Skip the Resolutions & Set Some Goals

More than half of Americans (60%) refuse to make New Year’s resolutions…which isn’t a bad thing since 80% of those who do make resolutions won’t keep them.  In fact, Jesus said, ‘simply let yes be yes and no be no.’

ct studd only one lifeOn the other hand, setting a goal is a slightly different venture.  Life is the gift God gives to us; what we do with our life is the gift we return to Him.  Instead of setting a resolution, consider goals as the gift you prepare for the King of Kings.

Check out these verses if you need some convincing that plans and purposes are  supported by Scripture.

As the New Year zooms in, perhaps this little acrostic can help you outline some plans to ‘be your best for God’s glory’ in the coming days!  The goals we set must be S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & with tangible value.  As you consider your goals, keep in mind we are triune beings:  body, soul (mind), and spirit.  Why not prayerfully seek a SMART goal for each area?

S.M.A.R.T.

SPECIFIC

Goals must be Spirit-led and specific.  Nice ideas are difficult to press toward.   Specific plans happen–vague, ‘let’s get together’ plans do not.  It is the same for goals.

“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”  Romans 13:11

MEASURABLE

Specific goals lend themselves to measurements.  Celebrating incremental progress helps you stay the course to the destination.

“Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!”  Proverbs 14:23busy yoke

ACHIEVABLE

Success inspires success.  Goals that are beyond reach bring discouragement quickly.  Evaluate your plans and don’t press to the limits of possibilities.  

“When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.  Deuteronomy 24:19

REALISTIC

Goals need to be more than wishes;  you must truly want to invest time and effort–as well as make sacrifices–to achieve goals.  

  “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”   Luke 14:28  

TANGIBLE VALUE

Goals that do not add to your life will not hold your commitment.  Consider how the goal you have set adds value to your life…how it contributes to the priorities God has placed in your heart.  

Let’s spur one another on to good works.  What will you aim for in the coming year?

Enjoy Peace & Security

Character is described aptly as ‘who you are when no one is looking.’  Christianity is not a self-improvement project; however, change becomes the desire of our heart once we know the King.  We represent Christ.  In fact, we are being transformed into His image.

Accepting Christ as our Savior, Lord and Master restores us to relationship with God.  Understanding our purpose and identity allows us to recognize where we have gone astray from the perfect plans.  Once we have relationship & recognition, we ‘repent’–turn from death to life!  Now, it is time to assume our responsibility.  Knowing what God is like–who we are to look like, helps us as we take responsibility for the things that are ours to do.

Let’s take a look at some important Christian Character attributes.  Using a scale of 0-10, consider whether you never (0) exhibit the trait or you consistently (10) demonstrate that trait.

Trait Yourself
Loving (accepting & available)
Forgiving (not holding grudges)
Respectful (honors others and self)
Trustworthy (count on their promises)
Humble (puts others first)
Honest (transparent, truthful)
Patient (willing to wait w/o complaint)
Peaceful (quiet confidence in good)
Joyful/Hopeful (expects good to come)
Self-controlled (vs. addiction-controlled)

 

Does a lack of any of those traits cause you dismay?  There is good news:  these are the flavor of a Spirit-filled life.  We aren’t called to manufacture those feelings.  We don’t get to pick and choose which one we want.  They are the essence of Jesus Christ!  We are to agree with God on their value–and His power to produce them in our lives.  We do not transform ourselves; the Holy Spirit is our power source.

Take time now, to list—in order of priority, the three things from above that you feel God giving you the most desire to have in your life.  God uses positive pressure to change us.  He gives us sight to see where His life is lacking in our own.

1.

2.

3.

Our history is part of us; it need not define us or limit us.  However, when we stuff it away without understanding, negative stuff simmers deep within.  Living fully in the freedom of Christ requires bringing even the past into the Light of His love.

As you consider the character traits that trouble you, you may find lingering resentment about negative deposits in your character bank.  Forgiveness sets you free…ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything limiting your spiritual fruit.  For more insights on Forgiveness, visit this page. If you feel the need for help to grow, consider that developing this flavor in our lives is the goal of Discipleship Coaching.

Growth is a daily, life-long process, enjoy it!  As Paul said, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day-by-day.”  What joy!