new year setting goals 2015 graphic

2015. Here we are! The beginning of a new year makes me giddy. I’m a girl who loves a fresh start. A clean slate. A new season with new hopes and opportunities. This moment to pause and reflect on God’s faithfulness through the last year and to contemplate where He might move in my life during the next one is a mercy that makes my heart sing. Everything about a New Year reminds me how good God’s grace is.

Grace. Grace that redeemed my soul, changed my life, and makes me want to live for its Giver.

One year ago, I wrote about how I needed a break from goal-setting so my mind could marinate more deeply in the freeing REST the gospel gives. I paused the resolution-making I’ve loved for so many years so that grace could continue its work and penetrate my thought life more deeply. I knew my problem with performance-based Christianity was all too real and there were still legalism-wrapped parts of my heart that needed stripping, so for a time I paused the talk on doing more as I tried to settle more into understanding what’s been done. I wanted to still grow and accomplish things and walk in obedient action, but I knew the better pathway there would be for the gospel to grasp more heart more tightly, for the good news to sink in and change everything about the way I seek to obey. That was my 2014.

It’s funny to me how much changes in a year. I know the journey to dive further into the gospel of Jesus will be lifelong, but I stand amazed at how faithfully the Lord has filled my heart with the good news this past year. Grace isn’t my default way of thinking just yet, but I can feel myself singing its song much more often and I’m convinced it’s because God loves to answer the cry to know grace more. When that’s our heart’s desire, He just cannot stay silent.

I fail in this journey often and forget to preach the gospel to myself, yet he continues his grace-work in my soul. And I am grateful – so grateful, in fact, that I have this renewed desire this year to resume writing New Year’s goals and dreams. Why? Because as his grace works in me and makes me fall more in love with my Savior, my desire to share that with others grows stronger. I want to live purposefully for His kingdom and less for my own.

You know how some people choose one word around New Year’s as a mental focus point for the next year, a guide for the places in their life needing attention and transformation? There’s no way I could just choose one for 2015! I need growth in many areas of my life if I’m to be more faithful in the right kind of kingdom-building.

This year, I’m not afraid to write them all down.

I got myself a cute planner (thank you, Target) and I’m covering it with lists of things to do. Because of grace, I want to change, but grace is what also makes me ok when I don’t change as fast as I’d like, when I have days where I never think about my lists of goals and I don’t check anything off as “done.” I’m ok on those days. For instance, my life isn’t worse because this post is getting published nearly two weeks later than I planned it. 😉

Accomplishing the goals on my lists doesn’t define me.

Jesus’ blood is all that makes me who I am.

But if writing down the change I’d like to see,

if telling you about it here,

if revisiting my goals yields accountability and helps with discipline, then I’m going to try.

And that works for me this year. I’m good with aiming high and accepting grace when I fail. I’m also content to have my lists all messed up and recreated by my Father throughout the year. I’m satisfied with him taking charge of the priorities of my transformation.

A new calendar year just feels like HOPE to me, and I love it.

It sure doesn’t hurt that our new foster baby is sleeping through the night. New year, new mercies, and…..more sleep! I look forward to writing more often in this space in 2015 – chronicling the excitement happening in our home and sharing more of the focus Jesus has set in my heart for this new year.

Are you setting goals for the new year? In what specific ways do you try to keep focused on Jesus’ accomplishment more than your own?