So this is the year right? This is the year that you are going to change some things and really pursue the life you know God has for you.

If you’ve decided this is the year you step out and really pursue your calling I’ve got good news for you. You can do it!

As a personal development coach I’ve seen that the moment we get serious and start taking the steps toward transforming our lives God steps in and does what we can’t do – he brings the transformation.  He does what seems impossible.

But we need to take the first steps.

St. Iraneus is know for saying, “Work as if it depends on you. Pray as if it depends on God.”

Life transformation is a combination of hard work and God’s power in your life.

That said, here are five steps you can take right now to show you are serious about stepping into the fullness of all God has for you this year.

1. Get Quiet

We live in a loud world. But God typically speaks in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12). If we want to really connect with the voice of God we must learn to get quiet. God is telling a story with your life, you just need to get quiet and listen. The good, bad, and ugly of your life are all things God wants to use to bring himself glory and ultimately to bring you joy. Get quiet and listen to God’s voice in your life.

2. Get Focused

You are going to end up somewhere in life. You might as well get there on purpose. This only happens when you get intentional about direction. Your life is on a path right now. Is it taking you where you want to go? Are lesser priorities sapping your valuable time? As you listen to God’s voice he’ll remind you what is most important. The next step is to make sure you create margin in your life for priorities. Then stay laser-focused on those priorities.

3. Change Your Habits

If nothing changes, nothing changes. Studies have shown that 40-45% of our actions aren’t decision-based. They are habit-based. We develop habits without even realizing we have them. Much of what we do comes from defense mechanisms we developed long ago to cope with life. But many of these defenses and habits are actually self-destructive. They hold us back. There’s a good chance you already know what habits are holding you back. If you want to move to the next level you need to get serious about beating those habits. Bring in some outside help and accountability. You can beat your habits, but you need a community around you to help you.

4. Overcome Your Fear

If we are honest, most of us would admit that we live in a constant state of fear. Fear of the future. Fear of failure. Fear of death. Some of us even fear success. Our fears limit what God wants to do in our life. But God offers freedom from fear. Too often we come right up to the precipice of what God has for us but we are afraid to step of the ledge. But as Joseph Campbell once said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” The future you dream of will only come on the other side of you overcoming your fear and taking some risk.

5. Make a Written Plan

If you want to make God laugh just tell him your plans. You can’t plan every step of your life. But you can make a plan for how you are going to be a good steward of what God has put in front of you right now. We all have access to resources. How we use those resources will determine what other opportunities God places in front of us. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. (Matt. 25:29) Faithfully using what God has given us now ensures he will give more. Make a written plan for how you are going to manage what God has given you. Then get to work doing what you can. God will bring the increase if you step out and are faithful with what you have – no matter how small it may seem.

By Joël Malm