BY THERON GLENNY
Over the last four articles, we have been helping you formulate a plan for the new year that includes a set of goals you feel confident and excited about. Here’s a brief recap of each of those articles:
- Wrap up the previous year and then capture on paper the dreams you have for the new year. To wrap up the previous year, look back and write down what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what you’d do differently last year. You’ll learn a ton by doing this. Then, since the new year is a fresh start where dreams often come alive again, write down a list of things you want to see happen in the new year.
- Identify your Areas of Life (AOLs). Segmenting the areas of your life is foundational so it’s easier to know where to put your goals. That way we are not putting a list of work/career goals on the same list with family goals. Having one comprehensive list of goals is confusing and overwhelming. Our brains need to be able to segment and place where things fit. We need swim lanes. Understanding our swim lanes/AOLs help keep us focused on our goals.
- Downsize your list of dreams/goals so they are manageable. When your goal list is too big, it becomes overwhelming, causing you to lose faith that your goals can be accomplished. When it’s too big, it’s also hard to know what to focus on each day. Just pick one or two goals to put in each AOL. This may be hard for you to scale down your list, but it is absolutely necessary. If you don’t, your list will be a junk drawer of cluttered wishes.
- Put your list of goals in a place where you see them every day and talk to other regularly about them. As humans, we forget quickly at times. Putting your goals up in places you frequent will decrease the odds of forgetting about the inspiration you put on paper. Also, schedule reoccurring times with others to review your goals. Whether it’s with your spouse, a couple of friends, or mentors, it should be people you trust and that you can receive feedback from without getting offended. Remember, you have goals you feel passionate about accomplishing. If you don’t look at them or talk about your progress regularly, then you risk not remembering ‘why’ you set them and you’ll get burnout and frustrated and end up not accomplishing them.
Now that you have your plan for the year on paper, the next step is to understand the reality of what those goals represent in time, effort and resources. It’s always wise to 'count the cost' by understanding the time, effort and resources you’ll spend on accomplishing what God has put in your heart to do.
In Luke 14:28, Jesus said "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.” Counting the cost is a reality check. It’s a gut check. I’m not advocating that you need to do an in-depth analysis on what each goal will require, but rather, having a general idea in mind so you understand what you are committing yourself to. Without understanding what is required of you to accomplish what’s on your list, you subscribe to naivety unintentionally.
Once you ‘count the cost’ then it’s time to take the final step before it’s time to take action - commit them to God. Why should you commit your plans to the Lord? Because you’ll need His guidance along the way.
Here are two scripture verses that will serve you well:
- Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established. - Proverbs 16:3
- Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. - Psalm 37:5
Committing your works/ways to the Lord are committing to accomplish your goals with His help. Set aside some time to pray. Get with God alone and be honest with Him. If you are like me, you know that you need His help. Personally, there’s no way I can accomplish what’s on my list without His help. Let’s commit to Him our plans and trust that He will give us what’s needed to bring the plans to pass.
We hope these articles help make this year the best yet for you. Please reach out if you have any questions or if we can help in any way. We are cheering for you! With God’s help, you can do it! Philippians 4:13 says “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives me strength.”