New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap. But I think it’s because most people set goals for their year that are either not well thought out, or that are not reasonable. Could I run a marathon next year- maybe. I don’t run at all right now, I have run short 2-3 mile runs in the past, but its been a few years. But while its possible that person can go from couch to marathon in a year’s time, if I’m honest with myself, its probably not going to happen for me. For one thing I don’t really want to. For another, as someone who doesn’t run at all right now, I have no idea what kind of reaction my body would have to training. Am I going to find that I have trouble with my knees at the ten mile mark? I hate the cold, so I’m probably not going to handle it well if I have to get up and run in the cold every morning through the winter.
Now this doesn’t mean that no one should set that goal, but its not for me. When you are setting goals I hope that you will pray over them. I hope that you will choose goals that God has laid on your heart and that you really want to see happen in your life. I also hope that you will really think it through. If a bad habit has been in your life for many years, I hope that you will really open your eyes to what it will take to break it, and how long it will take.
The Steps to Setting Goals
- Make them attainable.
- Set goals you feel passionate about reaching.
- Make them specific and measurable.
- Make a plan for how to reach the goals you set.
I talked last week about the process I go through when I’m setting goals for the new year. Now I wanted to walk through some of my specific goals for 2019 and how I reached the decision to choose these specific goals. This is something I always approach this with prayer. I take it for granted that God wants to work in my life. What I try to zero in on is how I can set myself up to be changeable.
My Word for 2019
I’m not always one to jump on board with trends, but this year I’m going to try something I haven’t before. I’m choosing a word of the year. This isn’t exactly the newest thing, some people have been doing this for several years, but I haven’t ever tried it and I want to.
God has been reminding me of all the times in my life that he has radically changed my heart. There are too many to name. The list of things that I have said I would never do and have now done, is growing embarrassingly long. The word that God has placed on my heart for 2019 is ‘heart.’ As in a heart that is willing to be changed. It’s a little
scary exciting that God has given me this and I’m wondering what he has in store for the year.
My Verse for 2019
To go along with that I am focusing in on Ezekiel 36:26 as my verse for the year. At every chance my heart turns inward to selfishness, to hardness. God can remove the heart of stone I have when I resist obedience and change it to a heart of flesh. I plan to memorize this verse and meditate on it throughout the year.
My Bible Study Goal for 2019
In 2018 I studied the gospels and the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible). I wanted to intentionally take a slow walk through each of the four gospels side by side with this portion of the Old Testament. I loved seeing the promises of God to his people even though they stumble in following him.
By the end of the year I ended up also reading through Psalms, Hebrews, and Romans. There were so many benefits to slowing down to study these books. I felt like I found connections between the Old and New Testaments that I had never noticed before. The Bible is something that any believer can read and understand, and hear God speak to their hearts.
This year, I have landed on studying Isaiah,1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings from the Old Testament. I also plan to go through the Gospels again and to do a study of Acts. I basically chose my favorite books from the Old Testament to study this year. The stories of David especially are some of my absolute favorites, and Isaiah is so full of God’s love for his hurting people.
This is the goal that, if I’m honest, I feel like will be a stretch for me. There are so many days, when I sit down to memorize a verse or passage, and it just won’t go in my head. It’s so important to me so I’m including it in my goals. The two passages I have picked are Romans 8 and John 15. I’ve already started working on Romans 8, so it is not the full chapter I will be memorizing. You might be thinking of the marathon discussion at the beginning of this post, but I’m going to make this manageable in a couple ways.
For Romans 8, I plan to make this a top priority. This will take a large part of my quiet time during the time when I’m memorizing it. I will spend a little less time in Bible study for a short while. Scripture memory is something that tends to get put off for ‘later,’ so this will make sure it gets prioritized. Then I plan to take the rest of the year to work on John 15. I’m hoping to learn a verse a week or so and then take the rest of the year to review it so that I don’t forget what I spent so much effort to learn.
If you are interested in the goal setting and spiritual life worksheets I have been using, you can find them in my shop here.