The good news is your goals or resolutions don’t have to end up like 80% of people who quit by mid-January because more than the old cliché, you truly are a new you! The bible tells us that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Amazingly, the same Spirit who rose Christ from the dead now lives in you. (Romans 8:11) Talk about power! This is real transformation, a whole new you. That desire in you to accomplish goals is because He has prepared good works for you to walk in. (Ephesians 2:10) And with that, opportunities to use your spiritual gifts, talents, experiences and your sphere of influence to accomplish those works.
You, my friend don’t ever have to wait for a new year, a new month or a Monday to respond to the work and plans of God. His tender mercies are new every day. Just remember you will need to take the new territory bit by bit, so don’t get discouraged and don’t give up–He has already given you the victory.
Here are some truths to keep you focused and intentional this year:
- Do not fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Whether it is fear of failure, fear of what people will think, fear of rejection, or any fear of inadequacy, it is not of the Lord. Keep your focus on doing what blesses others and glorifies God. It is not easy to go against your feelings of fear, but remember your faith is pleasing to God. (Hebrews 11:6)
- Redeem the time. “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.” Psalm 90:12
Not to scare you into being intentional but you really don’t know how much time you have. Thinking about that is healthy and helps you realize the big difference between productivity and activity. In order to live productively and redeem the time, you have to be intentional about your priorities; otherwise your time and effectiveness will get sucked up by the tyranny of the urgent or the unimportant. Satan likes it that way. Don’t squander your time.
- God qualifies the called. "It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God." 1 Corinthians 3:5
If God puts it in your heart to do something, He will give you everything you need to do it. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
- Do everything with gusto and do it for the Lord. “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.” Colossians 3:23
Don’t be half-hearted but be excellent and enthusiastic in all you do. That is an overflowing of the Spirit of God in you and an attitude that is a success in itself.
- Don’t wait for perfect conditions. "If you wait for perfect conditions you'll never get anything done." Ecclesiastes 11:4
Don’t waste another moment waiting for circumstances to change, feelings to change or some chunk of time to miraculously open for you. Just do the next thing God puts in front of you and watch God make it happen.
- Write the vision. “And the LORD answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it.’ Habakkuk 2:2
God wired us to be intentional and strategic. A recent study at the Dominican University in California found that just writing goals down makes you 42% more likely to achieve them. But don’t just write it down and forget it; keep it top of mind by reading it, praying about it, recalibrating when necessary and keep running the race God has set before you.
- What are your top 3 goals?
- What is the why behind the goal?
- What thoughts do you need to take captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus?
- What verse will be your anchor as you face challenges and obstacles?
- In your action plan, what steps just require obedience?
- What do you need to trust God for?
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Philippians 2:13