Friends, I am really excited for this year. You are too? Yeah? No? I’m excited for reasons you might not expect.
Last year, I tried serious goal setting for the first time. I was ready to make things happen in my life that I had pushed to the wayside for too long. And I totally. bombed.
To be fair, I got pregnant early in the year. So giving up was, frankly, easy. My ultimate goal for 2017? Give birth and sleep when possible. Good news: smashed it. All the other goals I had set didn’t matter, and I was happy with that.
I’m excited for this year because for the first time in a long time, I really feel happy with the idea of simply taking first steps. Not achieving perfection or better-anything. Just small steps to a life better lived with eyes on the Kingdom.
Changes don’t matter if God isn’t getting glory, know what I’m saying?
Here are the phrases I’m using to take small steps, keep my focus, and remind me of why we change in the first place:
1. “This is God’s kindness to me.”
A slow start to 2018? That’s God’s kindness to me. A two-hour-delay on my son’s first day back at school after two weeks off? (Even though I could not WAIT for him to get on that bus.) God’s kindness. A baby who wants to be in my arms while she naps as I stare at the dirty dishes? His kindness.
There’s a whole lot of times in my life when I am ticked about something. Or things don’t go as planned. Or I’m angry because of whatever.
God is a kind God, even when things seem to be against me. So this, viewing the moment as His kindness to me rather than a hindrance to my plan, gives me a chance to align my mind with His vision.
2. “Do you hear yourself?”
My four-year-old often gets dramatic when things are difficult. He melts into tears and whining, and I ask him, “Do you hear yourself?” because he doesn’t always understand that his behavior is too much for the situation.
He is too much like me.
Sometimes I just have to step back. Hear my own thoughts and self-doubt, and ask if it’s really what I want to hear. Or if it’s even true.
I tend to bring myself and all my frustrations, fears, and doubts with me to the table. That’s not bad. What’s bad is letting them do all the talking.
So I have to hear myself, quit the self-talk that isn’t from God, and let what is true be true.
Having goals is fun and challenging, but they don’t make a hair of difference if God isn’t getting glory. And that feels like the ultimate goal for this year: God just getting the best-I-can-offer glory. In the small steps, in the big leaps, in a life with eyes fixed on the prize.
What are you saying to yourself this year? What keeps you moving in the right direction?