New Years Resolutions, Goal Settings, and Word Picking: And the Defeat, Discouragement, and Weariness that may come with them.
Are you feeling defeated and like you are already failing at whatever resolutions you made just a little less than a week ago? Or maybe discouragement is settling in because here you are, almost a week into the new year and you don’t have a set goal, a special word or a resolution yet. Or maybe your heart has been feeling a little weary to even have a resolution, set goals and pick words. Or maybe….well, you fill in the blank. Whatever the reason may be, if the words defeat, discouragement, and weariness are looming over you as you look at the 360 days left in the year, let me encourage you here as I preach this truth to myself…
Feeling defeated, discouraged, or even weary does not mean that you are disqualified or no longer eligible to have resolutions, set goals, get a word from God and keep taking steps, even if only baby steps toward them.
Don’t you give up, sweet friend! The beauty of God’s mercy and love is that it doesn't only come at the beginning of every year or the beginning of every week. God’s mercy and steadfast love is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Every day, every minute, every second is a good time to get back on your feet and take that next step and move forward and closer to God.
Sweet friend, please don’t believe the lie that you are alone in this battle. Remember, my encouragement to you today (as it is pretty much every time) comes from the need to remind myself of something. You see, it wasn't until well into this week that I finally decided what my resolution would be. And the reason I needed a resolution instead of just goals came out of already feeling the failure to meet my goal for the year only a few days into it. And not meeting my goal so soon after setting it was not because God had not whispered the word I would be choosing to work through this year well in advance, and then, because sometimes whispers are not enough (That is not always the case but…just keeping it real here), He had it repeated time and time again throughout the entirety of my wonderful pastors sermon last week.
Kindness, my word is kindness. And it was a word that came out of a weary heart from dealing with some unkind words and the people that accompanied them words find their way to my heart. During this times, I remember thinking to myself, “Be nice, Gina, remember Whose you are.” And just as I would think that to myself, God would whisper, “No, my girl, be KIND because of Whose you are.” I mean what do you say to that, especially when you know its the truest of truest conviction! You see, I believe that for the most part, we can all make the effort to be nice, and we should. However, kindness? That is a whole other word. So trust me, friend, you are not alone. But we can’t leave us there. I want to encourage you to do what I ended up having to go back to do as I made time to have intentional time with God in His Word and find your resolve, ask God for a word, and set some tangible goals...and don't forget to be kind to yourself.
I am convinced that every setting of a goal has to start with a resolution if its a goal you want to keep. No way around it. I keep hearing more and more about people setting goals instead of resolutions. I get it. But here is what I was reminded of and why I believe that every goal must start with a resolution, a resolve.
A resolve means that you have identified an area that needs improvement and committed to doing something about it (like my need to be kind and not just nice). Our resolve comes from our convictions (from our claim about Whose we are, God’s). Our conviction is what propels us into action and not give up on our goals when temptation comes our way and we are tired. Our resolve is what keeps getting us back up from discouragement, defeat, and weariness.
Our goals are the aiming point, the crossing line at the end of the track. And like it or not, they need to be set in order to be achieved. As a good friend of mine often said, “If we keep aiming at nothing, we will hit it every time.” So let's choose wisely and set goals worth our aiming for. Ask God to give you a word to go with it.
Our word will help us to stay in our lane and keep our focus when it gets hard or we become distracted by our circumstances. The moments when we start losing our momentum and our joy starts being sucked out of us when we make the mistake to compare ourselves with other people on the track instead of running our race and cheering each other on.
So are you ready? Ok, I’ll share first
To keep letting this little light of mine shine for God’s glory (Mathew 5:16-11. Yes, in that order).
My word to work through this year:
Kindness. Being nice requires much effort and yes, we should be nice. However, kindness requires sacrifice and humility. Ouch!
Bonus thought on nice vs. kindness?
According to my research, the word nice is nowhere to be found in scripture. Yet the word kindness is found all throughout the Old and New Testament. Nice is, nice. Kindness wins:)!
My Goals for the next 360 day (and beyond):
To keep walking with my God
To love people well.
Sweet friend, don’t lose heart. Find your resolve, set goals, ask God for a word to work through. Don’t you give up! stay in the race and be sure to cheer a sister on!