Be Encouraged for a New Year – Paul’s Goal

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  Col. 2:2-3

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Not The Normal
While our normal year end goal setting activities include a variety of areas in our lives, this year my heart’s cry is a longing to embrace Paul’s goal in Colossians 2 with my whole heart. I need serious focus and audacious trust as I walk each day (In my case as I roll each day). When I focus on upcoming life changes and challenges, anxiety immediately wells up within me. Yet when I focus on the word of God and the love of Christ his peace settles me and assures me of his good gifts and promises. Christine Caine said it well this morning in her daily email devotion…

“God is so faithful. His mercies are new every morning. His love endures forever. He has gone before you. He is for you. He is with you!

New Normal
Don’t waste another minute today thinking about yesterday or last year. Don’t spend today fretting about tomorrow or the months to come in this new year. Enjoy today, be in today and trust God, for He knows the plans He has for you. They are plans for good and not for evil. Plans to prosper and not harm you! (See Jeremiah 29:11.)”. Christine Caine, First Things First

Welcome to the new year and prayers for much hope on the horizon of every new dawn ahead. Let us search our hearts and seek guidance for the Father’s desires – and trust his goodness as we live our daily moments,  our rising and setting each day, planning wisely for the future without forgetting our purposeful and precious current moments.

Grace and peace to you each day ahead as you walk through joys and sorrows.   We love to hear from you.  ~Madge

Goal Setting – Thoughts and Prayer

Have you considered your 2017 goals? We hope a bit of new and renewed direction is on your mind. A couple former ‘practical’ goal setting posts are linked after my heart expression on our current goal setting. 
Our heavenly father has graciously led us to set a few sturdy and clear goals for our family for 2017, but contemplative prayer and earnest listening are honing details as we seek the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and understanding regarding life-change situations we certainly face. We document and clarify direction as a matter of course each year, but only regular communion with the Father, along with reflection and remembrance of his mighty promises can keep our anxiety levels down and focus our actions toward his daily will for us.

For me, for us, this upcoming year is a year for relationships, for outreach, change and big trust. We want more of Jesus more than anything. Our hearts are overwhelmed with the knowledge that he loves us and he loves you, our dear friends, with his immeasurable love. Let us set our hearts and minds on the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God….This year…each day…

His word WILL be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

He WILL guide us as we keep our eyes fixed on him.

He WILL offer his peace when we fear or are anxious.

He WILL comfort us when we mourn or experience pain.

He WILL not stop pursuing us, not one of us.

Oh Lord Jesus, we humbly come before you to offer our lives as your dwelling place. Powerfully use each of us to touch others and minister your grace, peace, and your gift of life in all our relationships. Let us be children of the day, children of the light, as we serve others in powerful ways this year – forgetting what is behind and pressing ahead to stand firm in all your will as we walk through this time you entrusted to us. Thank you for your unfailing faithfulness, the hope held out in the gospel and your amazing love. Amen

Now let’s bring on the new year! Prayers and love from the Wisdom and Faith home.

Former goal setting posts:

Set Goals! Reach Goals!

Improve Your Life – Goal Setting Will Really Help!

A New Year – Honing Some Habits

Set Goals! Reach Goals!

goals14Set goals – reach goals?  Really?  Yes, really!

Hopefully goal setting doesn’t sound like a chore to you!  It’s a fabulous opportunity to refocus our futures with intention and direction.

Convinced Goals are Grrrreat!
Year after year I am more convinced that this important habit has a priceless value.  Goals motivate us and help us focus on the “important” and not just the “urgent” in our day to day lives.  Going with the “flow of life” and enjoying moments “as they come” is important too, but deliberate focus on goals is life-changing.

Let’s be honest…we likely won’t achieve all our goals but be assured that focus on direction brings results when we intentionally devote our time and energy.

Practical Tips:
  1. Write your goals and keep them somewhere you can see them frequently.
  2. Organize goals by areas or by roles.  For example, I organize by areas like financial, spiritual, educational, marriage, health, etc. Others organize goals by roles like wife, mother, coach, writer, etc.
  3. Make sure your goals are specific and measurable.
  4. Set some  ‘slow’ goals that take time to achieve and stick to them through multiple years. (For example, learning a language or saving for a once in a lifetime trip)
  5. Add an audacious goal. Allow yourself to dream big.
  6. List benefits of achieving your goals.
  7. Review last year’s goals for successes and carry-over ideas.  Keep a list of goals you achieved.
  8. Review, review, review your goals and act, act, act on them!
  9. Don’t get discouraged of past failures or shortcomings. You are setting goals! It is an opportunity to celebrate.  To reach 60% of your goals is a lot more than 0% of zero goals.

My Failure, My Success
My goal to attend Toastmasters, a public speaking organization, was not achieved for five or six years before I finally joined. Without the goal, I’m sure I never would have gone.  Sometimes taking a step toward a goal can be scary…but let’s do it afraid!  I know we won’t be sorry.

Are you looking forward to the very best for your future?  Do you have a goal setting habit?  I would love to hear about your goal setting philosophy and techniques!  Please share!     -Madge

Below are a couple other articles my husband and I have written on goals…enjoy.
Improve Your Life – Goal Setting Will Really Help!
 A New Year – Honing Some Habits

Finish Well…Start Well…Set Goals

What happened to December?

Too much rich food, too much money spent, too little sleep or too much sleep, too much family tension or too little family…

Too little discipline.

The end-of-the-year can be a time when we lose focus on our goals and our routines are often turned upside down. It takes perseverance and discipline to finish the year well.

For me, the winter solstice’s promise of cold weather sends me toward a desire to hibernate and cuddle up in one more sweater.

Oh, but I want to finish well.

Maybe for you it is an ever looming few extra pounds or a few extra dollars that you didn’t mean to spend, or some snippy words toward a loved one that dimmed your focus. It’s all too easy to review our year and see our shortcomings. What a helpful exercise it is to review successes and regroup – and when its all said and done, finishing well may be a lot about starting well.

Before the bells ring and the fireworks burst brightly in the crisp midnight sky of 2013, let’s take time to contemplate our year gone by and reset ourselves for the blessed opportunity to grow and serve in the gift of another year.

Let’s be thankful and consider the Almighty’s accomplishments in our lives in 2012 – refreshing and renewing our commitment in whatever way we are called today and in our upcoming year.

2013goals

Practically, I’m reviewing my list to remind myself of my passions and goals for 2013 and my husband and I will join together in mutual documented goals. Some may not be much different than 2012, but nevertheless important. Here are a couple posts Brent and I put together last year around this time – A New Years Resolution that WILL Change Your Life and A New Year – Honing Some Habits.

What are you doing to prepare for 2013?