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  • Larry Payne

Jump Start your 2024

During my teen years, the business my father owned included a dark, drafty, ancient warehouse. The end-of-the-year brought inventory time to account for all the assets on hand. Dad needed help for the big job, so I was mobilized to interrupt my relaxing holiday break from school for hours of wandering among stacks of dirty construction materials, counting them piece by piece. No scanning bar codes back in that day! My feet were freezing from the cold December days and my frustrations were boiling before the dreaded job ended! But Dad wisely knew the value of assessing where the business stood at the end of the year. And maybe he knew something about his lazy teenager learning the value of a long days work. I’ll admit I was more motivated to attend college after my inventory work finished!


This year of 2023 will soon be closed in the history books, presenting an opportunity to apply the lessons of business by conducting a personal end-of-the-year inventory. It’s important to move beyond the material or financial assets that might come to mind, for those come and go quickly. More important is an accounting of what we have done during this year to create personal well-being and a positive community.


For your inventory, I invite you to use the following questions for reflection. The actions listed were the constructive experiences laid up as assets in your life warehouse. Try to find specific examples as you record your own end-of-the-year inventory by asking yourself:.


“What have I done in the past year…

               …to help someone in trouble?

               …to build a deeper friendship?

               …to face a great fear?

               …to bless my children?

               …to forgive an old enemy?

               …to listen to God?

               …to heal a hurting soul?

               …to refuel a neglected passion?

               …to fulfill my partner’s secret wish?

               …to know myself more deeply?

               …to follow God more closely?


It would be many years after my warehouse job before I grasped the importance of the work. When Dad sold the business, he invested the proceeds and ultimately passed on the value when his estate was settled. The resources came to bless my family in a multitude of ways in the years that followed. Now I must certainly say, in spite of my memories of cold feet trudging along the aisles, a belated, “Thanks, Dad!”


Look back over your answers and celebrate the great things that built your inventory of well-being. For those left undone, grasp the promise a new year brings. Replenish your vision. Use the list to set a goal in 2024!



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