Do you make resolutions? I perennially resolve to lose weight. Most of us have given up on our resolutions by the thirds week of January. Why do we continue to make them? I think its hope. We hope for new and different. We hope for improvement in our lives and wellbeing. Those are good things. Even C.S. Lewis said, “And you cannot go on indefinitely being and ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
If our desire is to improve ourselves, why do we quit after three weeks? Maybe we are going about it all wrong. Maybe our hope is in the wrong place.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).
My resolutions have always focused on what I want usually material or vanity things-more money, lose weight. So I’m declaring no more resolutions. I want to focus on the plans He has for me. I want my desires to match His desires. I want my life to be continually moving closer His likeness and His purpose and plan for my life.
I have a simple four-step process to stay focused on God’s plan for me.
1. Reflection: I take some time to reflect on the past year and make note of what went well and what didn’t. Are there goals that I didn’t accomplish? Where did I get off track? What would I like to do differently? This year I started this blog. Is it where I want it to be?
2. Prayer: I spend a significant amount of time in prayer. I believe that when we focus on God’s will, His desires become the desires of my heart. I journal and walk as I pray. This is how this blog started.
3. Goals: Prayer leads me in the direction of my goals. I can outline what needs to be accomplished. Goals reflect what I want to see in myself along with career goals. This past year I had a personal goal of increased generosity. The hardest part of this goal was affecting change in my heart. I’m only truly being generous when I can give with joy in my heart.
4. Action: Goals are useless without a plan of action. I break my goals down into baby steps or I will never accomplish them. When this blog became one of my goals for this year, I committed to writing weekly. I knew this would keep me focused on the goal. At the time, it felt monumental. Now it’s part of my routine.
Working on book two is definitely a big part of my 2014. What about you? Will join me in giving up resolutions for a renewed focus on God’s plan for you?
Leave a comment with your 2014 goals. They don’t have to be big book writing type goals. Maybe your goal is to spend more quality time with family, to play more, to love or give more. Remember to make a plan so you can see the fruits of God’s plan for you. Here’s to a joy filled 2014.