Another year has passed, and it may just have been one of the most eventful years. For me, heading into this new year, much like my previous new year reflections, was how I can use what I learned to create strong goals for this year. Last year I wanted to be more creative and do more, but what I learned is that in order for me to be the best I can be, I need to know who I am. I found that when the world shut down, I was given time to process my past in order to grow into where I feel called. It was a year to grow and a year with set aside time for that growth.
With this new year, I have more goals, and I want to make sure they are the right goals for the new year.
In last week’s post, I talked about how I had a word for the year that was an attribute I wanted to be known for. Each year I find that taking a word and having apply to who I am creates an attainable goal. I started doing this awhile back, because I wanted to make goals and not resolutions that would fade away. When I first started, I found that in my own quiet times with God, there would be areas to grow in and a character trait that exemplified who I wanted to become. In this past year, I still had lingering struggles with forgiveness and trusting others, so God showed me that I needed to step into being love, and so, my word became lover.
The next right thing.
If you know me, you know that I am a big fan of the Frozen movies. In the sequel there is a song called, “The Next Right Thing,” and it’s a song about hope. Hope is a hard thing to have when you are in the middle of a battle. In the midst of the unknown, sometimes we just have to do the next right thing. When it comes to new years and setting goals, don’t make a massive goal, when you do that, the chances of completing it can be pretty slim and if you fail, it creates even more discouragement. With your goals, do the next right thing, taking the next step to help you in your growth.
This past year I read a hundred books, I didn’t just decide to do that. I set a goal two years back to read twenty-five, and the next year to read fifty. I had the desire to make sure I was reading, so I made a reasonable goal that set me up for the place I wanted to be. As I continue to set personal goals, I don’t want to overwhelm my anxiety and set myself up for failure, instead I want to set myself up for success by doing the next right thing in my personal growth.
My word for the new year: Faithful
When I was praying over this previous year and what it taught me, I found that I was becoming who I was designed to be, after several years of trying to fit the person others wanted me to be. My heartbeat is to love others and help them step into what God has for them. My path to full-time ministry has been a tough journey, I’ve talked about it before, but I was in a church that for years I thought would give me a great jumping off point, turned out to not be a huge asset in that path. So, this past year, I began seminary as a way to give credibility to my years of experience in working with churches.
The journey has been a tough one, and I have often questioned my ability because I was comparing who I am to what others expected me to be like. What I have found is that I am exactly who God created me to be, I want to press into that and not a personality that may fit someone’s role. It’s scary to pursue ministry because it’s not that easy of a path, but in all things, I am choosing to be faithful to who God has called me to be. Being faithful is to be steadfast and to remain. I want to remain in Christ and steadfast in his promises.
New year’s goal setting is a fantastic habit to get into. By starting the year off with a mindset of growing from who you are and into the healthier version you know you can be is powerful. The world will continue to have issues, and that means your life will continue to have issues thrown your way, but you can control who you are. You have the ability to cultivate new skills to help you weather the storm. Last year I did not expect the turns it would take, but what God showed me is that even when hope seems gone, I can do the next right thing and be faithful that what he is doing will grow me into who I have been created to be.
My prayer is that in your new year, you start it off by setting the right goals. Ones that help you grow and that benefit your life. Take time to write them down, keep up with those goals, not just in the first few days of the year, but through its’ entire duration. Set the right goals by doing the next right thing and choosing to stay faithful in all of your pursuits.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__