Goals, Yes! Resolutions, Nope.

We had a fabulous Christmas and spent New Year’s Eve, quietly, here at home watching movies and enjoying a ton of homemade goodies, both sweet and savory. It’s been quite cold and unusually dry. In fact, we’ve needed to run sprinklers on the lawns, and I may irrigate the orchard and vineyard this week if we don’t get any rain.

blue and white snowmen

I’ve enjoyed the warmth of my home these cold, cold days. The Christmas decorations were put away late last week, but I’ve set up my collection of (mostly) blue and white snowmen to keep things cheery and festive a bit longer. Copper will be home on vacation with us for the rest of the week, unless he’s needed on an alternate shift. It’s always nice having him here with us during the day.

I’ve spent most of the week since Christmas working on the annual task of setting my goals for the coming year. No New Year’s Resolutions here! Resolutions are, generally speaking, too broad and all encompassing and are often set hastily. Resolutions frequently set the bar for accomplishment high, with no provision for how to attain that accomplishment. Failure is almost insured.

Goal setting, on the other hand, when done well, is a plan for success!

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage,
But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”
Proverbs 21:5 NASB

I kind of like the way the paraphrase, The Message, makes the distinction even more clear.

“Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
hurry and scurry puts you further behind.”
Proverbs 21:5 The Message

kitchen window snowmen

I’m setting goals this year in nine different areas of my life:

  • Personal
  • Spiritual
  • Marriage
  • Family (kids and grandkids)
  • Home Improvement
  • Homemaking
  • Home Improvement
  • Reading
  • Creativity.

I’ve written down several goals for myself in each of those categories, prioritized which of my goals I’d like to get started on first, and then outlined some intermediate steps toward attaining those goals. I haven’t taken the time, yet, to outline all of my goals, only those I want to get started on now. Though I set a lot of goals at the beginning of every year, I realize that I cannot possible try to tackle everything all at once. Prioritizing is key!

Glittering snowman

Even in this process of goal setting, I’m mindful of the fact that I’m not in charge. As the pastor mentioned in yesterday’s sermon, “His goals are higher than my goals.” I want to keep my eyes and heart firmly fixed on Him, rather than on my own plans. As always, I want to hold my own plans loosely.

Carefully setting well thought out goals is just another way that we can look well to the ways of our households.

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6 comments to Goals, Yes! Resolutions, Nope.

  • Love your snowmen! I also like to decorate with snowmen once the Christmas decorations come down. Once my husband goes back to work tomorrow, I would like to sit down and make some goals for this upcoming year. I am starting to get intimidated by the thought of graduating my first homeschool child!

  • It has gotten really cold here, 12 degrees this morning! I have found that goal setting is more effective and rewarding than resolutions. Hope Copper gets to be home with you this week and not have to work another shift. Happy New year to you, have missed you lately!

    • Twelve degrees? BRRRRR!

      The beauty of goal planning is that it can, and should, be something that’s a part of our lives year round. Sure, we do the bulk of it at the beginning of each new year, but breaking those goals down into bite sized pieces as we work through them, and setting new goals, happens all the time.

      It’s good to be back!

  • :oD (just happy to “see” you today!)

    I have batted this idea around every January for the past few years…and have made very little progress in many areas. So, I have planned to have a Planning Day tomorrow. (Our Keppie girl will be at the vets for surgery, and Ike’s caregiver will be here…so it’s a good day for it!)

    I am leery of the process – so silly, I know! But I’m going to give it my best attention and effort and see how it goes! 🙂

    THANK YOU for the continuing encouragement in this area. 🙂

    • Pray and plan! If goal setting is unsettling, try setting just a handful of goals, or, perhaps, just one goal in each of a handful of different areas. I’ll be posting a few more ideas and tips here on the blog and on Facebook, too, just things the Lord has taught me in this area over the last few years.

      I hope Keppler has a quick recovery from her surgery.