Today is resolution day. The tradition of making resolutions at the beginning of a new year has its roots in ancient Babylon and Rome. Although humans naturally see the benefit in evaluating where we’ve been and setting goals for the future, many of us have given up on making New Year’s resolutions. Past failures combined with a lack of seeing any real benefit in goal-setting keep us from moving into the new year with purposeful resolve and direction.
As a Christian, my overall life goal is to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9) and glorify Him in everything I do (Colossians 3:17). I can’t do that without purposeful intent. That in itself is more than enough reason for me to set goals and establish a strategy to reach them.
I spent some time yesterday, the last day of 2009, thinking and praying about what God wants for me in 2010. I know He wants me to be more like Jesus. I know He wants me to show love to others through serving them. And I know He wants me to faithfully teach His Word and stand firm in His truth. But these are hard to measure. I must establish strategies that are concrete, practical, and doable.
I set goals and strategies for my health, personal relationship with God, ministry to others, intellectual development and more. I want to share just a few of these with you to show you what I mean. Some of these are new for 2010 and some are goals carried over from 2009 that need to be continued.
Health: Maintain a recent weight loss and stay physically fit. (Overall goal is nice but how will I do this?)
– Workout a minimum of four times a week.
– Stretch after every workout (I’ve been very lax in this area and am pretty stiff as a result.)
– Continue to daily use the “Lose it!” app on my phone to keep track of my eating.
Personal relationship with God: Grow closer to God and become more like Jesus.
– Spend time in prayer and reading the Bible daily
– Use a Bible reading plan to keep me on track
– Journal at least three times a week to record what God is teaching me
– Memorize two Scripture verses/passages each month. One will be the verse our church is memorizing together and one will be God-directed.
Right now many of you are probably thinking I’m a bit obsessive. I just know from experience that I’ll end up wherever I plan to go. Sometimes that’s been the same place I was the year before!
If God is encouraging you to set 2010 goals for yourself I encourage you to take the challenge. Here are a few tips that will help.
1. Set realistic goals. Here’s an unrealistic example: I’m going to exercise everyday without fail and have the body of a twenty year old by summer.
2. Set concrete goals so progress can be measured. Here’s an example that is too ambiguous: I’m going to live a healthier life.
3. Set goals that include strategies to reach them. Here’s an example of a worthy goal without any strategies: I want to know God more.
Will you take the resolution challenge? Spend some time today thinking about what God wants for you in 2010. Ask Him to show you specific things about your health, relationships, work, and ministry. And most importantly, ask Him to guide you in setting goals for your relationship with Him. What is He telling you? Let’s hold each other accountable.