I’m not a New Year’s Resolution sort of gal.
I respect those who dig this sort of thing, but I’ve discovered it’s not the best weight loss plan for me. And, according to an article in Forbes Magazine, only 8% succeed with any kind of resolution at all. So, apparently, I’m in good company.
Sure, I can romanticize the idea of declaring something that will be positively changed. But, I’ve never been the “blab it and grab it” type. I’m a middle-aged woman, remember? New Year’s Resolutions fall into the same camp as bedtime stories…sweet but forgettable.
We Do Something Different
Still, the desire to do better and be better has its selling points. I try to be a good steward of time. It’s a gift from God that I try not to take likely. I want to make the most of it and goals are helpful – resolutions on the other hand are not, at least not for me. The Bible reminds us to be forward-thinking people. We’re to let go of the past year and commit to knowing that no matter what God is in control. He is who we need to trust.
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
In order to respect this forward living, Paul and I take our time very seriously. That’s why we do something every year to make the most of our time.
What Paul and I do is a little different.
We have an annual “Goal Summit”.
We make a date each January and head to a coffee shop for our own private meeting of the minds. He gets his Earl Grey and I sit with my Cafe Miso in a quiet corner spot. We pray together–a must when you’re putting your hand to a year of goals and dreams…and then I pull out a yellow legal pad while he taps on his Evernote app.
I line my legal pad and create three columns : Finances – Health – Faith
- Finances. Finances are a big part of our time. We talk about how we plan to pay off debt, purchase a new vehicle/sell an old one, house projects we want to complete and which ones are doable this year. We talk about kids and upcoming big expenses which could be anything from braces, the sports they want to play (cha-ching$$$) or even an upcoming wedding like we have coming up this year. I write down goals/ideas in the column for the year where our finances are concerned.
- Health. Then we do the same with our Health column. We get as real as we can with each other–Will we join a gym? Will we actually go more than four times? How are we doing in the diet department, can we commit to more veggies, less sugar. We put on the legal pad a date to call doctors for check-ups, that sort of thing.
- Faith. Our Faith column is reserved for our spiritual health. We talk about Bible studies we plan to do with our kids, or lead in our home. How are we doing when it comes to tithing, or serving in ministry? It’s the spot we write down the Bible studies, or books we want to read together. This is also where we put down a goal for our marriage. Maybe it’s reading through the Bible, or a marriage conference we want to attend this year.
For us, it’s a good time to dream and plan and maybe even make a few goals. The mood is relaxed and the conversation is encouraging. Writing goals for the year down (or in your Evernote) puts a stake in the ground. It replaces good intentions with accountability. When we don’t meet and talk about goals then we’re just stuck with good intentions.
I love that quote by Jon Acuff. Good intentions are just ambitious liars. We need accountability. This is where your other-half comes in.
When it comes to making goals, we need to begin with our best friend. If Paul isn’t onboard then problems loom like dark clouds on the horizon. If I decide that this year is the year to make a career change or become a vegan while Paul decides to stay a red-blooded carnivore, my year looks a little rough.
But, when we make time each year to write out our goals together, we end up on the same page (pun intended). So, look for another job or how to navigate dinnertime with a vegan during the week with meat dishes on the weekends becomes doable. Plus, we’ve avoided a HUGE fight…ahem…debate.
Communication works wonders when you’re not irritated already. – Joanne Kraft
Heed this one warning: Don’t make this an iron-clad document that you get notarized and hold over your husband’s head. Instead, pray about everything. Surrender your goals on occasion. Sacrifice and humility are two traits of Jesus we all could apply a lot more to our lives.
This list of goals is a guide not a covenant.
Paul and I have a date for our own Goal Summit after the kids are off break and back in school. You can find us in a corner of a favorite coffee shop in downtown Franklin next week. Let me know if you decide to have your very own Goal Summit this year. We’ll keep a seat warm for you.