Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Goals

Below is part of a devotional I recently wrote for Encouragement Cafe'. It goes along with setting goals for a new year...

What Are You Aiming For?

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

I love this time of year. The busyness of the holidays are over and life starts to get back to normal. The first week of the new year I like to spend a little extra time reflecting on the past year and planning for the new year. This helps me to be a good steward of the time/talents that God has given me. Our time belongs to Him.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

I use this time to look back at the past year not to have regrets about what I didn’t accomplish, but rather to encourage myself for the things I did do well. I also spend time in prayer about the new year, and ask God to show me the goals He would have for me. Someone once said that if you aim at nothing, you will hit your target every time!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

After some time in prayer I pick three main goals to focus on for the new year. I then write each of these goals on an index card. On the back of each card I write little sub-goals. For example one of my main goals might be for my home to be a place of refuge for my family, so I would title one card, “Home: A place of refuge”. On the back of that card I might have three small goals that work together to accomplish that one main goal. My three small goals might look something like…

1. Keeping the house clean by cleaning a specific room for 15mins every day.
2. Planning a weekly menu/grocery list so meal time is not chaotic.
3. Character training in kindness, love and patience through family devotions.

When I finish this process with all three of my index cards, I then pick a place to keep my cards so they will be a visual reminder of my goals for the year. I choose to keep mine in my bible. I separate the cards through my bible and periodically as I come across one I will then take the time to review that card. This process has been a tremendous help and encouragement to me.

So how did I do in 2009? Pretty good. I definitely have more work to do, but the good thing is I can see the goals I did accomplish and the ones I still need to work on.

Now on to 2010. Here is a sneak-peak at my 2010 goals.

Even though I didn't make my goal of reading 12 books in 2009 I am bumping my goal up to 13 books for 2010. I really think I can do this. I just need to be more diligent about it.

So here is book 1/13... "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper

This is a good read, but a hard one. Hard in two ways. One, Johns writing style is deep. It's kinda like you read a paragraph and then you have to chew on it for a minute and then maybe you even have to read it again for it to sink in. It took me December and half of January to get though the book.

The second reason it is a hard read is because he really challenges you to not waste your life. So he describes what a wasted life looks like (something about watching TV every evening and just focusing on your own family) and how to change.

It really made me think about how I live my life and it spurred me on to improve the way I show the love of Christ to others. It just wasn't a happy read.

no warm fuzzies here.

That being said, I do think it was worth the time and effort it took to get through it. Just be prepared to have your mind stretched and your toes stepped on.

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