Every January, so many of us set lofty goals for the year ahead on everything from healthier living to wiser spending, from character changes to personal makeovers — but by the time we get to February or March, we slip back into old habits and our new year goals are all but forgotten. Does this sound familiar? Well, here are a few steps from a verse from my favorite book: the Bible. The verse is 1 Peter 1:13, and if applied as follows, it will help you set your 2020 goals and stick to them.
So roll up your sleeves . . .1 Pet 1:13 (MSG)
When you “roll up your sleeves,” so to speak, you do so because you know that there is a big task ahead of you; you’re getting ready to “dig deep” and “get into the weeds.” Your perspective towards setting our 2020 goals should be the same. Therefore, be prayerful about the goals you set and be ready to “roll up your sleeves” and do the work it will take to achieve them.
Put your mind in gear . . .1 Pet 1:13 (MSG)
Attaining your goals will require you to develop a thoughtful plan and commit to following through on that plan. For a long time, one of my goals was to eat healthier, but I couldn’t seem to stay away from fast food. After all, my days get really busy and fast food is quick, easy, and cheap. My habits didn’t change until I assessed my situation, considered my alternatives, and put my mind in gear.
I developed a plan that worked with my lifestyle so that it wouldn’t create a lot of work or extra willpower on my part. I now do things like buy healthy snacks (nuts, fruit, granola bars) over the weekend that I pack for my work week. I drink fresh-pressed juices or water instead of soft drinks. I also reworked my budget because eating healthier can often cost more than fast food.
I shared my plan with you as an example and to encourage you to approach your planning thoughtfully. Remember: set yourself up to win, get your mind in gear.
Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves . . .1 Pet 1:13 (MSG)
It’s easy to lose sight of your goals and “lazily slip back into old grooves” if you’re not held accountable. One good way to not “slip back” is to recruit an accountability and prayer partner who is invested in your well-being. Share your goals with your partner, ask her to pray for your goals regularly, and commit to meeting with her quarterly to review your goals. At each quarterly review, honestly assess how you’re doing. What worked? Where did you fall short? Do you need to reassess your priorities? An accountability partner will encourage you to keep your eye on the prize.
Be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming . . .1 Pet 1:13 (MSG)
Approach your plan with a hopeful expectation that God will bless your goals and provide you with the resources that you need to be successful. Simply put, when you commit to the LORD whatever you do, your plans succeed (Proverbs 16:3). Remember, when you step out in faith, God will build a path where you walk.
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