New Year’s Resolutions, What’s Different for Christians?
5. 4. 3. 2. 1…..Happy New Year!!
Every year I will say it, and this year is no different, “How did we get here so quickly?”
It’s a new year, and a new decade.
Time for a fresh start. If you’ve been following us at Just Homemaking, you know that we took time to process, remember, and reflect upon 2020 and now we are ready to dive in to 2021 like it is our job.
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If you missed our 2019 Year in Review, click here!
All Things New
I’m the kind of girl that likes to jump into new things.
I love the crinkle of the page and the excitement of wondering just what a brand new journal will hold. Turning the page of my calendar refreshes me and gives me excitement about what is ahead.
However, sometimes I get too excited and life just happens. In the midst of my daily tasks and to-do lists I forget to plan ahead.
Time gets away from me and it’s already time to turn that next page to a new month. I’m stuck wondering where my time went, and if I even accomplished anything in the past few weeks.
The days look like a blur of meal planning, laundry, driving places, and bedtimes, with a little coffee (or a lot) mixed in.
Proverbs 28:19 (NIV) reminds us, “Where there is no revelation (some versions say ‘vision’ here) people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”
Where there is no revelation people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.Proverbs 28:19 (NIV)
Other versions of this verse say that “without a vision, people perish.”
The New Year is a perfect time to ask God for a new vision or revelation.
Hey, God….What’s on our Agenda?
New Year goals for Christians will (should) look and feel a little different than the average resolution. Asking the Lord to give us a vision or a plan for the year will help us to keep focused on what really matters.
Dreaming the dreams that He gives us is the perfect place to start. In the Bible, there are countless stories of dreams and the way God uses them in people’s lives. Look at Joseph (Genesis 37-50). His dreams kept him strong through really hard and horrible situations.
What are you going through right now that could use a little hope? God can fill that place in your heart, and restore your ability to dream.
When God puts a dream in your heart, you can guarantee He has a purpose for it.
He has a plan and a purpose for everything we give to Him, and even the things we don’t.
Trust the process.
If God is giving you a passion for it, then He will give you the opportunities to go get it. Sometimes that looks like hard work, so don’t be afraid to give it all you got. That’s what you were made for!
I know it can be scary, but God doesn’t give us dreams in our hearts and our heads to just stay there. Even if these plans fail, God doesn’t.
So, don’t be afraid of what is stirring in your heart.
In You are the Girl for the Job, by Jess Connolly, she puts it this way:
“He (God) wants you running on mission for His kingdom because He knows it is the most thrilling life you’ll ever be able to sign up for. It’s not because the Father thinks the mission will make you good, but because He knows it’s for your good. He wants your obedience so that you can experience abundance.”
(Check this book out! You’ll love it!)
In this book, Jess (I feel like we’re friends after reading her book, so I can call her Jess, right?) reminds us over and over again that “you are the girl for the job,” not because of you or anything you’ve done, but because of Christ in you. When we live in His strength, and His capacity, then we’ve got nothing to lose.
Well, except maybe fear.
Let’s lose that. We don’t need it anyway. God has the plan and the victory so we have nothing to fear.
Questions to Ask as you Dream and Plan for the New Year
What am I thankful for going in to this year?
Thankfulness leads us to worship and it is always good to start the year in worship. It keeps our focus set on the true goal: Jesus.
What is God stirring in my heart?
When God stirs something in our hearts, it is usually for a purpose. Look around, what is stirring right in front of you? Go and do that and see where He leads you next.
What makes me excited or angry, and what can I do about it?
When something makes you passionate (excited or angry) there is usually a place for you to use that passion to make a difference. And I’m not talking about just posting on social media. Go out and do something. Remember what our mama’s always said, “Actions speak louder than words.” When we let others see our passions, maybe they’ll join us in our work.
What is my first action step?
Be brave and take a step. Share with someone who will not only hold you accountable to your dreams and goals, but someone who will pray with you.
Every step counts. Maybe today is the day to apply for that job, or to give a gift to a new neighbor. Maybe today is the day to launch your new business, or to call someone to ask for forgiveness. Whatever the Lord is calling you to do, trust in Him.
Also Read: Why Your Family Needs a Mission Statement
Managing the Plan: New Year Goals for Christians
We can break this down into daily, monthly, and yearly sections, and then we have a working plan/dream/goal.
In planning, I like to take things apart and handle them in smaller chunks.
If I can plan and dream for the day, then I will have an easier time planning for the month. If my months have direction, then I can connect the pieces to plan and dream for the year.
The same is true in reverse, for some people.
They might like to look at the big picture and ask God for a plan and a dream for the year. Then divide that dream into monthly segments, and then the daily will flow from that.
Whichever order you prefer to organize your thoughts, here are some ideas to help you stay on track:
Ask God to meet you in this day. Ask Him to fill you with His peace, provision, and ability to accomplish the tasks for today. Process the goodness from the last 24 hours and then propel forward into the day.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
Pray for vision for the month. Ask Him to show you the best use of your time. Trust that He has works planned out for you. He will direct your steps while you walk in His ways.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes His steps.Prov. 16:9 (ESV)
Dream Big. You have a fresh start. Ask God to renew the dream in your heart, and if you don’t have one, ask Him! He is the giver of all good things. Make lists, goals, dreams. The bigger the better. Remember, if it doesn’t happen this year, there’s always next year. The small tasks are important, so add those too.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Now Go and Do
As we face the New Year, remember that what God said to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31:6 applies to each one of us:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.Deuteronomy 31:6
So, Ladies, let’s go! Remember, we gave up fear. So, we can do this!
Plan. Dream. Trust. Set our purpose in Christ, and watch what He does!
Let’s go boldly with God into this New Year!