by Kristin Bonham
Goals. Resolutions. Opportunities. Experiences.
Some people are goal-setting folks while others are not. My husband, Chris, enters a new year thinking about what he wants to accomplish. He always has a list of things he is going to do and gets excited thinking about them, planning how he will accomplish them, setting goals for meeting the goals, and sharing them with the family. On January 1st… He’s off!
Me… I’m more of a “let’s see what this year will bring” girl. I have anticipation about the season I’m entering and like to look for the themes happening in my life. I am not completely without plans and dreams but I definitely approach things differently than my husband.
I used to feel pressure to make a list of resolutions and promises for the year but now the pressure is off. While I do not make a list of goals, I do set aside time to ask God for His direction and plans. Sometimes I start the year with a fast. Sometimes I start by reading a certain book in the Bible. One year, I went on a prayer retreat starting New Years Eve. Even though my method never looks the same, God always gives me fresh eyes to see where He wants me to go or what I need to pay more attention to.
As I look back over the past five years, I see areas of growth I never expected. Each year had highs and lows but as I have been open to God in the midst of those experiences, I have changed. Some highs: I started running triathlons, went on my first mission trip, read a book a month several years ago and one year, only read my bible. Some lows: the pain of loss, unexpected stress, and watching those I love go through trials. The point is that through all those things, God changed me.
So as you prepare for this New Year, take time to identify the themes of last year as you ask God to lead you in 2012. If you are a goal-setter, keep in mind that it’s not about the goals as much as the journey and growth. If you’re like me and focus more on the journey, make sure you pay attention to opportunities where God is challenging and stretching you. No matter what your personality, remember that when you lean into God and yield to His plans, He can make more progress, help you see the needs around you, use it all to bring fame to His name and change you along the way. Approach the New Year with expectancy and see what God does!