We are at the beginning of a brand new year and everyone is aflutter with planning for the year, setting goals and starting new habits. It's kind of an exciting time, where anything feels possible, am I right? There is just nothing better than a clean slate to get us feeling refreshed and motivated.
At the beginning of this month I joined a little 5 day challenge called Bringing Basics Back by Shanna Skidmore, and one of the challenge focuses was all about asking yourself, "What do I really want?" To be honest, my list is long.....REALLY long! I have four guys in the house who need my attention, big goals for all of my businesses, trips I want to take, a desire to cultivate a happy home, and so much more. I'm convinced that list will just continue to keep growing as long as I'm alive!
But, for me, I've realized that all my dreams, desires and goals boil down to one primary thing: a desire to be in the center of God's will! Y'all know how important faith is to me and I truly believe that when it's time to sit down and figure out what we want to do, then map out our goals and actions plans for achieving them, we have to make sure we're leaving space for God's leading.
Why do I believe this? Because when I invite God into my goal-setting process, and acknowledge the fact that He is the one who gave me the desires I have, I can peacefully trust that I will automatically be in the center of His will as I pursue my goals. I know that He will be there, walking every step of the way with me, paving the way before me - because it's His will!
Now, this doesn't mean that life suddenly gets easier and that the things you want will suddenly just be handed to you. God expects us to act. He expects us to do the work sometimes - because through our hard work and obedient, faith-filled action is where character and stamina and resilience is developed.
Here are a few practical ways you can make sure you're keeping God's will at the center of your goals and plans for this year:
Duh! This is a no-brainer. Prayer is an amazing direct line of communication that we have with big Papa, and He loves to hear from us. Make sure to start each goal planning session with a few minutes of prayer, inviting God in to guide your thoughts and decisions, and help you discern His will for your year and your steps.
2. Get in the Word
I just LOVE God's Word. Anytime I'm feeling confused or flustered or down in the dump, I go there and am immediately refreshed. His Word is alive, y'all! There is SO much wisdom to be gained from becoming a student of His Word, and so much of it will speak directly to the circumstances you face, which will help you know the best way to move forward in setting goals and making plans.
3. Seek out wise Christian counsel
Accountability is an extremely powerful thing when it comes to keeping ourselves in alignment and actually accomplishing our goals. But, it's important to make sure you have the right kind of accountability. When you're setting your goals, seek out your spouse or a friend or someone else who is mature spiritually and will give you good, wise counsel and a Christ-centered perspective on your goals and plans. Then invite them to check in with you to make sure you're staying on track and keeping up your spiritual practices as you work through accomplishing your goals this year.
Also, one more thing: don't get discouraged or think you're behind if you haven't yet figured out what your goals need to look like for this year! There is no rush. Give yourself grace, time, and space to really press in and seek God and his will. You will be so grateful that you did, and if I've learned anything in my time on earth it's that you don't want to mess around with forcing God's timetable!
Personally, I am not totally sure what exactly living in the center of God's will is going to look like for me and my family and my businesses this year....but y'all, there is NOTHING that I want more! So, here's to 2017 and striving for the "center"....together!