Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year, New Plan

My husband is a goal-setter.  If I were to make a list of words describing his character, "goal-setter" would make the top 5.  Maybe even the top 2.  And he's even better with his follow-through!  I've always found this quality admirable and it's one of the things I love the most about my husband.
Probably because I'm nothing like him in this way.  "Goal-setter" would not be found on my list!  I stink at setting goals.  I stink at achieving goals too.  It's funny, because I love to make plans and come up with new ideas.  But I guess I never get to that end point where I can specify a goal and outline steps to achieve it.  Or when I do actually set a goal, I stop short of reaching it more times than not.  I am a pro at leaving projects unfinished! 
I'm kind of in this neverending state of doing something or planning something without finishing anything.  I read a devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries last week that pretty much summed it all up.  The writer, Rachel Olson, wrote "the crux of my problem was waiting for everything to be perfect before I moved forward. If I didn't feel I could do something 'right,' I often didn't do it at all. If I couldn't control each move, or the outcome, I waited rather than began. And that meant a lot of things sat either un-started or unfinished."
Do you know what happens when a lot of things sit unstarted or unfinished?  You get overwhelmed.  You get discouraged.  You give up...leaving even more things on your to-do list unstarted or unfinished.  And how can anything be accomplished if it's never started?  "Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap." (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
Well, next year I'm going to break this cycle.  I'm going to start making goals.  More importantly, I'm going to achieve those goals.  But I'm not going to wait around anymore for "ideal conditions."  I will continue to plan things, because I believe having a game plan can be helpful, smart, and sometimes necessary.  However, I'm not going to waste half my days planning instead of doing.  And I'm not going let making and following plans keep me from enjoying things that aren't a part of the plan.  We all know that life doesn't always go according to plan!
I think I need to remind myself here of the old saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."  Proverbs 16:9 provides us a Biblical reminder of this:  "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."
(Click here to read another great Proverbs 31 Ministries article about the dangers of overplanning.)
So here's my plan for 2013:
~Set goals.
~Follow through on said goals.
~Be flexible when things don't go as planned.
~Be okay with imperfect progress*.
And most importantly:
~Ask God to reveal what personal goals He wants me to set and for the tools to achieve them.
I'm so excited for my new plan for the new year!  What are your plans for the new year?  Are you making goals?  Resolutions?  Maybe a bucket list of things/activities to check off?  Or even just one thing you've always wanted to do?  I'd love to hear about it!
*The phrase 'imperfect progress' is from Lysa TerKeurst's most recent book, Unglued.  It means making a change (or achieving a goal) takes time, and there may be setbacks, but any progress is good.

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