I also write for Hatfield Christian Church's Newsgirl blog, you can read No goals in 2018 there.
As I sit down and allow myself to dream for the year ahead I am overwhelmed by the amount of things I want to do.
Things I want to achieve,
Places I want to go,
New things I want to start,
Relationships to maintain,
And also to grow spiritually.
I sat frozen, not sure where to even start. So, instead of setting goals for 2018 I got up and left my empty notebook on the table.
A blank page.
A blank canvas.
A new year.
So much potential awaits in these vast empty spaces. But along with that comes a sense of dread, what should I fill this space with? And the longer you stare at the empty space the more pressure increases to fill the space. Filling the space with anything is better than nothing, right?
The majority of people would agree. Therefore so many people try fill their year with goals. Yet, 80% of those people have already abandoned their goals by now (February - I googled it). So if this is the case why do people even bother setting goals just to fail two months into the new year?
I don't know about you, but failure sucks. I hate failing. I find the moment I fail, even once, I am immediately demotivated to continue with whatever I failed at. And even if I don't give up immediately failure allows doubt to creep in and slowly but surely the doubt grows until I have completely given up on the original task.
Therefore, this radical idea of not having any goals seemed very appealing to me. Having no goals meant no chance of failure. But as good as it sounded I was having trouble committing to this no goal idea. Because you see I am a list lover, totally task oriented. Being without goals makes me feel like an escaped helium balloon heading for the vast emptiness of space. Nothing keeping me grounded, no sense of progression, no gravity, nothing to provide focus or direction.
My mind continued debating with itself like this for most of January. Finally this thought, based in scripture, managed to help bring me some clarity.
*Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given unto you*
I knew I didn't want to set myself up for failure, because that doesn’t aline with what God did by sending His Son to redeem us. I also didn't want to constrain God through my preconceived ideas of what this year had in store for me. Rather than filling every moment of my year with plans and goals I wanted to create space for God to move. Instead I want Him to move in my life, bringing transformation. As well as move through my life, bring His love and hope to those around me.
I have also recently come to the realization that being effective in Gods kingdom means firstly taking care of yourself. It's not selfish. God refers to our bodies as temples, it is time we treat them that way.
This brings me to my non-goals for 2018. The overarching theme for 2018 will be personal wellness.
That's super broad, I know. So I broke it down into some key focus areas, keeping it biblical. My three focus areas are: body, soul and mind.
My body looks at my physical well being. Am I getting enough sleep? Am I eating well and exercising regularly? Although my body is only temporary I need to take care of it in order to be the most effective I can be in God’s kingdom purpose for my life.
Just like we train our body to keep it in shape, so to the mind needs to be exercised to keep it sharp and current. We live and work in the world and therefore need to engage with it and we can't afford to be naïve. God has placed us all in our work environment for a purpose. And while I am in this industry I am determined to keep with it’s trends so I can be good at what I do. These days I find that we communicate God’s love and character more effectively in the workplace through our actions. Therefore, I strive for excellence in my work.
Lastly, the soul, something us as Christians spend the majority of our time focusing on. And it is important, we need to be constantly growing in the fruits of the spirit. Striving to align our lives to be more Christ like. But I think it’s important to maintain a balance and not over spiritualize our lives. If we look at Jesus's life we see that He traveled, rested and often ate with His disciples. So likewise we should not neglect the other aspects of our life in order to grow spiritually.
I would love to hear from you, have you set some goals for 2018? Have you given up on your goals already? Or have you also decided that having goals are overrated?
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