By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. The distaste has to do with the word “resolution.” It reminds me of my days as a reporter covering government meetings where resolutions were merely formal declarations of opinions and intentions without any formal action.
In other words, nothing happened.
So, let’s forget New Year’s resolutions and pick more definitive words like “goals” or “plans” if we want to make a change or accomplish something in the days and months ahead.
Often, goals for the new year are oversized and imposing: Lose fifty pounds. Read through the Bible. Walk five miles every morning.
Such overwhelming challenges can weigh us down before we even get started.
However, if we approach those goals with smaller, doable steps, the seemingly unattainable can be reached.
Over the years, I’ve learned that if I place a goal out in front of me where I can see it, I’m more likely to get there. This can mean I write it down in a journal or, better yet, post it somewhere in plain view. Pictures work great if the goal is a vacation destination, a piece of furniture for the house, or landscaping changes.
I’ve also learned that if I create an action plan for reaching or acquiring my goal, I can build a pathway of measurable and obtainable steps. Without breaking the goal into smaller pieces, I’m likely to be overwhelmed and give up on it.
Goals and action plans look different for everyone, but a few key points are universal:
- Post the goal prominently where you can see it every day.
- Assign a desired date of completion or acquisition.
- Break the pathway to the goal into reachable, quantifiable steps. These may also have dates associated with them.
Many years ago, I had a goal of reading the book of Proverbs every month. Sounds like a mouthful, but it was very doable.
There are thirty-one chapters in Proverbs, one for every day of the month. Every morning, I read the chapter matching the day, Chapter One on the first, Chapter Two on the second, and so on. If I missed a day, I did NOT read two chapters to “catch up.” I simply went on to the chapter for the next day, and I never felt overwhelmed.
The following month, I started over with Chapter One. The practice became so automatic and enjoyable, that I not only continued for the rest of that year, but for several years thereafter, lodging quotable scripture references and bits of wisdom in my heart without even trying. Feeding regularly on God’s word has amazing benefits for life.
I have a few goals for 2019, and most of them have to do with my writing career. For example, I want seven of my eleven books to be available as audio books. This takes path-planning on my part, with a little map building so I know what each step looks like.
If I stay on the trail, I’ll be sharing this accomplishment with you readers, so everyone ends up benefitting.
What goals do you have for 2019? I’d love to read about them in the comments below!
May yours be a blessed New Year following the One who goes before us.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because He is at my right hand,
I shall not be moved.
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Winter had calmed its blustery self just long enough for Pastor Hartman to return for his bride the week after Christmas as originally planned. Annie prayed for it to hold until their safe return to Denver. ~Loving the Horseman
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