I love goals…resolutions, not so much. Goals are different from New Year’s Resolutions because a Goal is a DREAM with a deadline. Resolutions, at least for me, are a set up for failure: Me trying to do something in my own strength. A prayerful goal allows the “God factor” to move in and bring Him GLORY as it comes to pass.
Actually, this week is my favorite week of the year. I’m able to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day purging, cleaning, sorting, reading, reflecting, and planning for the next year. My thoughts and dreams are as bountiful as the garbage dumpsters outside as we toss out the old stuff and write out the new fresh thoughts and goals. Planning brings me a sense of control that I notice is missing a TON when I don’t plan. Over the years, I’ve grown to LOVE setting new goals.
A few years back, my pastor encouraged me to set goals not just in the normal categories of:
- Spiritual – How will I be intentional this year with my spiritual growth? Bible memory, prayer and fasting goals, Through the Bible in 90 days or in one year?
- Financial – What goals will I set towards debt freedom, savings goals, and earnings goals? How can I better track spending this year? Maybe start an envelope system?
- Academic – What are goals for our family’s homeschooling this year? What can I do to grow academically? What books do I want to read? How often will I frequent the library?
- Professional – How do I want to improve in my professional life? Are there any seminars I want to attend this year? Is there a computer program I need to become proficient with?
- Physical – Is this a weight loss year? Eating right? More fresh veggies in my diet? Exercising regularly?
Along with these areas to set Goals in, my pastor encouraged me to set a goal for SERVICE. How can I be intentional THIS YEAR about SERVING OTHERS? The challenge was to take the focus off of MYSELF, and put it onto others.
Here are a few goals I came up with: What ideas do you have to share?
- Invite more friends over, show hospitality at least once per month.
- Accept more invitations to friend’s homes
- With my kids, make large Ziploc bags with clean socks, fresh t-shirts and underwear, water bottles, crackers, toothpaste, toothbrush, and travel shampoos and conditioners, and bring to a local homeless shelter.
- Volunteer at a food bank, and start a neighborhood drive to collect more items for restocking their shelves.
- Find places for kids to volunteer this summer
- Serve my family a healthy dinner at least 3 nights a week.
- Serve my husband a hearty breakfast at least twice a week.
- Serve my church family by coming early and staying late for set up. Offer to help in the nursery more, or send a meal to every new mom this year.
- Sing with the family in a nursing home.
- Help a young mom organize her kitchen better.
- Offer to spend an afternoon with a young mom helping her get caught up on laundry. Bring the older kids.
- Serve my neighbors by organizing an emergency planning meeting for the street for when the power goes out. Find out who has a generator, a grill, who can cook if there is an extended power outage. What resources do we all have that we can share?
- Serve my community by volunteering during local elections.
- Serve my extended family by calling frequently and checking in on their needs.
- Mail three to five thank you cards per week.
- Serve my kids by meeting with them one on one for a coaching session. Help them plan out their year.
- Serve the Lord by staying available and open to opportunities that He provides. Keep my calendar open so God can fill it with opportunities to serve others.
There are many opportunities to serve all around you. We encourage you to walk outside of your comfort zone and check out these great places for service this year. It might even be in your own home, or right next door. You don’t have to go to a third world country to serve another. There are people who need you all around.
Take some time today to set new goals for service this in 2013.
God bless, and have a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!