A new year is a time we reflect on what was and what will be. We cannot change what was but we can learn from it and make goals for what will be. Think and reflect on last year. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do? Did you make and keep resolutions? Did you set goals for last year? Did you meet the goals?
Personally, I do not make resolutions but goals. What is the difference you may ask? I looked up the definitions in Webster’s dictionary. Here is what the dictionary says:
Resolution : the act or process of resolving: as a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : solving c : the act of determining d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1) : the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g : the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum
Goals -a : the terminal point of a race b : an area to be reached safely in children's games
2: the end toward which effort is directed : aim
I know people who have 5 and 10 year goals. The goals they set are usually for their careers, future homes , future vacations or retirement. We need to set goals for our spiritual life as well as our physical life. Our goal each year should be to grow closer to God. Where are you this year in your relationship with the Lord compared to last year.
When planning goals for the coming year, be realistic. Write down what you plan to accomplish, look at it periodically to stay on track. Do not get discouraged if you fall short of some of the goals, adjust if necessary.
Here are some ideas for the coming year:
Read God’s word daily. (Psalm 18:30, Psalm 30:5, Psalm 119:105, 130)
Memorize verses that will help your spiritual growth. Do you have a problem with anger? Look up all the anger verses and commit to memorize a few of them. Do you have a problem with gossip or envy? The Bible has the answer. No matter what the situation we can go to our guide book for life. (Psalm 119:11).
Do you love to read? Pick up a few Christian books such as biographies, spiritual growth or nonfiction.
Do you have a spiritual gift? Yes, we all do, read about spiritual gifts and pray for guidance to use yours. Get involved in a ministry at church, it doesn’t matter how big or small the involvement is, just get involved. Use your gift to help and encourage others. (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12)
How is your prayer life? Do you pray only when everything is going wrong? Prayer is talking to your Heavenly Father. Put time aside each day to speak to God. Our prayers do not need to be eloquent but simply opening our hearts to God. What would your life be like if you never spoke to your spouse or children or only spoke when you needed something? We need to keep the gates of communication open between all our loved ones, especially our Heavenly Father. (I Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6)
Be an encourager to others in your corner of the world, write notes, help someone financially, or volunteer. (Romans 12:10)
As you make plans and goals for the coming year remember to keep the focus on God.