3…2…1… Happy New Year!
2021, new year, new me, new goals…
Let’s be honest, nothing really changes on the 1st of January. We enter a new calendar year with the same old mindsets and carrying all last year’s disappointments. Often, this is when we find ourselves focusing on physical goals: giving up sugar, healthier living, more exercise. We try to have control and create balance in an already raging storm, the storm being our overly busy life.
How can we be different?
I have good news for you! We can be different! 2021 does not have to be like in previous years. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of a sugar detox and increasing my exercise regime, but our minds and spirits equally need attainable goals. Remember, as humans we are body, AND mind AND spirit, which means all three areas need attention to work well together and to do life. Paul reminded Timothy that physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things - both the present life and the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
Let’s look at some simple and attainable goals to help our 2021 look different, and might I say, BETTER!
1st attainable goal: Read your Bible every day
Sounds easy, but too often this is the first thing out the door with a busy life and work and family and and and. Before we know it, a week has passed, and we have gained no new knowledge of the Lord. Then guilt sets in and we drift further away. Instead, we should say “not today devil” and “get up self” and get stuck in God’s Word. This IS attainable by reading one portion or one chapter of scripture when we do not have time for five chapters or a book a day (overachievers).
2nd attainable goal: Pray every day
This is not quite meditation; prayer is not a practice where you need to necessarily take time out to centre yourself. Prayer is all about God. Conversing with an omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipresent (everywhere at the same time) God. We need to understand that God knows it all, He has all the answers, He is the source of everything. Therefore, we need to be people who always go to Him FIRST. Prayer is attainable because we get to talk to Him any time, any place, daily about anything and everything.
Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV) sums the purpose of these two goals up well:
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.”
Side note, but equally goal worthy: If you haven’t yet, join a church.
Get connected to a community of like-minded people. God has not called His children to be lone rangers. Join a connect group or home group within your church, iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17) doesn’t happen at a distance, we’ve got to get real close with one another. It is amazing to have people praying for us and with us non-stop.
3rd attainable goal: Renewing our minds daily
Our minds are important. What we think about matters. We can consciously re-wire our brains to weed out toxic patterns of thinking and replace them with healthy thoughts (Dr. Caroline Leaf – Switch On Your Brain). The Bible talks about being transformed by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2), that means there is hope for change and this year does not have to follow the pattern of the last! How? By keeping our minds on things above!
“ Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV
Time for a mental detox – putting away the toxic negative thoughts and replacing them with Biblical life-giving thoughts! Do you see how important spending time in God’s Word is!
4th attainable goal: Be content
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we can live with less and be thankful for more. Contentment is wanting what we have and being thankful to God for everything, in every season.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10
God has a plan and a future for you and me and He is moving us from glory to glory! This is a daily, attainable walk that He is with us on. Let this be the year to embrace the full life that God has for us – “a God fashioned life renewed from the inside and working itself into our conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in us” (Ephesians 2:22-24 MSG)
Women Of Reverence welcomes Yolande Vincent as a guest blogger.
Yolandé Vincent is married to Michael for 8 years and part of the Eldership team at Venture Church. Work as a hairdresser and make-up artist, a Christian counsellor and loves to help people transform into all Jesus has for them. I like chocolate and exercise because balance is key ;)