Are you excited as you look toward the upcoming year? There is something marvelously cleansing and refreshing about January 1st. As long as we’re still breathing, we get a “do-over” for the previous year. While it’s true that we can start our do-over on any day (or every day for that matter), there is something invigorating about a new year. This will be the year we finally kick that bad habit, attempt something we’ve never done before, get in better shape, live a life wholly devoted to Jesus. The New Year brings with it endless possibilities, we simply need to grab hold of those things we want to change and not let go until they are accomplished.
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, one of the greatest things you can do to ensure you achieve your goals is to write them down. This does not mean to simply make a list of things you want to accomplish, although this can be a great starting point. A list is just a list and does little to bring you closer to your goals; it is unfocused and lifeless. While a list can bring a little clarity, what we really need to do is to put action behind the items on that list. Without action the list will remain a bunch of lifeless wishes. A plan of action will turn a wish list item into a goal, and executing that plan will turn a goal into an accomplishment. Your goals should not be too easy (save that for daily tasks) nor too difficult (break these items down into smaller achievable goals). What is it you really want to accomplish over the next year? Ultimately the greater question is “What sort of person do you want to become over the next year?”
Given the focus of this blog, I’m going to concentrate on spiritual goals, but the concepts translate into all areas of life. Indeed, if you are not achieving excellence in areas such as your health, relationships and xxx, you will find it difficult to achieve your spiritual goals. When your life is out of balance, much as a car that isn’t firing on all cylinders, you will find your life to be inefficient and breaking down. We need to honor God in all areas of our life so we may perform optimally for Him.
Back to our question: “Who do you want to become in 2010?” When the calendar shows December 31st next year, how will your life be different? Take some time to write a brief description of the person you wish to become. Do you know of anyone who already demonstrates the life that you desire? Study that person, observe how they talk, the things they do and how they respond to various situations. Take plenty of notes and review them daily. Reflect on how you handle the same situations you’ve seen them in and make a note of what you need to change, to do differently. Model your speech after theirs; endeavor to emulate that person in every way possible until their good habits become your good habits. Compare yourself regularly against the description you wrote of the person you want to become. Are you making progress? Make adjustments as needed and continue to model your life after the person (or persons) who demonstrate the qualities you desire to have.
As Christians, our perfect role model is Jesus Christ. If we truly desire to live a life of total devotion to Him, we must model our lives after His. Don’t just read about His life in the New Testament, really study it, taking notes as needed to guide you as you develop the specific areas of your life that need to be changed. Study the character of God in the Old Testament. Adjust your description of who you want to become as you learn more about His character. Pray for His help and guidance as you strive to live a life modeled after Jesus. If you will focus daily on becoming a person after God’s heart, you will find amazing things happen in your life. I don’t mean you will suddenly find great wealth or never get sick, although these things could happen. But the greatest changes you will see will be internal. You will find yourself becoming more humble, gentler and more loving. You will develop a sense of peace and calmness in your soul that will be a place of great strength when you encounter trials. There could be no greater goal for 2010 than to become more like Jesus. It will take work. Make this your goal, not simply a vague wish. Determine today that this will be the year you let go of the temporal pleasures of this world and devote yourself wholly to our Lord. This will be the greatest year of your life.