The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.- Proverbs 21:5
Dear Sister in Christ:
How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along so far? It is said that only about eight percent of New Year’s resolutions succeed, and most get ditched after a few weeks.
Why do you think that is? Well, in this first post I want to share my perspective on why resolutions often fail, and what you can do to avoid becoming a part of the depressing statistics.
I think most people fail at their resolutions because they fail at making them true goals. These resolutions hover around in their heads for a while but they don’t generally approach them with much conviction. I believe God wants us single Christian women to live abundant lives, and to do that, my own experience has taught me that it is important to design the life you want, in keeping with God’s purpose for you, and work to implement the design. While everything won’t go according to plan, most things will. So, how can you go about achieving your resolutions? Below are three methods that have worked for me in goal setting, and that I really want to share with you.
Write it down
This is something my Mom taught me, and I saw how her own insistence on writing down her goals made it easier to accomplish them. When you write down those goals, you are on your way to making them into more tangible objectives and preventing them getting lost in the labyrinth of other things occupying your thoughts. Some people create a vision board; others make lists or tables. The important thing is to get the idea out of your head and recorded somewhere.
Bite off your goals into small manageable pieces
I think one of the best ways to not accomplish a goal is to expect to accomplish it overnight or all in one go. That is not going to happen. Break down your goals into small steps, steps that you can take daily, weekly or monthly, that build towards your objective. In my case, travelling is my favourite hobby, but it is also an expensive hobby. So first, I decide how much a trip is likely to cost me: airfare, accommodation, activities, food and souvenirs, etc. Next, I decide when I want to take the trip and then divide the total projected cost by the number of months remaining between the time the goal is set and the time it should be accomplished. In other words, I break down the cost into more doable bits, and I chip away at that goal one month at a time.
Make SMART goals
By now, you are perhaps familiar with the idea of S.M.A.R.T goals. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. You see, achieving your goals become easier if they make sense and are created in a framework to allow for your success. I won’t discuss all five principles, you can find ample information on them online, but I feel like emphasizing how important it is that your goals are relevant to you. They should reflect what you really want for yourself deep down, and not what you think you’re supposed to want, not what your parents want. This might sound selfish but it’s quite the opposite, because by living someone else’s dream you are very likely missing out on your God-given purpose. Besides, it’s hard to accomplish a goal unless it has meaning to you; otherwise it will crush your soul and sap your joy.
Having said all that, it is important that your goals are in keeping with God’s will. By God’s will, I don’t mean necessarily waiting for God to give the green light on every choice you make. I used to spend so much time waiting agitated for some serendipitous happening or to hear a loud voice tell me exactly what decision I was supposed to make in a given situation. Then I realised that God rarely works that way. He is not some magician waiting to convince us by signs and wonders. For the most part, the answers are already written in His Word. So what do I mean by “in keeping with God’s will”? I mean, ensuring that whatever goals you have in mind are in keeping with godly principles. So don’t sit around waiting for Him to tell you whether to buy a blue Honda CRV or a white Toyota Corolla. Instead, make sure your choice is not based on vanity. Besides, I think sometimes when we say we are waiting for a sign from God, what we are doing is really procrastinating because we are afraid to take risks.
Well, this is my formula, what’s yours?
Daughter of a King