29 Dec What’s Your Plan For 2018?
God is so gracious to give us new beginnings. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us that God’s compassion and mercy is “new” every single day. And today is a new beginning- the first month of a new year. This is your chance to begin again! Look back & remember 2017 and learn from it. Think it over: What did you learn last year? What did God do in your life? In what ways did you grow? What did you waste? What did you lose? What did you gain? Let those lessons propel you into the New Year with greater focus and clarity.
- Where do you want to be one year from today?
- How do you want to grow and develop in your faith & love for God?
- How do you want to grow & develop as a person so that you can become the best version of you?
- How do you want to develop in your relationships?
- What kind of an impact do you want to make on the world you live in – starting in your own home, neighborhood, workplace…?
The Apostle Paul writes, “I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back” (Philippians 3:14, MSG). Do you have a plan to accomplish your goals this year? I’m not talking about the same old resolutions that you’ll most likely bail out on come Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about living out this year intentionally by God’s grace and in His strength – following Jesus every step of the way. That’s the only way to get to the end of 2018 and look back on a profoundly effective and fruitful year lived to the glory of God. That’s the kind of year that makes a difference!
Punky and I want to encourage you to prayerfully write out your goals for 2018 using the blueprint of The Four Priorities taken from Matthew 22:37-40 which states,
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
The entire law and all of the demands of the prophets are based on
these two commandments.”
We have used this process for years in setting our goals and have found it to be not only helpful but a beneficial spiritual discipline that has enabled us to grow deeper in our faith and relationship with the Lord.
Here are brief instructions to help you:
1. Begin by thoughtfully and prayerfully reading Matthew 22:37-40 several times. Try reading it in various translations or paraphrased versions of the Bible such as the New Living Translation (NLT), New International Version (NIV), The Message (MSG), Amplified Bible (AMP) and English Standard Version (ESV). You can easily access all these translations at www.biblegateway.com. Just type in the verse at the stop and select the translation from the drop-down menu to the right.
2. Pray for the Lord’s assistance and direction in developing goals for 2018. What would He have you focus on this year?
3. Be very specific in regard to what you will do, how you will do it, when you will do it, and with whom. You’ll experience greater success with your goals if they are specific and measurable.
4. Write out your goals! 92% of people fail to reach their goals every year. Harvard research shows that only 3% of their MBA students had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them – and did. Writing down your goals makes all the difference.
5. Share your goals with a friend and ask them to “keep your feet to the fire” when it comes to working toward the goals you set.
The following is an outline you may want to utilize in developing your 2018 goals using The Four Priorities .
I. Priority #1: A Personal Progressive Commitment to Jesus Christ
A. YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD: What is your specific plan to grow and develop in your relationship with the Lord this year?
B. The Bible: What is your specific plan to read, study and obey the Bible?
C. Prayer: What is your plan to develop your prayer life? Do you keep a prayer journal or notebook where you can track God’s responses to your prayers?
D. Public Worship: What is your plan to develop your public worship? Are you regularly attending your local church?
II. Priority #2: A Personal Progressive Commitment to Loving Yourself
What are your goals in each of the following areas:
A. Physically: Fitness, health & nutrition, regular doctor’s visits.
B. Mentally: How are you developing your mind? What books are you reading?
C. Socially: Are you tending to your relationships? Are there relationships that are in need of your focused time & attention? Or in need of healing or forgiveness? (Also see Priority #3 below).
D. Emotionally: What are you challenged by? Where are you stuck in your life – with hurts, regrets, insecurities, etc? What is your plan to move forward with the help of the Holy Spirit?
III. Priority #3: A Personal Progressive Commitment to Other Followers of Jesus
How will you build up the relationships / people in your life?
A. If you are married, your spouse
B. If you are a father or mother, your children
C. If you are a grandparent, your grandchildren
D. Your close friends who are followers of Jesus
E. Is there a person in your life you should consider discipling?
IV. Priority #4: A Personal Progressive Commitment to the Work of Christ in Daily Life
A. How can you influence those around you who do not know or follow Jesus?
B. How can you care for those around you who are hurting?
C. What are your professional / work goals?
If you have questions or would like to talk through your goals, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 214-521-0928.
IF YOU AIM AT NOTHING, YOU WILL HIT IT EVERY TIME!
THIS is the year that God wants to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20-21). Let Him! Want some help? Need a “roadmap”? Check out THE FOUR PRIORITIES – because “life is too short to get it wrong.” And we’d love to help you get it right!
Happy New Year!
John and Punky