I don’t know about you, but I love all things new. New day, new week, and especially a new year. There’s just something to be said for putting the past behind us and walking where we haven’t gone before.
Many people don’t welcome change, but most of us would agree that we have areas of our lives in which we need to grow. So instead of looking at everything that is wrong with our lives, let’s reflect on where we would like to see ourselves a year from now and how we can reach that goal.
So whether you are excited for the idea of a fresh, new start, or you just know you want to grow in some areas, let’s look at ways that we can set realistic goals to strive for.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”2 Peter 3:18 ESV
First, set aside some time to think about how you want to grow.
Carve out a few hours on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon to spend with the Lord. Get a journal and begin to reflect on your past year.
Do you need to spend more time with God, develop better relationships with people, take better care of your body, be a better steward of your finances?
As you spend time thinking about your past year and the areas where you want to grow, ask God to guide your thoughts and give you grace for your past failures. Don’t spend too much time reliving those things that didn’t go well. Learn from the past and move on.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”2 Corinthians 12:9
Second, write out the areas you want to develop.
Our relationship with God should always be our number one priority and an area in which all of us can grow. Start there, then think through which other areas you need to grow in.
Prioritize those areas according to what is most needed or most desired in your life right now. Keep your list short–just those things that will impact and make your life better in the coming year.
Don’t focus on things that are out of your control. Make your list according to what you can choose each day.
Now, under each category, list specific, measurable goals.
For instance, do you need to commit to time with the Lord every day? Start with 15 minutes a day as your goal. Do you need to start exercising? Maybe you can commit to 15 minutes 3 days per week.
Do you have a relationship that is strained. Start with prayer. Do you need to eat better? Start by making a grocery list. Need to get your finances in order? Cut up some credit cards or sit down and make out a simple budget.
Make your actionable steps small and easy to implement so you can enjoy some early success. As you begin to take those small steps toward your goals, you can add new ones.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:13
When you begin to experience the thrill of growth in an area, you will be inspired to take the next step. So, don’t be afraid to go ahead and write out those next steps now. They will give you something to work towards.
And don’t forget to celebrate your successes.
Did you spend time with God every single day for a week? Find a friend who will celebrate with you and share what God spoke to you during that time. As you take small steps of success, thank God for helping you.
On days that you don’t experience success, go to God for grace, and move on toward your goals. Don’t allow setbacks to keep you from being all God wants you to be.
We all have room for growth in our lives, and nothing is more important that growing in our relationship with God. So, set aside some time this week to do a spiritual check up and ask God to show you His heart for you.
We have the opportunity every day to seek more of Him in our lives, and nothing will impact our families, finances, or figures more than that.