d do in January that you didn’t finish? What is that nagging task that you didn’t have a chance to start? Wherever life finds you at this particular moment, you have a chance by God’s grace to redeem 2017.

Finishing strong is not easy especially if you had a tough year. Sometimes things happen that go way beyond our control, and some things will happen because of our own decision-making.

Whatever happened (or didn’t) this year good or bad, you can still change your story and create an ending to be proud of!

Identify who or what hindered you and move on Galatians 5:7 asks who led you away from your faith. We can turn that scripture around and ask ourselves, who or what led us away from the journey towards our individual goals.

Depending on the situation, you have to identify the who, what, where and how that halted on your journey. Who or what did you allow to creep into your life and throw you off track? Did you get turned down for a promotion? Did a relationship end? Did you stop trusting and believing that things would turn around for you?

Along the journey, life’s events will throw you off. It is up to you to decide if this is going to be a pause or a full stop.

Ultimately, make up your mind to get up and move forward from whatever (or whoever) stopped you.

Lay aside every weight I find it refreshing that the Word always talks about putting things aside to get to a destination. Even in today’s time, society talks about, cleansing, downsizing, embracing minimalism and everything else that removes unnecessary things from our daily lives.

The same applies to whatever race you are running for 2017. Whatever is weighing you down and stopping you from completing the goals you set out to do this year, lay it aside.

All of it! Negativity, self-doubt, faithlessness, anger, sadness and offense to name a few. There is no room for these things along the path to your greatness in the remainder of the year.

Remain focused Some of my friends graduated with their doctoral degrees this year. When I see pictures of their glowing faces dressed in their luxurious striped broad-sleeved robes, I am bursting with pride for them.

They didn’t waiver and if they did, they didn’t buckle and quit. They set their eyes on a goal, remained focused and went all the way to the end.

Think about it. What can you accomplish if you remain present and in the moment ignoring all of life’s distractions? Probably more than you ever think you could. Keep your eyes set on the finish line. Your future will thank you.

As 2017 makes the turn towards 2018, I pray that we all get to places where we desire to be. Every day is a new day and a chance to either start over or continue in faith that whatever we’ve begun to do will be finished. Or at least whatever we desire to do in our minds will be started with the work of our hands.

Tracey Jackson is a Christian author residing in South Florida. She is the author of “Lessons From The Journey: From The Valley To The Mountaintop.” She also guest writes for numerous faith-based blogs.