Goals. It’s January, so naturally the hot topic is what are we going to strive for this year. I was lamenting a little bit to Bradley the other night that it’s already the middle of January and we’ve yet to talk about 2016. He said we should just skip this year and start planning 2017.
While we might not get a chance to sit down with a calendar until sometime in February, I still want to begin the year by at least settling into some good rhythms, and putting together a few goals to get me started. I like the idea of rhythms because it carries with it what I like to call fluid stability. Maybe that seems paradoxical, but I’ve found that if I get too stuck in something, when change occurs in our family it’s difficult for me to adjust. If I have good rhythms in place (stability), but hold them loosely (fluid), I can better adapt to the curve balls that will inevitably come.
Goals fit into my rhythms, sometimes enabling me to keep the beat going, and other times allowing for me to slow down the tempo or speed it up, depending on what’s needed for me and my family. Setting attainable goals gives me a sense of purpose, proactively approaching my days, weeks, and months, rather than reacting to the situations that arise. Both are necessary because I can’t predict what will happen, but I know that I function better when I start off approaching different areas of my life this way.
So, what are my 2016 goals?
I have a running list, mostly in my head right now, of different areas that I want to set goals in. Family, Friendships, Spiritual Growth, Health/Fitness, Writing, Marital, Parenting, Cooking–and there are probably more. But instead of writing them all out here, I’m going to try to share my goals on this space at the end of each month, listing out what I set out to do, what actually happened, and why or why not.
I’ve never tried this before, but I’m hopeful it will be a helpful habit.
I struggle with goal setting because I often battle with feelings of shame when I don’t attain my goals. Maybe I never started or life circumstances kept me from reaching them. Either way, I often get to the end of a year, or let’s be honest the end of the day, and feel shame over what didn’t get done or who I didn’t become.
I’m not going to do that to myself this year. Yes, I have goals, and I’m going to push toward them. But I’m not going to beat myself up, live in guilt if things don’t get accomplished, or walk around in shame come December of this year.
I’m going to pursue my goals. But I’m going to hold them loosely, as I should all things, realizing that any gain from goals reached this year, is really loss.
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…
All gain is loss in comparison to knowing Christ.
Even good goals.
My biggest goal this year is to know Christ better. I’m not sure what that will look like, and it might look like real loss and suffering.
But my prayer is that in all of these things I will truly believe that knowing Jesus is better.