After years of making resolutions that never stuck, I began creating SMART goals.
It’s a simple formula that helps you create goals and produce more success than a list of good intentions. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. I usually come up with a handful of goals in each of the categories below.
- Family and Home
- Financial and Career
- Physical and Health
- Social and Cultural
- Mental and Educational
Each January I look back over the list from the previous year, take note of what I accomplished (and what I didn’t), and create new ones for the upcoming year.
In December of 2012 I did something new. I let God choose One Word for me. The big idea behind this is having a single word guide me through the New Year.
While One Word is definitely better than a list of resolutions I have not given up my SMART goals. I found that the two go hand in hand. I believe embracing just One Word can fine-tune my thinking and create focus through throughout the year. It’s the very word that guides the choices you make, especially as it pertains to your goals.
In 2013 year my word was Surrender. I was enthusiastic after settling on my One Word. I even found creative ways to display it in my home.
Surrender turned out to be harder than I thought. While I got off to a good start it was easy to fall back into old habits and try to do things on my own. Some things I took to God in prayer and some things I kept to myself using human wisdom to solve my puzzles. I tried to change things only He could change. I tried to be a better person by “pulling up my boot straps” instead of leaning into His grace. I didn’t surrender all the areas in my life that God wanted control of.
So this year I wasn’t sure I wanted One Word. After all, I didn’t exactly hit a home run with the last word.
Last year my plate was full (and still is). I took on more projects than I could reasonably do. I did good things for the wrong reasons. I had more ideas than I could make manifest. I was disappointed. After trying to do things in my own strength I was exhausted.
I sat down to reluctantly ask God what my One Word should be.
As I wrote in my journal I questioned what I thought He placed in my heart. How am I supposed to write? Sew? Organize my home? Volunteer? Be a good wife and mother? 2013 represented so many things left undone…incomplete. I wanted help. I wanted someone to care.
That’s when His still small voice said “I care”
What I really needed was grace…I already had it. I just wasn’t resting in it.
That’s when the word came: FAITHFUL
I began to write this down as it came to my mind.
FAITHFUL in the little.
FAITHFUL in the mundane, amidst the chaos and the unknown.
FAITHFUL in the called, in the routine, in the needful.
FAITHFUL to trust and receive.
FAITHFUL to worship and surrender.
Stay little, stay FAITHFUL.
Know that I AM FAITHFUL
It was the answer to questions I had poured out in my journal and my marching orders for the New Year.
As I start this New Year I will let go of the regret of the past twelve months. I may create a few new goals for 2014 but for the most part I am going to go back and revisit my old ones, reassess and be FAITHFUL in those.
This is what God says…
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Isaiah 43:19 (MSG)
*Today I am linking up with Circles of Faith and sharing my One Word with others.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you set goal? What about One Word, do you have one? I would love to hear about them.