With a new year comes a new beginning. Many of us will make goals that we want to accomplish this year or make resolutions for the changes we want to experience in our lives. In a few weeks, as the responsibilities and realities of life hit us once again those goals and resolutions fall by the wayside. We will feel guilt mixed with a little shame as we promise ourselves that we will try harder next year. We rationalize the failure by saying, “This just isn’t the right time.”

Perhaps we need to rethink the goal setting thing this year. If we are going to feel guilty, ashamed, and weak because of our inability to live up to resolutions when Jesus promised us peace, victory, and strength, then there might be something wrong with the way we are approaching life.

Richard Dahlstrom wrote a thought provoking post about aligning our goals to the goals God has for the world.

I like goals that are measurable and have lots of them: Ski 100k vertical feet in January (now objectively measurable courtesy of a nifty phone app), trim 15 seconds off jogging “per mile” time by the end of February, eat 5 servings of veggies per day (by far the hardest), be consistent in my reading, praying, journaling, blog at least once a week, finish book proposal.

I’m close to throwing all these in the trash though, because I keep adding more and more goals to my life, and the end result is an erosion of peace, especially the kind of peace that is promised by Christ here. I’m beginning to wonder if all this goal setting isn’t just another carnival, tailor made for type Americans to distract us from things that really matter. It’s appropriate, of course, to pursue health, and to hone one’s craft, be it writing, music, art, programming, or whatever. But I’m convinced that the somewhat random objectifying of every pursuit, setting a bar and going after it, is mostly a big distraction. The truth is that I can meet all those goals and still find myself on the summit of accomplishments, only to realize that I’ve climbed the wrong mountain. To put it another way – I can reach all my goals, and still be far from the life God has in mind for me.

There’s a better way:

Continue reading Instead of new goals for a new year…try this


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