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With each and every passing year, I am constantly reminded of two things: God’s faithfulness for the past year and the realization that I am closer to my death (I know, a bit morbid, but it is reality – one day closer to seeing Jesus face-to-face). With these two things in mind, in the new year there are two things that I always try to do. First, I spend some time with Christina to come up with goals for our marriage and family. We have been doing this ever since we got married and had kids. Secondly, I come up with some personal goals that I want to achieve throughout the new year.
Here are some things that I try to keep in mind as I look back and then look ahead:
2) ASPIRE. Before we can dream of the future or even come up with any goals, it is helpful to spend some time in God’s Word. The dictionary defines, “aspire” as: to be eagerly desirous, especially for something great or of high value. When we have our sights on Jesus and His Kingdom (Mt 13:44-46), then we can start dreaming some big dreams. The more we start aspiring to do great things for Jesus, the more we can start enumerating the goals that we want to achieve.
3) ALIGNMENT. Once we come up with some goals, we have to bring our lives into alignment. We have to position ourselves in such a way that we will be able to reach our goals. This might mean that we will have to reprioritize, reorganize and reevaluate some things in our lives (Heb 12:1-3). Without a clear course of action and some boundaries, we will never obtain the things that we aspired for in the beginning of the year.
4) ASK. More than human wisdom and will power, we need God’s Spirit to help us accomplish the goals. This is why we need to develop a deeper prayer life. Prayer always reveals a heart that is dependent on a great God. There will be many days when we will lose focus on our goals, but there is something powerful about prayer, which helps us to get back on track. We must pray with expectation and eagerness, believing that God will give us everything we need to do His will (Heb 13:20-21; 2 Pe 1:3).
5) ACCOUNTABILITY. A powerful way to keep focus on the goals is to find some people who will keep you accountable. When we invite people into our lives who will help us get to the finish line by reminding us and prodding us on, we will have a greater likelihood to succeed in our stated goals (Pr 27:17; Heb 10:24).
Let’s dream great dreams in 2012 and achieve extraordinary things because we have an extraordinary God who is always for us!