Welcome to 2013. What are you going to accomplish this year? God created you for a purpose. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, according to the book of Psalms. Learn how to continue fulfilling that purpose by drawing up actionable goals which center on Him. Live with direction and meaning.
Grab a blank piece of paper and divide it into quarters. Starting in the top left quadrant and moving clockwise, label each section in the following order: Spiritual, personal, family, and career. Just about anything requiring improvement in your life will fall into one of these four categories.
Scribble down three to five thoughts that correspond with each heading where you desire growth. Do not insist on making this perfect. These ideas will be developed into more concrete actions later. Once you think some of these ideas through, you may decide that you are not ready to work on them yet. You are a masterpiece and did not get to where you are overnight.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” -Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
The next step is to put your ideas into actions. Your goals can be somewhat broad if you are not exactly sure where you would like to end up. However, growth will not happen if you leave it to chance. You need to take action on purpose. Look at each of your ideas and create at least one action you could do to make progress on a goal. If you cannot draft any actions, then you may not be ready for this challenge. There will not be any action if you only write simple statements as goals.
Bad goal: I will lose weight in 2013.
Good action goals: I will write down all of the food I eat each day. I will exercise for at least 45 minutes, three times each week. I will eat 25 grams of protein for breakfast each morning.
Losing weight is a great aspiration, but it does not describe what you are actually going to do to achieve it. Simply write down the steps that are needed to reach the goal, even if they sound overly simple. You will have a greater chance of success if you set smaller benchmarks that will work you up to your end result. You do not need to work all of the goals at once either. You have a full year to grow. Start with the goals that speak to you the most.
Be realistic. Determine what you can reasonably accomplish in a year. Do not overload yourself with expectations. You will find the book of Ephesians reminds you that Christ is able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Prayerfully consider what God is asking you to improve on this year. Remember, it is not all about you. Give the credit and glory to Christ for creating you as his masterpiece.