Hey, friend! Do you feel like you are just surviving and trying to get through life? Are you on a roller coaster or spinning wheel just trying to complete day-to-day tasks? I’ve spent much of the last five years just surviving, and I’m tired of feeling this way. So I am throwing my energy into learning how to thrive.
Does thriving sound like an impossible task for you? Don’t worry. I have a few tips to help you go from surviving to thriving in the new year.
What Does it Mean to Thrive?
Do you choose a word of the year to guide how you will approach life during the year? I’ve chosen a word for several years, but it has been a couple of years since I’ve done so. Choosing a word for the year helps you make decisions based on how you want to feel or what you want to accomplish by the end of the year.
I’ve chosen the word “thrive” for 2023 because, as I mentioned in the introduction, I feel my life has been more about surviving and not thriving. That doesn’t mean I haven’t accomplished anything in the last five years or haven’t grown in some way. Or even haven’t thrived. It’s just that the overall feeling I’ve had was one of survival.
When I say I want to thrive in 2023, I do not mean I’m trying to avoid all the difficult situations that may arise. I know there will always be challenges to work through. That’s just life. There is no way to avoid challenges if you are still breathing.
What I do mean when I say I want to thrive is based on a little research I did on the word thrive. The definition of thrive, according to dictionary.com, is “to prosper; be fortunate or successful. Or to grow or develop vigorously; flourish.”
I want to prosper and grow vigorously. But not in how the world views prosperity and growth. I looked at a list of synonyms for thrive. The one that stood out to me was “bear fruit.” When I come to the end of 2023, I want to see that my life bore fruit this year.
To me, bearing fruit means I’ve grown in my relationship with God, the areas of life I feel God is calling me to focus on are growing and flourishing, and my life will be marked by giving God glory and honor in all I do.
I do not subscribe to the prosperity gospel that says if you do certain things, God will bless you with health and wealth. God does not promise believers an easy life. But we can be joyful in the midst of our challenges and experience a prosperous and joyful life that way.
Thriving is just as much a mindset as it is an outcome. If I had reframed some of the challenges I’ve gone through over the last few years with a mindset of thriving and not surviving, I probably would have experienced much more joy and could have seen God’s purpose behind some of those challenges. However, I often defaulted to a victim mentality, making all of my difficulties about me and my comfort.
Last week when I started working through the January Scripture Writing Plan, I realized that the passage from Psalm 1:1-3 on the first day would make a great passage to memorize and focus on in this year of thriving.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
I love the word picture of this passage. What I just read to you was from the English Standard Version. But the Christian Standard Bible says in verse three that the tree bears fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
The tree thrives when it bears fruit in its season. That made me think about bearing fruit in my own life, which is why I’m considering the goal of thriving to be bearing fruit.
How to Thrive in the New Year
So what does it look like to live practically with a thriving mindset? I’ve put together an acrostic using the letters THRIVE to guide me as I try to embrace this mindset.
First, before I share the acrostic, I want to share one that one of my faithful newsletter subscribers, Sandra, shared with me.
She said thrive is “This house remains in victory evermore.” I love that so much. Thriving is about living in victory. Living in victory over our circumstances.
T is for “Trust God.” A thriving life of a believer is marked by trusting God. When we trust God, we can claim what Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” That doesn’t mean things will work out like we plan or want them to. But it does mean we can trust God to work things out for His kingdom purposes.
H is for “Honestly assess your life.” I mentioned earlier that even though I felt I was in survival mode, I still experienced growth and breakthroughs. But my victim mentality sometimes kept me from seeing the good things that happened in the moment. So to thrive in 2023, we must be honest about our lives. Is everything as bad as we think it is, or is there one thing that overshadows all that is good? Taking an honest assessment of what is really happening in our lives will go a long way to help us thrive this year.
R is for “Read God’s Word.” Psalm 1:2 tells us that the blessed man delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on it day and night. One thing I’ve learned from my seminary studies so far is that we have to know the Bible to be able to interpret it. And the only way to know the Bible is to read it a lot. A year of thriving means being in God’s Word daily, getting to know His character, and learning how we are to live out our faith.
I is for “Invest in growth.” I consider myself to be a lifelong learner. That is one reason I chose to pursue a seminary degree. There is so much more I want to learn about God through the study of His Word. But there are other areas of life I want to experience growth. These include relationships with my family, knowledge of how to run my business better, and improving my writing skills. So I’ll invest in ways to help me grow in these areas in 2023.
V is for “Victory mindset.” Adopting a victory mindset can be challenging if you are in a difficult season of life. But this goes back to trusting God and being in His Word. When we do these two things, we can see God’s hand in our circumstances and adopt a mindset of victory because we know the Lord has already won the battle.
E is for “Every day.” To live a thriving life means we must be intentional every day about trusting God, honestly assessing our relationships, reading God’s Word, investing in growth, and adopting a victory mindset. Little by little, day by day, these actions add up to a life that is not just surviving but thriving.
I hope this acronym will help you to take steps to thrive in 2023. If you want encouragement around these things, I invite you to check out the FREE Live It Out Community.