“What are your goals for 2014?”
I bet you haven’t gotten this question once today, right? HA!
Good ol’ New Year’s Resolutions.
For some reason, I have given this year’s goals way more thought, maybe cause I knew I was going to publicize them so the accountability was a little higher?
I don’t know.
But really, as I started thinking about it, why do we make goals?
What do the goals we make tell us and others about who we are?
What does it mean when we don’t meet the goals we make?
What is the motivation behind the goals we set for ourselves?
All these questions!
Reflecting on past New Year’s Resolutions and goals I have made for myself in general, there is a common theme behind them all.
Goals that were made in order to compete or fit in with the world or people around me or just for selfish reasons were never ever ever as much fun as those that were made with the intent to serve others in response to my love for Jesus!
Let’s go through a few examples…
If your goal is to run a half marathon because your friend just recently ran one and you want to be able to say you ran one too, well when you run across that finish line, the feelings of victory you will feel will be extremely temporary.
If your goal is to restock your closet with the newest clothes–you may accomplish it and you may look good doing so but in the end- will that goal make you a better version of you on the INSIDE?
If your goal is to become rich, just rich–well, that is going to make for one hollow life and no one to share it with.
If your goal is always about you, well, those are seriously going to get boring after a while.
I guess what I am saying is, I want ALL of us to really make some goals for ourselves this year that make us better versions of ourselves by adding a little sparkle and light to the world around us.
Answer this question: Do you think God would want the target of our goals to be our own personal comfort and instant happiness?
If you answered yes, then call me.
If you answered no, then DING DING DING!
Lending a helping hand, helping those around you, exerting yourself in uncomfortable situations for the benefit of others–these are things you might not have an instant feeling of “I’m so happy I’m on cloud 9”, but I would bet a million dollars that after doing so, your heart would experience JOY.
I challenge you this year to make at least ONE goal that aims to serve those around you, in whatever capacity you feel as though you should.
Maybe it is cooking!
If you’re an awesome cook, or you want to learn how to be one, and you use that learned skill or gift to bring meals to neighbors or those in need around you, how COOL would that be?
Maybe it is a half-marathon!
If you have struggled in your life to really stick to physical strength goals and you want a healthier you in 2014, then start to runnin’! Maybe you can ask your friend or your mom or your roommate who struggles with the same thing to be your exercise partner. Hellurrrrr, that’s some good fellowship time right there. Plus, y’all are gonna need to pray for eachother, half-marathons aren’t for wimps dude.
Maybe it is writing more!
People need to be encouraged!!!!! If you enjoy writing or feel as though God’s gifted you in that way, send encouraging notes to those around you. Seek out friends who are struggling and remind them how much they are loved.
Maybe it is learning wood-working/carving/designing furniture/anything like that!
When’s the last time you made a special project for someone you care about? Maybe you have a neighbor who can’t afford a new dresser and you know how to make one—guess what? Today’s the day to start working on that for him/her!
Maybe it is spending more time with kids!
If you love babysitting or just being around children, find a couple who needs a date night or a church that could use an extra hand. I promise, handling 2 15 month old children is a spiritual gift my friend!
Maybe it’s learning a foreign language, reading the Bible from start to finish, writing a book, keeping a cleaner house, getting more organized, etc, –WHATEVER it is, write it down.
Write it down somewhere where you will remember.
Next, tell someone who will remind you.
Good intentions go a very short way. Actions mean everything.
Setting goals to serve others is fantastic but achieving them is going to often be a little work!
Not being idealistic or living in some utopia where carebears jump around on rainbows or anything, but I truly believe if we all set a goal like this, we can make the world a better place and people will notice the change.
Maybe it won’t be instant, maybe you won’t always receive the response you were expecting when serving, maybe they won’t jump up and down when you offer your help, but TRUST ME, God sees it and YOU are better for it!
And deep down, no matter how someone reacts or how how their response challenges you, remember that no act of love, no matter how small, ever returns void.
It is a seed planted.
I PROMISE that if you set a goal to serve others in some type of capacity, you will be a better you in 2014.
You will love better.
You will learn more.
You will be more like Jesus and we all could put that on our list of goals for 2014, don’t you think?
My goals for this year are:
1.) Brush up on my Spanish speaking skills & help serve in the Hispanic community in some way.
2.) Read the Bible from start to finish & write about it when I feel like I should! I am hoping that I can really pour into people more as my heart is reminded of the ways Jesus served those around Him.
3.) Become stronger physically.
4.) Write at least ½ of my book.
3.) Become more confident in how Jesus made me so that my insecurity is not a distraction when serving others.
5.) Drink less Diet Dr. Pepper (ugh, already bitter about that. Not sure if that is serving others well…. )
6.) LOVE others well, especially when I don’t feel like it.
I have a feeling I will miserably fail at serving and loving others in some of these goals some days, especially on my selfish days, which I am sure I will have.
But I also know that God honors obedience, treasures patience and discipline and has rooted us in love.
So, friends, we are capable of aiming at what feels like small and impossible targets and shooting for stars that seem beyond our reach.
Set your goals, write them down, tell someone who will harass you about them and get to steppin’!
HAPPY 2014 friends!!!!!
Let’s add a little sparkle to the world around us, what do ya say?
Praising God for another day and the start to another year. It is gonna be a good one.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” -Proverbs 21:5
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4