Vista Questions for a Spacious Year

by Jan 20, 2018Coaching, Cultivate, Deepen4 comments

We can hardly help it. The calendar turns not only to a new month but to a new year. We move from a month of busy Christmas celebrations into a vista of 365 open days. Perhaps we see a new slate or canvas, and we are nudged to dream a bit, to hope. Planner-lover or not, we are drawn into the wondrous act of imagining what these days stretching ahead might hold.

In the first days of the year, I sense spaciousness, but often this is momentary. The days quickly fill past my liking and leave little room for really living or for prayerful, intentional choosing and pacing.

Please, Lord, not this year.

Barely begun, it already contains enough. I experience the fullness as pressure and notice I’m nearly holding my breath. Why are so many of us compelled to live this way? Some of what we do isn’t a choice. Much of it is. Isn’t it?

I’m a life coach, so asking questions comes naturally. I even ask myself questions. Often. I included a few below that I hope will create an opportunity for you to lean into prayerful listening to God’s nudges and invitations and for finding his gifts of spaciousness and meaning within this year.

Your year might just be transformed. Not by the questions themselves, but by your answers.

Not because you’ll do more.
Not because you’ll reach the pinnacle of your dreams or goals.
Certainly not because the questions or answers will lead to a perfect year.

But because in looking deeply within and seeing your answers to the questions, you can move through this year with greater intentionality and awareness around what is most meaningful to you.

Entering In

Take time to jot down your responses. They are more important than the questions themselves. In fact, feel free to use these to prompt a different, better question—one that fits where you are or your curiosity. 

Journal thoughts, stories, ideas that come to mind. Take note of any creativity that begins to stir. Pay attention to the quiet invitations and nudges from God.

Connect your responses to the possible whys—not in pursuit of an exact and complete answer, but as an opportunity to be conscious of something important to you.

Why God placed this in your heart.
Why you feel so strongly and deeply about it.
Why something is tugging at you so insistently . . . bringing tears to your eyes . . . exciting you.

Vista Questions

Here are eight questions I call vista questions, for helping you see beyond, perhaps deeper. May they provide a beginning view into what can be an amazing year ahead.

In what way can I add beauty to the world?

Looking back across my life’s narrative, what connections do I see between God’s heartbeat for me and my impact?

What relationship can I deepen?

What do I want to do just for fun?

What event or transition in this year is important for me to honor?

Where can I move out of a comfort zone into creative and courageous risk?

What so captivates me that I must somehow make it a part of what I do this year?

What un-goal or practice might I lean into? (un-plug, un-hurry)

One More

Even if you only had time to skim, I hope you discovered something important to you.

One final question for you is:

How will you intentionally honor your discoveries in a way that creates greater meaning and spaciousness in your year?

Share below any initial stirrings about what you are thinking or where God is nudging. We’d love to encourage you or pray for your requests for this year.

You are always in our hearts, Voice of Courage community.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9 NIV


  1. Melissa

    I really like the idea of “vista” questions as a way to take part in the seasonal rhythm of setting goals or intentions, without all the stress and construction that usually brings up for me. I’ve been looking for ways to do this kind of reflecting that feels in line with the rhythm of God’s ways, that puts him at the center, and this was a really helpful exercise. Thank you! I got in touch with the desire that has been at the heart of my hopes for this year, which is ultimately to know Jesus, to deepen my relationship with him. Another longing has been to find a way to journal that feels constructive and life-giving. Journaling with these questions today helped me realize I can put Christ at the center of my journaling, and let his light guide me as I discover new ways of writing and being a Daughter. Thanks for this post! I’d love your prayers and any words about deepening your relationship with Jesus.

    • Jan Kern

      Melissa, I love the depth to which you took the questions and discoveries for yourself. You naturally put God at the center because of who you are and his ongoing work in you. I’m inspired by your reflections, and I’m sure others who come across your comment and thoughts will be too. The hope ultimately to know Jesus and deepen your relationship with him is a powerful focus for the year. Much will flow out of that alone! I can imagine your journaling and writing will reflect honoring Christ as the center and pour out into the words you write, whether they are for yourself or for sharing with others.

      I love how Jesus meets each of us individually and so uniquely, so I’m confident with your focus you’ll see more and more of his invitations for deepening your relationship with him. But in offering further words about that, what comes to mind is continuing to create those spaces for taking in his word and for continuing to deepen your listening to him in prayer. I personally have found a looking-back-on-the-day prayer (like the Examen) to be a powerful way to be more and more aware of his presence in my day, of his nudges and his invitations to greater authenticity in loving him and others. I’d be glad to share more about that. Just let me know. Use the contact form or write to me privately

      You have our prayers, Melissa!

  2. Shontell

    Great list of questions. Especially because of the season I am in. I’ve recently come to the realization that God is talking to me about some pretty big things. It’s so much to process, and I’m tempted to just skip it. But I won’t. These questions will help.

    • Jan Kern

      I’m so glad they’ll help, Shontell. You’ll probably begin and then discover other thoughts or questions that will help you see this season more with the heart of wisdom God has given you. You know, it’s really normal to feel like you want to back out when you’re up to something big or really important. You have my prayers!

Share This