It’s the last day of 2009, so it’s required that every blogger reference New Years‘ Resolutions, right?
Let’s Look Back
Before we begin looking forward, let’s take a look at last year. In fact, it might be good to take a minute to write down the answers to these questions?
Do you remember your resolutions from last year?
If so, what were your resolutions?
Did you accomplish all of your goals?
Most of them?
Any of them?
Any accomplishments you are particularly proud of? – Why not share those in the comments section?
Let’s Look Forward
Now that we’ve looked at our goals from last year, I’d like to start looking forward. How do you envision your year? What would you like to change? What would you like to do better? What would you like to know better?
So often we think in terms of “accomplishments” and “goals.” Maybe this year it would be better to think of what kind of person we would like to be or what kind of life we would like to live rather than what thing we would like to accomplish.
Spend a minute (or maybe several hours) with God in the Bible and in prayer asking him to help you see how he would like you to answer the questions below:
What should be your priorities this year? (family, job, church, etc.)
What things would he like to see change in your life?
Do you see any needs that God would have you meet?
What kind of person would God like you to be?
If you’re not coming up with anything, I can recommend the following to get you started:
Ask somebody who has walked with God longer for suggestions.
Consider spending more time reading the Bible and in prayer.
Look around you for needs and ask God if he would like you to serve in those areas.
Now that we have a general understanding of the changes and priorities for the year to come, we can get started making goals. But I think we should make our goals differently than many of us have in the past.
It’s common to see people say things like “My resolution is to lose 250 lbs this year (I know the amount is bordering ludicrous but the principle applies)” or “I resolve to never lose my temper again.” These are good goals but I think there is a better approach.
As you look over your changes and priorities – your vision for the future, ask yourself the following two questions:
- What one action will most help me meet my vision?
- What am I willing to commit to meeting my vision?
Seriously, ask yourself those questions. Let’s look at an example:
Let’s say that my goal for 2010 is to read through the Bible. It’s easy to say “I resolve to read through the Bible in 2010.” But I believe it is better to say to myself – “If I read five chapters a day, six days a week, I will finish the whole Bible in less than a year,” which makes it much easier to actually read through the Bible. (Of course, there are other Bible reading plans out there – using one of them is good too.
Here’s another way to look at it that has nothing to do with New Years’ Resolutions: If my ultimate goal is to drive from Nashville, TN to Birmingham, AL in 3 hours, I know that I must do three things (big picture).
- Travel on I-65 South (get on it and stay on it)
- Travel at least 55 miles per hour on average
- Stay within the speed limit so that I don’t get a ticket
Set your goals to be the consistent implementation of actions designed to achieve our long term priorities. This makes it easier to understand, implement, and track the things that will ultimately lead to our goals.
Do you have any priorities or goals you’d like to share?
What actions can you consistently take to ensure you meet your long term goals?
What do you think of making those actions your goals for this year?
Have you considered making somebody else a part of your planning process?