Remember New Year’s Eve? You had big dreams and long resolutions lists. You were excited, determined, ready to change things!
You were so cute! Well, time has passed, and we are in the middle of April. New Year’s resolutions have taken the plunge and are all but forgotten. We have only 265 days left of this year. Are you where you wanted to be? Do you need to recharge?
Here are five steps to a fresh start:
1) Start with prayer. Remember Revelations 1:8 when God said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” You can’t leave your house and instantly start a trip thirty minutes from home; it’s the same in the journeys of life. Remind yourself that God is the beginning and start there.
2) Post your goals visibly. Don’t set a goal and then hide it. Keep it where you can see it daily and be reminded of what you are working toward. A present visual reminder, will keep you moving forward. As Proverbs 4:25 states, “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” In addition, it adds an element of accountability when friends and family can see it and become aware of your goals.
3) Break your goal down into manageable steps. To say, “I want to organize my kitchen this year,” is not helpful. You will always put it off for two reasons. One because the task seems too big to start/finish in one day and two because you will justify that you have plenty of time left in the year to get to it later. To avoid these pitfalls, make a plan and set mini-goals or steps. Using the kitchen example, possible steps could be organizing the fridge, the freezer, the pantry, cookbooks, cookware, etc.
4) Set deadlines to your goals. Again, let’s focus on the kitchen example. If the original goal was to organize the entire kitchen this year (by December 31, 2015), then we need to assign deadlines to the mini-goals. I will organize the fridge this month by (set date), I will organize the pantry next month by (set date), etc. Upcoming deadlines keep you moving forward.
5) Just as God was the beginning, He is the end. I recommend finishing the same way you started—in prayer. Thank God for His help in accomplishing your goal(s). Don’t think you did all the work yourself, but be grateful for the time, energy, physical strength, mental willpower and strategic know how to get the job done. Recognize that through God’s blessing, you accomplished your goal, and give Him the glory!
What are your goals? How do you see yourself moving forward with them? What are any additional steps that you would recommend to the rest of us for pursuing our fresh starts?