Many people use the beginning of a new year to set goals for the upcoming year. Notice I don’t say “resolutions” because, in all frankness, most of the time resolutions are simply made to be broken! But goals, if set correctly, can lead to real changes in our lives. In order to set a goal you need to have a picture of where you want to be – and then determine how it is you’re going to get there. And make sure that goal is measurable (meaning you can tell if you made it or not). For example, a goal of “I’m going to exercise more” is pretty vague, but a goal of “I’m going to go for an early morning run three days a week” is much easier to know whether you meet it or not. And when you can measure you’re goal it’s much more motivating to keep it (and reach it!).
Chris Goins, a pastor whom I enjoy listening to and reading, suggests asking yourself the question, “Am I closer to God today than I was on January 1, 2010?”
While I’ll post more information and links on the blog (so you’ll definitely want to check this one out online), here are some places to start as you set your goals for the coming year. Spend some time reflecting on and answering these questions, and I believe you’ll find 2011 could be one of your best yet! These are borrowed from Chris’ blog
My Spiritual Life
- What practices, ‘disciplines,’ or spiritual ‘graces’ will I build into my life in 2011 that will give me an opportunity to grow and become more like Jesus?
- What small group will I be a part of?
- Will I honor the “Sabbath” and regularly set aside a day for resting my body, recharging my emotions and refocusing my spirit?
- Will I become an active part of a life-giving local church and invest my time, energy and resources into accomplishing the mission Jesus has established for the local church?
My Emotional Life
- Is there someone I need to seek forgiveness from?
- Is there someone I need to forgive?
- Will I become an active part of a small group in order to fill my world with life-giving relationships?
- Where is there “clutter” in my life that can be eliminated? My garage, attic, storage space, home closet(s), desk, filing cabinet, computer, car, truck, etc.? (Go ahead! Clean it out today!)
My Relational World
- On a scale of 1 – 10 (“1” being “in the Intensive Care Unit and in desperate need of resuscitation” and “10” being “hitting on all cylinders / totally awesome”), how would I rate my marriage?
- What practices will I build into my marriage in 2011 to increase intimacy and fulfillment?
- What books will me and my spouse read or what marriage conferences will we attend in order to build intimacy and fulfillment into our marriage in 2011?
- On a scale of 1 – 10 (use the same pattern mentioned above), how am I doing as a parent? How would I rate the relationship I have with my kids? How would my kids rate the relationship we have?
- What practices will I build into my family in 2011 to bring our family closer together and move our family closer to Christ?
- Have I scheduled a date night with my spouse for the month of January? When? What will we do? Why not?
My Physical World
- How much do I weigh? For my body type, is that amount of weight okay?
- Am I honoring God with my body?
- Do I have a complete physical scheduled between now and October 31? If not, schedule one!
- Do I need to change my eating habits? What healthy eating plan can I build into my life in 2011?
- Do I exercise? What exercise plan will I adopt in 2011 in order to honor God with the body He has given to me?
My Financial World
- Are my finances in order? Is personal debt strangling the life out of me?
- Do I have a written budget? Have my spouse and I reviewed this budget and agreed upon it?
- Do I have personal debt other than a reasonable mortgage? Is being debt free in 2011 a possible goal? What will we do to get there?
My Intellectual World
- What books am I going to read in 2011? (Biography, Spiritual Formation, Classics, Fiction, Business)
- What is my reading goal for 2011? How many books will I read each week / each month? How many hours will I read each day / week / month?
- What seminars / classes will I attend in 2011 to continue honoring God with my mind by using my intellect?
My Personal Calling
- What do I do best and how can I do more of it in 2011?
- What is my calling? What is my mission? Am I pursuing it? Why not?
- Who do I know or who could I know in a similar field that God might use as a mentor in my life?
- What caused me the greatest amount of stress in 2010? What am I going to do to fix it?
Extra links (not included in the printed devotional) – also borrowed from Chris’ Blog:
Your Spiritual Growth Plan (article in Christianity Today written by John Ortberg)