Happy New Year! (I thought I posted this blog last month. Guess I didn’t! Better late than never?)
If you’re anything like me, goal-setting is a mixed bag. There are a lot of good goal-setting frameworks out there, but I risk failing to achieve what I set out to do.
This year I did a new thing for goal-setting. I wrote down my top 25 goals and circled my top 5, and decided to focus 100% of my attention on the top 5 goals and ignore the rest until I’ve successfully completed one off the list. For me, it’s more about habits to establish than goals to meet, for the most part, but doing it this way really worked! It was hard for me at first to come up with 25 goals, but once I got going, the ideas just flowed. This is Warren Buffet’s 5/25 Rule, according to a great podcast by Mary Valloni, which you can find here.
I’m pretty excited about these New Year’s resolutions, because I’ve actually been keeping them since November!
Now, without any further ado, here are some of my goals for the coming year:
#1. Be spiritually fit.
Over the past years, I said ‘yes’ to more travel and teaching. Some of these events changed my life, and I’m glad I did it. But there was a cost: I read fewer books, journalled less, and had less time for prayer, meditation, and reflection.
That’s going to change in 2019. It’s actually already started to change! During Advent, I focused on spending time daily really meditating on Scripture and having heart to heart conversations with Jesus. By doing this, my eyes will be focused on God and his solutions, not the obstacles I see around me. That will give me the courage to follow as He keeps leading me out of my comfort zone into things that scare me a little!
I have a new journal that makes it easier for me to reflect on my day and how God was present, and an accountability partner to check in with about this daily review. This will help me notice more and more how God is working in my life every day. That will lead to more gratitude, and less worry.
On January 6th I’m starting an intense small group with a group of women who are quickly becoming close friends and encouragers. When I travel, I’ll Skype in to the small group, and share my answers to our homework. This small group will be digging into really giving God control over my life, things I need to forgive and ask forgiveness for, and asking God to take away my character defects. I’ll be developing habits that will help me be even more resilient when things get tough.
Bottom line, spiritually fit for me means consistently spending time being honest with God, noticing Him constantly during the day, having His word soaking into my heart, being quick to forgive and ask forgiveness, and trusting Him in new areas of my life.
#2. Be physically fit.
Why? Ministry is very demanding on every front: spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. But there is more to my life than ministry, just like there is more to your life than your job.
As a result, I just don’t have a lot left in the tank at the end of the day. Frankly, I need to be better at managing my energy. So in 2019, I am giving a high priority to exercise and healthy eating.
That means I wear my Fitbit every day and get at least 250 steps every hour. Since a lot of my work is in front of my computer, this gets me moving throughout the day. I’m also dancing every day, with free videos on YouTube that I really enjoy. They boost my mood as well as get my blood pumping. These workouts don’t require a gym membership or expensive equipment. And I can do them almost anywhere — which is especially great because of the heavy travel I’m sometimes asked to do.
When it comes to healthy eating, I’m drinking 128 oz of water every day, eating a meal or a snack every 2 ½ hours (I set the timer on my phone), tracking my food in the Fitbit app, and, drum roll please, I am only drinking Dr Pepper on Sundays! I gave up Dr Pepper for Advent as a spiritual exercise, and I am keeping it up. I feel a lot better, having less energy highs and lows. This is a real shocker for me!
#3. Be fully funded.
2018 was a wonderful year where God really moved, and I got a lot closer to being fully funded! Then, at the end of the year, my heart broke. A training school wanted me to come and teach, but their enrollment dropped, and they couldn’t afford to cover my expenses. I never want that to happen again-to have to say no to training wonderful new missionaries because of a lack of funds.
When I’m fully funded, I’ll have money set aside so that I can say yes to every teaching opportunity that God leads me to. I’ll be able to buy all of the materials and equipment that I need to reach more people and train more trainers. All of my energy will be focused on ministry, without worrying about funding.
So, those are some of my goals for the upcoming year. I hope the technique I shared earlier will help you to have a great 2019!
What are your goals for 2019?