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Buzzword for January


Long before you are ready, the buzzword inserts itself from all corners of your life. It is just that time of year. Like mushrooms in the forest, the term starts pops up everywhere.

For instance, your coworker asks you in a casual chat around the office party buffet. Then, from your pew you listen as your pastor tackles the topic. Even your friend brings up the subject when the two of you take off on the exercise trail.

The buzzword? G. O. A. L. S.

Whether sophisticated or simple — general or generic — New Year’s goals have a way of wedging themselves into our psyche with the intent of changing our lives. We tell ourselves, “I want to go from where I am to where I want to be, and furthermore, here is my plan and here is my timeline.”

Hopefully, you and I are energized by articulating these new challenges, and allow them to spur us on to maturity. But, if we mishandle the process, they become like an earpiece always reminding us of who you are not and what we have not accomplished.

Take a moment and consider your attitude. How would you best describe your true feelings about New Year’s goals?

  • good suggestions

  • guidelines

  • mandates

  • dictates

  • unachievable

  • necessary, but unpleasant

  • a bother, but required

  • fixed

  • flexible

  • leave you in a heap of introspection

Personally, I like goals, and setting targets motivates me. However, life has taught me that the clearer the goal, the simpler the plan, the more likely I am to see growth or progress.

So, how can goals actually become a helpful catalyst and weave their way into the fabric of our lives?

Into this January environment, I suggest three goals for setting goals:

1. Start with the best goal of all goals; Make it our goal to please Him.

So we make it our goal to please him… (2 Corinthians 5:9).

First and foremost, mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally…

Personally, professionally…

Today, tomorrow, next week, next month…

2. Rely on His wisdom

Our propensity is do a personal inventory with our limited human perspective and, fueled by self-focus, we charge headlong into the planning process. On the other hand, God’s supernatural wisdom is available to us for the asking. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

3. Follow through in the power of the Holy Spirit

To avoid the February derailment of January goals, rely on the power of the Holy Spirit for ongoing fruitful change. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4).

Living With Eternal Intentionality

What is your honest opinion about New Year’s goals?

Did you set such goals this year? If so, why or why not?

How does the question and answer from the Westminster Catechism add clarity to setting goals at the outset of a New Year?

Q: What is the chief end of man?

A: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

What is one goal you believe God has for you to glorify Him and enjoy Him in 2019?