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Friday, January 8, 2016

Goals 2016




From http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cqFq7piUIYI/VKcC0aT_97I/AAAAAAAAAS4/MXUIQxxd8j0/s1600/keep-calm-and-achieve-your-goals-3.png
The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. 
(Proverbs 16:1 KJV)
  
A week ago today we commenced a new year.  We received a fresh start from God.  The freshness of a new year beckons us to try new things, make changes in our lives, and accomplish a list of goals.  When we have our eyes on God, our goals should lead us to Him, rather than away from Him.  Furthermore, our goals should be healthy ones too—physically, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.  It is good to keep in mind that when we set goals they should be ones that do not require the cooperation of others—those goals have a high failure rate, for obvious reasons!

Many people make resolutions at the beginning of the year; abandoning them a few hours or weeks later.  Why?  Perhaps the goals are far too ambitious, too vague, or require the cooperation of others.  New goals tend to require new habits to form—something that takes time and dedication to achieve.   

The greatest commitment we can make as Christians is to grow and develop in a positive direction in our faith.  Taking time for silent meditation of our hearts and coming into the presence of God.

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.  (Proverbs 16:9 KJV)

From https://mixwilliams.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/blog-smart.jpg

What goals did you set for yourself last year?  What were your results?

Last year, my goal list was ambitious—even overly ambitious.  Ultimately, I achieved few of my goals.  However, I refused to beat myself up or get overly discouraged.  The goals were all good (according to my mentor), positive goals that do not require the cooperation of others—meaning that I am responsible for either doing them or not doing them.

The goals encompassed reading, writing, creativity (singing/piano playing), ministry (including this blog) and more.  They were worded in such a way to allow me to maintain my focus on the Lord, this is important for me and where I desire to go (where I feel the Lord is leading me).  Many of my goals focused on reading spiritually nurturing books and also writing about what I am learning. Good goals, yes, just too much for one year.

From http://poster.keepcalmandposters.com/897572.png

What are your goals for this year?  How do you plan to work towards achieving them?  Who do you have in your life to hold you accountable and to encourage you?

This year my goal list is once again quite substantial—still overly ambitious—many of the same ones that I had last year.  Realistically, there are so many hours in the day and a certain amount of energy to do the things that need doing.  I have been encouraged by my mentor to whittle down the list, so that I will have some “margin”, my time is filled to the edges.  Wise words…  Now to do it!

Margin, the whitespace, in art and in books that make it easier to see the work of art, whether the work of art is a painting or a book—without the whitespace things are cluttered and overwhelming.  Our lives, much like in art or writing need “whitespace”, the space to simply be—be at rest, at peace—allowing God to speak and work in and through us.

Some thoughts to keep in mind this year (that I wrote last year):

It is when we take our eyes off of our goal that we have an inclination to go off the path that will take us to where we want to be.  This is rather like driving a car; we need to keep our eyes on the road ahead of us, not on what is to the sides or behind us. Taking our eyes off the road when driving could send us off into a ditch; much the same could be for our spiritual life.  It is easy to recall times where I have gotten off into a “ditch” spiritually because I have focused on the wrong place/thing.  Getting off course is not always easy to correct, in fact, it is easy (or so it seems) to overcorrect in the opposite direction.  Thankfully, we have a wonderfully patient Teacher and Guide. Jesus stands by; ever ready to guide us back on the path He has for us.

With all of this in mind, what changes, if any, do you need to make to your goals for the year?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord of All, while we may have set goals for this year, ultimately, we desire Your guidance regarding the goals we should pursue.  The greatest goal is to pursue You and stay on the path that leads to our home with You in heaven.  Sometimes we get distracted and get far, far off course. Thank You for all those times you have come after us, to rescue us from ourselves and from the attacks that threaten to destroy us.  Lord, grant us the strength and stamina we need to keep on keeping on, so that we will be able to reach our goal of being welcomed home by You when we die. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Kim

6 comments:

  1. I agree, Kim, that the greatest goal we can set is to grow closer to the Lord. I can't say I've set any specific goals for the New Year other than that, but I think that's enough!
    Love and blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Martha, we can never go wrong in focusing upon God--growing ever closer to Him. I think you're on the right track (for your goal for the year), growing closer to the Lord should cause everything else to fall into place. You're right, that is enough!

      Love and blessings!

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  2. Hi Kim! I'm a lot like you. I know that there is so much that could use a good dusting, or change in my life, I try to do it all at once. That usually does set me up for failure. I think simplifying that, and choosing one thing at a time is a good strategy.

    This year, I hope to not be so dependent on the things of the world. I want to only depend on God and His word. It's only one thing, but it's a big one! I'll just be happy with whatever progress I make. I know it's really a work for my lifetime.

    Have a great weekend!
    Ceil

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ceil! I'm glad that we can relate to each other's struggles in trying to do everything at once. Simplifying is necessary; it's easy to make things overly complicated.

      I love your thoughts about not being so dependent on the things of the world, but depend on God and His Word. It is big, however, it's really what is important! And yes, it's a lifetime goal.

      Have a great weekend, my friend!

      Kim

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  3. Thank you for these thoughts on setting goals for the year. I find that my goals tend to be overly ambitious also, and then I get frustrated for not being able to keep up. But as we give our days, weeks, months, and year totally over to the Lord, He directs our steps and helps us to stay focused on the things that are most important to Him and for our benefit. Praying that 2016 will be a year of drawing closer to the Lord and then we will definitely reach the right goals that He has set for us. I love this post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    Replies
    1. Pam, you're welcome. I'm glad my words (hopefully God inspired) were helpful, meaningful to you. May we both give ourselves and time to the Lord, allowing Him to direct our steps, our days, our time, so that we'll focus on the correct goals. The correct goals are those that bring us closer to the Lord.

      Thank you for your kind words on this post.

      Blessings!

      Delete

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