I have a confession to make. This blog almost didn’t get written! I had a houseful of wonderful children and my new grandbaby over Christmas and I totally enjoyed every second of being with them. They left New Year’s Day and I have been trying to get the Christmas decorations put away and the house back in order since then.
I am still not finished! Over dinner, and this is the funny part, as my husband and I were going over our goals for the new year I mentioned I was just too worn out to finish the blog. He just looked at me and pointed to one of my goals. Yes, I had written to be faithful in writing and sharing with you. I quickly cleaned up the kitchen, ignored the mess and the boxes that need to go into the attic and came into my office to write. As much as I like and need order to be able to write I also need to be flexible.
Do you have trouble with your goals? I think we all do when the unexpected happenings of life come to us. But I hope you take time this month to write some down with your family, your husband or just yourself. It has been said that these goals will happen more consistently if we take the time to write them down.
I was reading the magazine In Touch, where Dr. Stanley mentioned that if we attempt to walk in a straight line while looking at our feet you can look back and see that the path you have walked is crooked. But fix your eyes upon something faraway, and each step will point in the desired direction, toward that distant focal point.
Our lives are like this. If we set goals, then our decisions, actions, and thoughts will lead to the desired end. On the other hand, if we wander along in life without specific aims, we will waste much precious time and energy.
Goals are crucial to the well-lived life. So why don’t some of us make them? I believe that some people just don’t realize how important they are but I also think that some people just get too busy to stop and really look at their life.
- Take time this week to get alone with the Lord. Come before Him with a repentant heart, praise, and thanksgiving.
- Then ask Him for direction in areas of your life such as spiritual life, career, and family. Have paper and pen available to write what is on your heart and on what you hear from Him.
- Be silent before Him too, waiting for His answers as you read and mediate upon God’s Word. He will speak to you as a prodding or conviction in your heart.
- And don’t forget to ask God for wisdom! He promises He will give it when we ask. He will help you see what goals you should have for the New Year.
Manna from Heaven
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
The New Year means fresh beginnings and new hope. January 1st represents a clean slate when many people make resolutions and goals as we mentioned above.
But the Bible reveals another resolution that can wipe the spiritual slate clean. It is called forgiveness.
Jesus taught His disciples: But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25
When we hold others in unforgiveness we actually chain ourselves in prison. Forgiveness is the key that unlocks that prison cell. Forgiveness wipes the slate clean.
So as you are preparing your New Year’s resolutions and goals, consider making a list of those you need to forgive. It may be someone who has recently hurt you. Or it could be someone from your past. And if you are having trouble forgiving, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace and strength to let that person go free. God is faithful and He will give you the help you need.
As we start this New Year there is one thing you should add to your to-do list that will actually make you happier! In a study of 218 adults, those who briefly reflected on each day and jotted down three positive aspects of it were significantly more content two weeks later. The items could be pleasurable (sitting by the fire), meaningful (helping a neighbor), engaging (writing a letter), or any combination.
This exercise of reflecting and writing down daily positive aspects will help you go through life really living rather than on automatic pilot. (Monash University, Dr. D. Vella-Brodrick)