I have been all over the map concerning resolutions or goals (I prefer the word goals) for a New Year. Some years, I set very concrete goals; others, I had no goals. And some years I had very generic goals (which are quite hard to measure). Closing out 2013 and charging into 2014, I have pondered the subject of setting goals for the New Year.
When I think of great men and women of the Bible, I cannot help but think that goals were a major part of the life of many of these people. Take Joseph, for instance. He had to be able to set goals and see those goals through to fruition as the second in command of Egypt while gathering grain and corn during the seven years of plenty. Solomon set goals for both the building of the temple of God and his own house. I am absolutely convinced that the apostle Paul was a goal-setter. He did not wander aimlessly going wherever his journeys led him. He was a man of passion for the Lord Jesus Christ and set high goals in starting churches and visiting the churches he started during the various missionary journeys he took. Philippians 3:14 is often quoted in support of setting a goal – I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I have found that one of the ways I reach my goals is accountability. Someone checking in on me, asking me about my goals and encouraging me to reach them. I have found this to be true in rearing children. A child has a much better chance at success in anything (homework, walk with Christ, sports, etc) if he has someone who cares for him (parent, grandparent, Sunday School teacher, coach, etc.) by checking on his progress towards those goals.
With that in mind, I want to share a small list of goals I have for the year. When Jesus was a young man, the Bible states that he increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man. In other words, Jesus didn’t just grow in his relationship with God. He grew in wisdom – how to apply truth to the world around Him. He grew physically. He grew in His relationship to God AND man. No doubt His talks with His Father increased, but His personal graces with people increased also.
My goal list for 2014 is a smattering of wisdom, health, walk with God, and my relationships with people. Here they are:
- 30 minutes of Audio Bible
- 30 minutes of Bible Reading
- 30 minutes of Prayer
- 30 minutes of Regular Reading
- 30 Minutes of Running on Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday
- Family Night
- 4 hour date with my wife
- Home visits of Cross Training (Bible class I teach) members and Youth members (Wed. night Bible study I teach for youth)
- Invite people into our home for a meal
- Write a blog post
- 4 hour date with my daughter
- Participate in church-wide soulwinning/outreach
- Pay down some debt
- Do more meditating on Scripture rather than just reading
- Run three 5K’s with my wife
- Run one 10K with my wife
- Be more patient with my family members
- Read twenty-four books (I have a list of books in order I plan to read)
- No coffee for 21 days
- No sugar (junk food) for 21 days
To know if you have made progress with a goal, it must be measurable. Nearly every one of these goals are distinctly measurable. For the few that are not, I will ask those around me (i.e., the goal of being more patient with my family) throughout the year if I am reaching those goals. Would you do me a favor? Help hold me accountable throughout the year by calling me, texting me, or emailing me and asking me if I am “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!”
Happy New Year!