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A New Plan for 2013

A New Plan for 2013

compassA new year is now in front of us and with it comes the great pull to make it The Most Awesome and Epic Year Ever. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against having goals and plans. Even as much as I fail at meeting my yearly goals (let’s just say last year’s Finish List is largely unfinished), I still find myself thinking about what I hope to/think I should accomplish each year as I pack up the Christmas decorations and put out the new calendars.

But as Jon Acuff wrote in regards to setting goals for 2013:

Most of us plan our whole years when we are the dumbest.

In January, you have no idea what July holds or what September will be like or what storm will rock your shores in November. But you press on, and make your biggest decisions when you have the least information at the start of the year.

I’m sure all of us have found this to be true: Everything and anything is possible in January. So we set our goals, break them down into doable chunks (or simply plow ahead), and then are beating ourselves up when we’re not hitting those marks often because “other things” have come up. Things like more or less hours at work or an ill family member or taking on extra volunteer work or even simply having a few bad days where you make all the wrong decisions. Now I realize there are those of you who encounter such things and correct course like master sailors encountering a storm. But as for me, well, I’m not so hot at it. All I see is what I haven’t done and I feel like a failure. Other times I’m overwhelmed by all there is to do in the remaining months or days, and find myself on some sort of You Tube or Netflix marathon whilst carb-loading.

So rather than trying the same thing day after day and falling flat on my face, I’m going to focus on my One Word for 2013: peace. Specifically within the following context:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJ)

Because when I’m stressed, when I’m anxious, when I’m not praying, I make all sorts of decisions in a rather willy-nilly fashion. They’re often not good ones, either. But I don’t want to live an aimless, purposeless life, either. For we do need some sort of structure to our days, and we need a purpose to our steps, to have some sort of plan in whatever form works for us.

So for me, that involves taking things on more of a ‘step by step’ basis, of not trying to figure out the whole year when I’m not even 48 hours into it, of remembering each new day is a chance to start something and make a change regardless of how far into the calendar year I am. This year, I will close the gap between who I am now and who I’m supposed to be. And may God’s peace guard my heart and mind each step of the way. :-)

Photo Credit: Irina Patrascu ©2008 (Flickr via Creative Commons)

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