In Miami, fall and winter are foreign concepts.
It’s pretty much summer all year round, with the occasional day or two when the temperatures dip below 70 degrees. (Only in Miami will you see people sporting fur boots and coats when that day’s high temperature is a “frigid” 68 degrees. Seriously.)
A trip to Nashville several years ago gave me my first taste of fall. The oranges and yellows and reds that enveloped the countryside as my flight descended into the city made me feel like Kevin McAllister entering Duncan’s Toy Store for the first time in Home Alone 2.
The transition from summer to fall is clear: The days grow shorter, the temperatures begin to cool, and pumpkin spice lattes are available at every Starbucks (hallelujah!).
In life, we go through similar transitions. New opportunities. New locations. New friends. New everything.
Whether we’re entering the spring of a new job or relationship or the winter of loss or disappointment, we need to be prepared and ready take on whatever comes our way.
Here are some questions to ask as you transition into a new season:
1. Where Am I?
Before you can move forward, you have to know where you stand. Being able to humbly and honestly evaluate where you are is the first step toward a season of growth. Maybe ask a trusted friend or family member to help you process.
Ask yourself: Where am I emotionally? Where am I physically? Financially? Relationally? Spiritually?
2. What Do I Need to Leave Behind?
Let’s face it: Things change. And as changes swirl around us, we need to be willing to make changes ourselves. We might need to let go of some old things to make room for the new.
New seasons rarely come without the need to make some sacrifices and difficult decisions. Maybe it’s cutting down on binge-watching The Walking Dead with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cradled in your arm. Or it could be a toxic relationship that needs to be axed.
Whatever it is, do it. Now. Nothing will change if you’re not willing to make changes yourself.
3. Who Do I Want to Be and How am I Going to Get There?
Some seasons can last a few months and others can last years, but they all have one thing in common: They end. Who do you see yourself becoming at the end of your new season?
Sitting around doing nothing while things change around you won’t make things better—it’ll just leave you falling further behind.
Bridging the gap between where you are the beginning of a season and where you want to be at the end of it requires a plan of action. Make a game plan and then go out and execute.
4. Where is There Room For Growth?
There is always room for growth. God wants to shape us, mold us and prepare us for what He has lined up for us. You are where you are for a reason. Ask Him to show you what areas you need help in and commit to grow in those areas.
Don’t waste the season of change you’re in. Find ways to learn, serve and grow.
5. Who Do I Want By My Side?
Take an inventory of the people around you. Who are the friends and family members sticking with you as you enter your new season? Who is drifting away? Who is investing in you and who are you investing in?
Look for people who will build you up, encourage you and challenge you—people that aren’t just for you, but with you. The difference? The “for-you’s” will cheer you on from the sidelines, but the “with-you’s” will put on a jersey and help you get the ball down the court.
6. What Are My Motivations?
Your deep-seated motivations are the fuel that will keep you running as you endure the hardships of the season you’re in—and make no mistake, you will face them.
Your “why” will keep you committed when you don’t feel like getting up half an hour earlier in the morning. It will help you to say “no” when you really, really want to text your ex, even though you know you shouldn’t.
Your “why” is what will keep your eyes forward when you’re tempted to look to the left or to the right. It will keep your legs moving when you feel like giving up completely.
Transitions are not easy, but they can be times of immense growth and learning to trust God. Be intentional with your transition.
This article was originally posted on allgroanup.com
Joel Delgado is a staff writer at Florida International University in Miami, FL and blogs about faith, life and more at JoelDelgado.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JoelMDelgado.