He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like
a city that is broken down, and without walls.
It's that time of year again when we start to set goals, or make "resolutions" for the coming year. I have a love-hate relationship with this time because while I love the idea of starting fresh and setting goals for the new year, I hate that I will likely fail. I will start off excited and on fire to begin my newfound "plan" only to see the fire within die down after a few short months. And it is very discouraging. Thankfully God's Word comes jam-packed with encouragement for the disheartened! I can remind myself of verses like Matt.19:26: BUT with GOD all things are possible! (emphasis added)
The past few weeks my mind has been consumed with thoughts of my grandfather, naturally. He is gone and I miss him and so I think about him and all the great memories I have of time spent with him. As I was thinking about my goals for the new year I realized how each goal I had required one thing...self-discipline. Which then reminded me of how disciplined my grandfather was and it seemed fitting that my goal for this year could somehow be a tribute to my grandfather.
I went to the Bible and searched for a verse that would be my verse for the year, a verse that would challenge me and encourage me to pursue the goals that I wanted to set for myself; I was led to the one above. One thing I have learned is that if I want to meet a goal I have set, I have to have a plan and that plan must first begin with the understanding that it is only through God and His working in me that I will be successful in accomplishing that goal. I don't care how strong in the Lord you are (or think you are), there is nothing we do that we do on our own. God must get all the glory and all the credit for anything we have ever accomplished. Any accomplishment is His accomplishment; Anytime we overcome a trial, obstacle or sin in our lives it is because of Him!
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.The next step for me, is to write down my goals and write down a plan on how I will work toward accomplishing that goal. This is not a fool-proof plan because remember...I fail...a lot! But writing everything down does mean I have more of a chance at succeeding so I do it. I have a journal that I am keeping and the first page has the goals and plan of action written down. It goes something like this:John 15:4-5
1. Daily Bible Reading: 52 Week Bible reading program; journal key thoughts after reading
*I've done this one in the past and I like it because it mixes things up; I like variety. Print off the chart and keep it in your Bible.
2. Exercise at least 3 X a week: DVD workouts at home
*Because I still have little people at home and going out to exercise is not really an option, I find I am more successful with this goal if I find something that I can do at home. I really like Jillian Micheals 30-Day Shred DVD and it is effective if you stick with it....that is the key...stick.with.it!
3. Better eating habits: Journal Food
* Everyone is different but in the past I have found that I make better food choices if I am writing down what I eat.
These are my goals and I am praying I am able to stay the course throughout the whole year. Two tools that I am implementing to help me stay focused are an accountability partner and reading a book that goes along with my goal of being more disciplined. When I was serving as a counselor at a Christian camp this summer we had staff devotions each morning. The devotions that we heard were taken from a book called: The Disciplines of Life by V.Raymond Edman. I have started the book but it is a challenging read and there is much to chew on so I think giving myself the year to read it is reasonable! I highly recommend this book if you are looking for something good to read!
Have any of you reading set similar goals for yourself this year or in the past? Were you successful or not? I would love to hear your stories so I can glean from your victories and learn from your failures! Maybe you don't have any goals other than to survive another year...that's okay too! I've definitely been there. I am just in a season in my life where I have the time to consider making some significant changes to my daily routine and I am trusting God to help me!
I can do all things through Christ which strentheneth me.