We’re almost halfway through the first month of the new year! Have you forgotten your New Year’s resolutions yet? Or are you digging in and staying disciplined, despite the waning motivation and monotony of hard work? Or do you still need to figure out what you want to achieve this year?
I took a little extra time to carefully and prayerfully work through the 5-step process of setting great goals, and finally decided on 5 major things I want to accomplish over the next 12 months. I would love to reach for more than that — but with a cross-country move on the near horizon and several months of transition surrounding that, I think I’ll need some extra “margin” in my life to deal with the stress that accompanies major life changes (that’s a goal in itself!).
If you haven’t settled on your own goals yet, maybe mine will give you some ideas:
Study the Book of Proverbs
My plan right now is to read through the whole book in January, one chapter per day, then study one chapter in depth every 1-2 weeks. I’ll be using commentaries and Bible dictionaries to help me dig deep, and hope to share some of what I’m learning on here.
Write Another Book
As I study through Proverbs, I’ll take some extra time to dive deeper into verses that seem especially relevant to our use of social media. I’ve been wanting to write a devotional book about that topic, and it will coincide well with my Bible study goal. I hope to complete most (if not all) of the first draft this year. I’m also hoping to tailor some of it to share on the blog, so you can look for some of that in the coming months.
Memorize Proverbs 3
I struggled to keep up with Scripture memory last year, so I’m hoping that connecting it to my in-depth study of Proverbs will help me stay motivated. I’ll be using the free Scripture Typer app to help me learn one verse per week, as well as review the preceding week’s verses. Want to join me? We’re only on week 2, so it would be a great time to jump in!
Broaden My Literary Horizons
I can easily devour 100 (new) books every year without even trying; however, most of those books are mystery novels and historical fiction. This year, I want to push out of that comfort zone to read books in other genres and on particular topics. My goal is not just to reach a certain number of books, but also to expand my academic knowledge and appreciation of other forms of literature. To that end, I’ve compiled a to-read list based loosely off Tim Challies Light Reading Plan as well as several of my own categories (view my current list here). I’ll assess my progress mid-summer and, if possible, try to read a second book in each of the categories by the end of the year.
Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle
That’s a pretty vague goal, but I have several specific “mini-challenges” under that heading: increase my daily step-count, increase my cardio workouts in either length or intensity, establish a regular calisthenics routine, maintain consistent sleep/wake times, and lower my regular consumption of sugar. I plan to evaluate these goals monthly and establish new targets as I improve.
Along with those objectives, I also chose a specific focus for this year. God has been working in my heart lately, reminding me of this quality over and over again, and I am choosing to take action and apply what He’s been showing me about…
It is more a mindset (or heart attitude) than a specific goal. After all, when do you reach the level of “generous enough” as a Christian, especially when you consider all that Christ sacrificed for us? But I am breaking it down into the areas of time, money, affection, and energy; then working to develop specific ways to pursue sacrificial generosity in those areas. For instance, giving my time to encourage a friend rather than cross something off my to-do list; or showing compassion to a new mother, despite feeling grief over my own infertility; or choosing to serve my husband in some extra way before diving into my latest library book.
In other words… not just giving when it’s easy, but humbly sacrificing in obedience to Christ for the sake of investing in eternal riches. Because reaching our goals won’t matter much if we don’t stop to invest in people along the way! (tweet this) I’ll be sharing more about this idea of sacrificial generosity as I work through it myself, so stay tuned!
I’d love to hear what goals you’ve chosen for this year!
Share in the comments so we can encourage each other!
P.S. Did you get the free desktop wallpaper I shared last week? It offers a great reminder to keeping working toward your goals, little by little. Download it free right here!