New year resolutions are something that I’ve always stayed away from. New year goals are something I haven’t done in… many years. Life is life and has many twists and turns and for someone who used to be incredibly wound tight, and had to have a plan for everything, those twists and turns often left me, well, let’s just say in not a good place.
Thankfully, though, I am not that person anymore. In fact, I shudder at the restrictiveness of plans, and schedules, and deadlines. They make me itch. I don’t like them at all because they are so restrictive, right?? Life is life and has many twists and turns, and if you are bound by plans and deadlines, and time limits, you are going to miss… something? Right?
Life is life, and it is fluid, and hopefully we are willing to grow, and listen to the Lord’s prompting in our life when something isn’t right. When He is wanting to challenge us to go to the next step. And, I believe that this is where I am at. To go from one extreme to the next, to finally land at the perfect balance. His balance. The right balance.
This doesn’t mean I will get it right. But, by God’s grace, I have a plan for my year that I am working on. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t room to wiggle with my goals for the year, and it doesn’t mean I’m skating through another year just going with the flow only to wonder on the other end why I’m in the same place.
Over the course of the past week, I have spent a lot of time reflecting, praying, journaling and just plain chewing on what I want my year to look like. It had to first start with a scripture that would be the catalyst. Isaiah 43:19 is where I felt the Lord was leading me. He is about to do something new. What greater promise than that? Well, plenty. But in the case of direction for this year, for me, this was a great starting point.
Next, I had to decide what areas of my life needed goals. And, right about that time, Dave Ramsey posted an article about the “7 Areas to Focus Your 2016 Goals” . This was just what I needed to give me an outline of what to focus my attention on: Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Family, Social, Career, and Financial.
Then came the hard part. Actually coming up with goals. In the past I would often make goals that were so far out of reach I would give up on them within weeks. That’s the crazy overachiever in me. Or, was. When I went about this list, I wanted to really put thought into what I wanted to accomplish – making the goals a challenge, but also attainable. Then, I remembered back when I was working outside the home, they used a method with us during our goal making called the SMART method. This is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Having that in the back of my mind, or even written in the margin was very helpful when thinking about the goals I was writing down. Everything that I came up with had to meet that criteria before it would make the final cut.
- Intellectual: Read 12 books (4 spiritual growth, 4 non fiction)
- Physical: By the end of the year be to the point physically where I can run again
- Spiritual: Find a bible study either online or in person to plug into
- Family: Date night with each girl once a quarter
- Social: Monthly date with husband that has no purpose but fun
- Career: Blog 3x a week
- Finances: Monthly budget meeting
This is just a sampling of the goals I have set for this year. What about you? How do you go about planning for your year?