Goals for a new year can be concrete like “loose 20 pounds” or they can be indefinite like “be a nicer person.” Whatever the goal, there must be a plan to carry it out or it just becomes words in a list, a wish, a hope for. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won’t.
I’ve written pages of goals. Some years it was a waste of paper because life took a U-turn and derailed all my plans. It was either adjust or roll up in a fetal position.
We do not know what a year will bring.
I ponder the coming year with all of it’s untouched days before me. Writing in my journal on January 1, I count my blessings first:
- Relatives who gave us a week down south
- Walking on the beach, the grandness of the sea reminding me of the grandeur of my God
- An umbrella in the rain
- Warm fleece shirt, a barrier against the wind
- Sound of ocean waves, its crashing, its ebb and flow
- A snugly throw made for me by the mom of one of my piano students
- Water birds – pelican, sea gull, sandpiper – each one unique and fascinating
- Simple days, relaxing and moving at a slower pace
- A new year offering a new beginning, a fresh slate, a clean white page of life
Then these thoughts begin to take shape:
- I want to live the next year, 2016, as if it were my last, making the most of every single day.
- I want to spend my time doing the truly important things, not just what seems urgent.
- I want to speak words that will be kind and tender, as if they were to be the last ones heard, the last remembered by my loved ones.
- I want to walk fearlessly and make progress on my journey, to live the prayer of Habakkuk 3:17-19.
- I want a fresh passion for my Savior, a love that is deep and wide, that finds my delight in Him.
- I want to love others without prejudice and judgment, with acceptance of the persons they were made to be.
- I’d like to learn to be more content in every season, in each present circumstance.
- I’d like to live abundantly, each day, as long as I have breath.
- I’d like to view every situation as an opportunity for God to show up and show off.
These are lofty goals, and I quickly realize my limitations to accomplish them. But they give me ideals to seek after in the reality of a living relationship with the God who is bigger than me, loftier than my thoughts, and able to accomplish something huge in me, through me, and for me.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” The Message, Ephesians 3:20
And isn’t that the real goal after all?
photo by Louise Wright