A few thoughts on setting goals for a new year.

A fresh start. Why is it that with this fresh start we rush into everything? I think we feel that everything has to change at once. Perhaps if we don’t change everything then we’ll be behind and the year will fall flat? Perhaps we feel that there is a lot to make better? Perhaps we feel that it is the things we do that make us worthy of love or respect?

My first day of this year was mostly spent in bed. My head was aching and my stomach upset. We weren’t home, we were helping, well, my husband was helping with wiring and electrical stuff and projects at the house build for my in-laws. By the time we got home, it was three days into the new year and I felt somewhat better. Was I behind?

It depends on your perspective. While we were away I had done some list making and a lot of reading. But because I didn’t have a massive list of resolutions, I didn’t feel behind.

When we got home I was able to do laundry, start a menu plan, and put things away and start thinking about projects and books to read and creative sewing/crochet things to work on. Do I have goals or plans this year? Well, sort of it’s more like a list of “would like to’s”. But just because I got back into a routine on day four of the new year doesn’t mean I’m behind in working towards those goals.

Now it’s almost the end of January. How is it going for you? It’s okay to go slowly and not get it all done at once. We don’t have to run around and rush. It will only wear us out so quickly we fizzle and give up on our goals. What does the year hold for you? I have no idea what will happen for us (my husband and me) this year. We have hopes and dreams and plans, but only the Lord knows.

Setting goals and dreams and plans. Ah, we’re dreamers. We have big ideas. But so often we over-estimate time and budget and energy. Hmm.

Why don’t we pray over the dreams and goals first, then break them down into bite-sized goals and work on them little by little this year rather than trying to do it all at once?

The biggest thing for me to remember is I’m not in control.

Recently our Pastor preached on Proverb 3:5-7. In many ways it’s my life verse. But it’s also hard for me at times. Trust in the Lord with all you heart. Somehow I frequently forget this lesson and begin to worry and fret and stress rather than allowing the Lord to take control. Ouch. Lean not on your own understanding.  News flash. I don’t understand everything. In so many ways I’m terrified about the outcome and journey for this year. But my dear sister reminded me that God has a perfect plan, and as I’m trying to commit my trust to the Lord since He knows what He’s doing.

I have some things that I’d like to do this year, including grow closer to my husband and my Lord, write more, do transcribing of recordings done with family in order to take more notes on family stories and history and adding to that book project, and others. I’d like to write on here more consistently. I’d like to do better with more Bible study and memorization. I’d like to watch our budget and save more money if possible. I’d like to make relationships count, and be more aware of my speech and hopefully encourage others more rather than bring others down. I do hope to keep my speech edifying. I would like to get my health to a better state.

For all of those “would like to’s”, I know each day and week and month will vary in how much of those progress. I just hope that I do some of those things in the right spirit and attitude of serving our Lord.

Much of December I was sick and weary. But in the midst of that I was reminded of God’s blessings. We had a special Christmas Eve service at church, and some time with Steven’s family and skyped mine. We are so blessed to have our needs met, and live in “comfort.” Too often I go into pity-parties and long sessions of worry and have to pull myself out of them. They don’t help. Focusing on what’s true and right is a much better way to live.

One last thing. It doesn’t matter how much we get done. It doesn’t make us more worthy. Our goal isn’t to get more done to be more worthy. It’s to slowly make progress in living for our God. Not that we can do anything on our own.

I do hope you had a reflective Christmas on the meaning of Christmas, of counting your blessings and focusing on Christ and others. Now that we’re into a New Year, I do hope that you are starting out feeling fresh and encouraged, and that you make some reasonable, attainable goals to work towards accomplishing. Please don’t be stressing out about already feeling behind or failing at your goals.

God bless,


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