I once read this quote, “No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” New Year’s Day is a time when we try to start over, to do the things we said we would do (or not do) last year. It is always important to fix our faults of the past year and become a better person. It is good for us to consider the things upon which we need to improve. As people make New Year’s resolutions, for most people the focus is on self. What I am or am not going to do this New Year.
In the list of the 13 most popular resolutions, they are all about what I am going to do. If we would change our focus from self to God, I’m sure whatever we have resolved to accomplish, can be accomplished through His strength. The apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” The presence of Jesus Christ in your life will change the outcome, of whatever you are trying to accomplish, without fail.
A resolution has been described as a “Vision” of what one wants to accomplish. Someone has defined a vision as, “A hope with a blueprint…Vision is the ability to see beyond our present reality to create what does not yet exist, to become what we are not yet, and to have the capacity to live out our imagination...”
Dr. David Jeremiah shares in his message, “The Life-Transforming Power of a God-Given Vision for Yourself,” five life changing benefits of a God-given vision.
A God-given vision gives you:
A Dynamic - Each day is filled with a sense of anticipation as you watch your vision unfold and impact the lives of people around you.
Direction - Some people have a mundane existence that seems to start nowhere and go nowhere. But, when you are fixed on a vision you believe God has given you, you cannot just exist. Staying true to your vision will make things happen in your life the way God wants them to happen.
Discipline - When you see what God has put into your heart, it energizes you and gives you discipline to accomplish it.
Determination - It will help you exceed the barriers that you assumed were before impossible.
Durability - Long distance runners have to have vision. The goal can never be out of mind, or fatigue will set in and they will quit. The same is true for those who want to be long-distance runners for the Lord. You can never lose sight of your vision.
God uses the vision He gives us to move us forward in life. He causes us to find the encouragement and satisfaction we are looking for, and that He alone can provide. Whatever your role or station in life, God can give you a vision for what He wants to accomplish in you and through you in 2019. Every man or woman who has ever made a difference has had a vision.
What Are SMART Goals?
Dave Ramsey uses the acronym SMART when it comes to articulating vision and goals to give you direction. His team puts out a great blog and I highly recommend you check it out. They make it easy to see if you’re getting closer to your desired objective or still treading water. There are five building blocks to reaching your goals:
What do you want to achieve? Get down to the nitty-gritty with it. Just saying you want to lose weight won’t cut it. Instead try, “I’d like to drop 20 pounds and be able to do at least 20 sit-ups in a row without passing out.” Determine any roadblocks that could keep you from reaching your goal and make a plan to get around them.
Give yourself daily, weekly and monthly steps. If you know your ultimate goal is to pay off $24,000 of debt in the next year, that means you have to pay $2,000 a month to reach that goal (or about $460 a week). Break your goal into doable “chunks.” Focus on those. Accomplish one, then head on to the next one.
Is your goal realistic? Do you have the ability to do it? What about the skills or tools you need to reach it? If not, no shame. Just change your goal to something you can accomplish. You don’t want easy-to-reach goals though. Stretch yourself! But don’t chase after something that will wind up discouraging you.
Does the goal fit with the overall plan for yourself? If your goal is to learn the art of origami and you have room for a new hobby, great! But if you have plenty of hobbies, consider spending that energy elsewhere. And don’t forget to figure out what your “why” is. Something like, “I want to go on dates with my wife twice a month to invest in and strengthen our relationship.” Why you want to do something is powerful.
Set a time limit—because you need a finish line. Take that goal of yours, create a plan, and break it all the way down to daily activities. Then give yourself a deadline. “I’d like to lose 20 pounds by December 31.” Use a tool like the Business Boutique 2019 Goal Planner to help you organize your thoughts and attack your plan. Calculate things like how many times you need to work out each week and daily calorie intake.
We pray that 2019 is a year that you will be able to look back on as a marker in your life. There will be challenges ahead - that’s life. How you choose to navigate them, trust God through them, and look for ways to grow and learn - that’s life lived well.
If our Chaplain team can help support you, find helpful resources, or be a listening ear, please reach out and we’ll be there to help. Happy New Year!