Moving with Purpose: Reaching goals in the new year

Moving with Purpose: Reaching goals in the new year

As a kid I had a best friend that was the complete opposite of me. She was the six- o’clock-in- the morning kind of perky; she would swing her arms around me as an every time greeting (which, as a shy kid made my palms sweat) and looked at everyday things as adventures. As a nine-year-old growing up in a Pentecostal household where there were rules for everything from the way we ate to the way we wore our hair, she was a cool breeze. She was unshackled and unpredictable and perfect in small doses. With her the day could bring…anything. As we grew, I did the proper thing and went to school, eventually married and had children. For the most part I had goals and some plans and accomplished many of them. I don’t think she ever had any long term goals or plans; her life shifted often, she moved from state to state on a whim and had more phone numbers and addresses than I could possibly keep up with(Growing up we only had one and I still remember the number.). Even as I write this, her life is a series of blunders and missteps. No definitive purpose in her movements. No structure.

 

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On the other hand, the children’s church leader at my church has the kids’ schedule down to increments of five minutes. I get this feeling of being forced under water even as I think about it.

Flying freely and without a compass may make you sound brash and spirited when exchanging stories with your bestie who has one kiddo propped on her hip and the other smearing chocolate frosting on her shoes but the reality is life is a succession of moments carefully strung together by time and left unfettered we may one day look back and wonder how we used it all. On the other hand structuring our life down to the very minute is not only unrealistic but almost guarantees failure.

There is a middle ground. As you walk into 2015 look back not only on where you’ve come but where you want to go. Think about those goals. Now write them out–every one of them. No matter how ridiculous they may sound to others. Write them out. Then write out your objectives—how will you accomplish those goals? If you don’t have all of the specifics as of yet, that’s OK. Get something down. This will be a working document. It will become clearer or more focus as you move towards it. Be as specific as you can. What do you plan to accomplish by spring? Summer? Or before the next cold spell hits? Moving with purpose is essential.

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Now print it out and post it. Post it somewhere conspicuous for yourself—perhaps your home office or closet door. It is not for the whole world to see. Ensure it is somewhere you will be forced to look at every day. Write small goals, large ones and lofty ones. The small ones can be accomplished with ease and will keep you motivated. And then visit them often. Don’t be afraid if months into the year you haven’t achieved them, but make it a point to do something to work towards them every day. Take small steps. Move with purpose. And if you find you are off course—re-evaluate and figure out why. You may find you need help. Perhaps ask someone who knows you well and is not afraid to be honest with you. Ask them how they see you. Don’t be offended by what you hear. Pray. Pray daily and seek God. And then listen for his voice. When he speaks, listen and obey. You’ll be surprised at how far you get from listening to the divine One who had your life planned out well in advance. His plan is complete and always purposeful.