Creating New Year's Goals
It's now 2017, and if you are like most people, you are probably thinking about goals for the New Year. You may be thinking about personal and family goals, maybe even career and finances. Will this year be full of spiritual milestones and accomplishments, or another year of “shoulda-coulda-woulda's”? If set and managed properly, goals and resolutions can help us fulfill our purpose and destiny.
Change your perspective on setting goals.
This year, I want to encourage you to change your perspective on setting goals. Consider resolutions that can help you pursue personal growth, and allow God to be the one at work in you. Make it a cooperative effort and don’t depend on your own abilities. Share your goals with someone who can hold you accountable, help you discern God’s will in prayer and pray for your success.
Our goals can become prayer requests, with our achievements a direct result of God’s answer to our prayers. During our prayer time, we can go to Him with confidence asking for His strength and grace to achieve our goals. We can choose to acknowledge our dependence upon Him and give Him all the glory as He empowers us to achieve that which is aligned with His will.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15, New International Version)
Align your goals with God’s plans and desire for your life
Consider setting goals for relationships, health and stewardship. These are all areas of life that we can ask God to transform, renew and empower. Goals should include a blend of personal and professional ambitions that can help us better align ourselves with God’s plans and desire for our lives.
Choosing God-centered goals can help us learn more about His heart and His will for our lives. It becomes a means of ensuring accountability and productivity, as we begin to see that setting goals isn’t about what we want to do, but rather what God can do through us. Challenge your heart to trust in what you perceive God's will to be for your life and believe that if it is His will, He will enable you to fulfill it.
What can you do to more fully live the life God has given you?
Our lives are a blessing that we are meant to enjoy. What have you always wanted to do that you keep putting off? What dreams do you have for time with your children, family, friends and your spouse that you can attempt this year? How can you use your work and career to impact lives? Are the things you are striving for in line with Biblical values?
Stretch your faith and vision for this year to the point where your goals are only achievable with God's help. Make sure your goals excite you and make you feel thrilled. This level of inspiration is necessary to stay on track to executing your vision over the course of the entire year.
What can you do to become more spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally healthy?
Physical health and weight loss usually top most lists of personal resolutions. Spiritual health sometimes makes lists as “read the Bible more” or “attend church regularly” goals. Mental and emotional health rarely makes anyone’s list, yet can significantly affect every day of our lives. How we handle anger, fear, temptations, and stress determines the course of each day.
What can you do to invest in your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional health? What area(s) do you need help or improvement in? Stay in a positive and confident frame of mind and set goals like focusing on overcoming ungodly anger or gaining greater victory over anxiety. Give yourself some grace, don't feel bad for setbacks and instead focus on what you will improve upon. God is greater and mightier than our missteps.
Consider what you are willing to STOP doing.
Reflect on your true priorities and be mindful of what God is telling you to step back from. Often in pursuit of the new, we must give up some of the old. Whatever God goals you come up with, trust that His timing or His plans may be different than yours. It’s important to be realistic with yourself about where you are in wanting to really take action against particular God goals.
“See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” (Isaiah 42:9 NIV)
Devote 2017 to becoming the woman God created you to be. Enjoy Him and the great goodness He has given you. Be brave enough to ask Him what goals He would have for you to reach, and ask for His help in overcoming fears of failure, criticism and rejection. Pray for the grace and courage to fearlessly attempt what only He can do in and through you. You can be brave enough.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.