It’s New Year’s Eve day while I write this. Tonight we enjoy one more holiday gathering, and then it’s time to settle down and get some work done!
So I’m sitting in Starbucks with my computer and Bible and my basic template for goal writing. It’s time to plan for this next year. I’ve enjoyed several hours of thinking and re-evaluating and typing (and nibbling).
Do you have a plan for the next twelve months? Our plans are obviously subject to God’s higher plans (as any mother who makes a to-do list at the beginning of the day can tell you). He may steer circumstances in a way we cannot possibly anticipate as we make our plans, but we can’t use that as an excuse to not plan. We will most likely not accomplish everything we set out to do in a year, but prayerfully written goals will help us focus and better know what to say yes and no to throughout the year.
Take time to set at least one goal for this next year. Sit down after the kids are all in bed, or find someone to watch the children while you find a few quiet moments in a coffee shop. Ask God to guide you. What is He calling you to do? Who is He calling you to love more fully? Where does He want you to grow?
Pray about the different areas of your life:
- Your relationship to God and your obedience to His Word
- Your relationships with family members, church family, neighbors, and other acquaintances
- Your work — caring for your children, managing your home, serving in the church, etc.
- Your outreach to unbelievers
- Your care for your physical body
Write down one goal, or if you’re really ambitious, write one goal for each area. Then answer the following three questions about that goal:
1. Why am I going to pursue this goal? When you start losing enthusiasm or get distracted from pursuing your goal, it will be helpful to come back to your answers to this question. It will help you remember why you are doing this. It will help re-motivate you.
One of my goals this year is to more effectively memorize Scripture. I listed these reasons for pursuing this goal:
- To arm myself with Scripture against temptation
- To displace sinful thought patterns
- To grow wiser
- To become better acquainted with Scripture
- To transform my mind to think more like God wants me to
- To obey God’s command to hide His Word in my heart
2. What is keeping me from doing this? This step really helps me. What has kept me from doing this in the past? What obstacles do I need to deal with? Knowing what the obstacles are will help me face and combat them. Things that have kept me from memorizing as well as I could are:
- Not having specific plan
- Not having specific time to do it
- Not having verses handy in different places
- Bad memory
- Not reviewing enough
- Not reciting aloud for anyone
- Not committed enough
3. What steps am I going to take to accomplish this goal? This is where we get specific. How do we actually accomplish what we’re seeking to accomplish? Specific steps will help us actually do something. Vague goals usually stay vague — and undone.
For memorizing Scripture I have listed the following specific steps:
- Keep a running list of verses I want to memorize.
- Memorize at least one extended passage every two weeks.
- Put verses into phone. Use Bible Minded app for regular review.
- Find another app (that leaves blanks) for initial memorization.
- Spend at least 5 minutes each day memorizing – while getting dressed, etc.
- Recite verses to myself again as I go to sleep.
- Create document with verse divided into visually “memorizable” lines.
- Analyze structure of passage to aid memorization.
- Study passage and read commentaries about it.
- Post different verses in different places – bathroom cupboard door, kitchen cupboard door, laundry room cupboard door, car dashboard, sewing room table.
- Print and keep in: exercise book, morning reading material, purse, jacket pocket.
- Listen to passage over and over online or on phone app.
- Be accountable to someone.
- Recite at least once every other week for someone else – Katelyn on walks, girls in car, etc.
So — that’s my approach to goal-setting. By God’s grace, I think this will help me be more successful in my efforts to memorize Scripture over this next year. I’ll let you know how it goes.
There are lots of ways to approach goal-setting. This is what works for me. Maybe it will be a help to you! Thursday we’ll talk about helping our children set goals.
Gotta pack up and head off to celebrate the coming of this new year of our Lord! My prayer is that He will give me the strength and humility to faithfully serve Him with all the days He grants me!
Happy New Year!
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
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