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The Problem With New Years' Resolutions

Updated: Jan 10

I have always loved the start of the new year! Goal setting and resolutions have always been two of my favorite things! As soon as January 1st hit, I was ready with my planner and a stack of articles on having a more productive year. I couldn’t wait to sit down and plan, plan, plan. I would think about what I wanted to achieve, break it down into actionable steps, write it all down, and then get busy on achieving my goals!

But here’s the problem: I never prayed about those goals or achievements of mine, which never involved my relationship with God or with the people I cared about. My goals were solely focused on myself and any business I had going on at the time. They were shallow and often led to burn-out. Once, I started praying before making my goals for the year, my goals became more deep and fulfilling.

Here are some of the most important things that I have learned through the years about goal setting:

  1. Before you make any goals, take some time to sit down and pray. Ask the Lord to be present and to guide you in your goal-making for the year. Imagine yourself, your marriage, each child, and each person that is dear to you. It’s amazing how God will center you during this time. He always reveals what is truly important and gives you wisdom and insight as well as guidance with those relationships.

  2. Use a Christian planner to help you in your journey. These journals use scripture and guided questions to help you prayerfully figure out what’s most important in your life. These are two that I love - here and here.

  3. I just learned about “anti-goals.” I had never heard of this term before but I love it. Rather than setting goals that focus on what you want to achieve, anti-goals are about avoiding things you don't want in your life. For instance, a goal would be, “I want to make $10K more than what I made last year.” An anti-goal would be, “I am not willing to sacrifice family time to get there.” I wish that I had known about anti-goals a long time ago. It would have been incredibly helpful as a guide!

I hope these insights help you as you set any goals for the year. What have been the most valuable lessons that you have learned about goal setting?

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