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We’re three weeks into the new year. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Did you set new goals for 2020? Are you still striving toward making progress on them?

Be honest. Some of you made promises but have already given up. And some of you never made any to begin with. More than one friend has told me I know I’m not going to do it anyway, so why make them?

I’m a big believer in goals. If I don’t have something to aim for then I get lazy. I meander. I wander through life rather than seeking out the next great thing God has for me. But when I ponder last year and what I’d like to achieve this year, I get excited about the possibilities. Even when last year had bumps and twists that were not fun to walk through.

The problem we face with New Year’s Resolutions

What goals should I set?I suspect many of you run into the same problem I do: What goals should I set?

  • What if I set my sights too high? Or too low?
  • What if I set one goal and something that seems better comes along? Did I set the wrong goal? Do I change my goal?
  • What if I set too many goals? Or too few?
  • What if I fail? What if I can’t even stick with it for one week?

I get it. But can I say something and you hear me with all the love and grace you can imagine?

Here it is. Breathe. Don’t get lost in paralysis of analysis. Breathe. Just breathe.

Where to start

To set good New Year’s resolutions that you will actually make progress on, you need to take some time to think. You need to consider where you are and where you’d like to be—not beat yourself up for where you find yourself. That’s not helpful.

Instead, be honest about where you are so you can embrace a plan to move forward.

Dream a little.

If nothing stood in your way, if the year went well and obstacles faded, where would you like to be next January?

  • Spiritually — because how well you take care of yourself now often determines how well you can take care of others later
  • Physically — because how well you take care of yourself now often determines how well you can take care of others later
  • Financially — do I need to say it again? Because how well you take care of yourself now . . . You get the idea.

Maybe you want to learn a new skill or change your career. Or you want to prioritize time with friends or enjoy a night to do whatever energizes you once a month.

Whatever it is, write it down. New Year’s resolutions can touch any area of your life, so consider one goal for each part: spiritual, physical, financial, intellectual. Also, don’t forget your career, family, and social relationships.

Make a plan.

Think about what you have to do to get from where you are now to where you want to be by December 31st.

Consider your year and what you know is coming.Consider your year and what you know is coming. Events like a child’s upcoming marriage, a health diagnosis, or a potential move could influence your targets. Some goals may need to be sized down or postponed in order to keep your health and sanity.

What is one or, at the most, two goals for each of the seven categories above. Keep in mind that your total list for the year should be ten or less. You don’t have to change your entire world this year. Save something for next year!

Consider your ambition.

Your goals should both scare you a little and excite you a lot. But your outlook on life might mean you need to adjust your objectives.

If you tend to be a positive person, you probably aimed a little (or a lot) too high. You might want to back it down a little.

If you tend to be a negative person, you probably aimed a little (or a lot) too low. You might want to bump it up a little.

Remember: These are your New Year’s Resolutions.

What if something else comes along that seems better than what you were aiming at?

Pray through your options, and adapt as needed. It’s okay! These are your goals, which means you can change them whenever you want.

What if you set too many goals? Or too few? Or they are too high? Or too low?

Pray through your options, and adapt as needed. It’s okay! These are your goals, which means you can change them whenever you want.

Setting goals doesn’t have to be so big a deal that you are scared to pick some. You also don’t have to write them in blood or carry immense feelings of guilt or shame.

Just move forward. Aim at something you think God wants you to achieve and make progress.

You can do it!

Read More

If you want to get a better handle on your finances this year, consider my short book from the Beyond Warrior’s Bride series. It was written from a military point of view, but the principles within it are suitable for everyone! And, it’s only $0.99!

FinancesFinances: A Military Spouse’s Biblical Guide to Personal Finance

Money. It’s one of the biggest stressors in marriages.

Many live paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling to both cover all the bills and save for retirement. Often husband and wife disagree over petty expenses, forgetting that they are on the same team.

But money doesn’t have to be a constant battle.

Not only does the Bible give a lot of guidance, but God also provided examples of people getting it right. With a shift in focus and a little disciplined effort, you can gain control over your finances instead of letting your finances control you.

Finances: A Military Spouse’s Biblical Guide to Personal Finance is book four in the Beyond Warrior’s Bride series.

If you want even more information, check out Dave Ramsey and his team! They have resources for teaching kids about money, going to college debt-free, how to plan for retirement, and more! Click here for more information.

 

THE FINE PRINT: The federal government is concerned about businesses getting money from you without you knowing it. So, the Federal Trade Commission dictates that I must tell you when you are giving me any money. Additionally, my agreement with Amazon states that I must specifically tell you, “As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

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