I love weeks like this. It's like the week after Christmas and directly before New Years... only you've had the opportunity to live out some of the goals that you've been working towards for the past three months.
This year, I sat down and looked at aspects of my life such as spiritual, marital, financial, home, ministry,physical, career... you get the idea. I wrote generalities of how I wanted to improve and then developed those into specific goals that were measurable. I also sat down with my husband and got his input on my ideas as well as what he would like to see happen in our home this year.
It was fun. I love the planning process. I love dreaming.
Reality though? Well, we all know that reality is a different thing entirely. Some years I actually gave up on the idea of goals or resolutions because I KNEW the reality would be different than the dream, and I would just get discouraged and beat myself up about not accomplishing the goal.
But I've been learning something this year, and that's to go somewhere you've never been, you have to do things you've never done. To grow, you have to set goals. You have to work towards something.
And so, this year, I set out to grow - in every aspect of my life.
Here's an example of how I broke down those goals.
Spiritually, I wanted to become a more gracious, wise woman who abides in Christ and His love.
But, to actually grow in the area, I had to set some specific goals to help me get there. I chose to do the following:
1) Read 33 books of the Bible. (I've tried the whole Bible in one year before and ALWAYS get behind and discouraged, and NEVER accomplish it. This year I decided I could read any 33 books in any order - I'd just write them down as I went and it would be PROGRESS)
2) Read "One Thousand Gifts" (A book highly recommended by quite a few very good friends.)
3) Listen to one spiritual podcast each day (either a sermon or devotion)
Now, doing those things wouldn't make me automatically the woman I want to become, but they would put me in a place conducive to growth. But growth doesn't occur just because you've set some goals and your working towards them. There has to be an evaluation of how it's going.
I have decided that I will review my goals quarterly. Where I have done well, I will set new goals to grow more. Where I have slacked off, I will reevaluate and recommit myself to a goal that is achievable.
It's exciting. It's new. It's learning that progress does not mean perfection. I don't have to be perfect for God to love me or use me. But I don't want to stagnate in my growth either. Reality doesn't have to mean perfection or failure. Reality just needs to be progress.
So today and tomorrow, I'll be setting aside some time to do this re-evaluation process, and this coming Easter Sunday I will be rejoicing not just in Christ's victory on the cross, but that His victory gives me the power to have victory in my every day walk.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:17-23
So how about you? How do you work on your growth in areas of your life? Have you found a system that works well for you? Do you have some favorite verses you'd like to share? I'd love to hear.