Over an hour ago, I was preparing to add tags and hit publish on this post when…
My oldest daughter, trying to be helpful, was pulling out the top drawer of the dishwasher to empty it, when suddenly the wheels popped off and everything came crashing down. The dishwasher has betrayed me in this way once before, so I know it was an accident. Broken shards of glass littered the floor, and a refrain of apologies streamed from the other room.
Such is life. This ties in serendipitously with the purpose of the post:
Welcome to life—a constant stream of unexpected twists and turns, frustrating interruptions, and derailments.
This leads me to a small string of questions for you:
Do you recall what you were doing on or around new years day? Did you have a mental or written list of “resolutions” or “goals” you wished to see achieved in 2016? What happened to your list?
Have you made any headway or are you scratching your head trying to remember which resolutions you composed?
I had a lovely list of goals as I entered into a year in which I had no idea where we would be or what we would be doing…
…then, like the crashing collapse of the dishwasher drawer, the unexpected happened.
(You might be wondering if I still have that lovely little list…)
My list is still taped to the clipboard we used during the move to hold our moving receipts and other critical paperwork. The goals I had set were of great importance to me and I didn’t want this list to be lost. In spite of the existing chaos, I was determined to stay on track. I had intended to put it up on my new bathroom mirror, but I keep forgetting! Survival has been the order of the day since February.
February and early March saw us making life-altering decisions, frantically clearing out (and packing) our stuff, making gradual separations, and preparing our home to sell. March, April, May and June have consisted largely of helping three kids adjust to all things new (new state, new home, new friends, new church family, new schedule), attempting to get our realtor to actually do his job, unpacking boxes, getting two sets of bills paid on time, and trying to manage an ever-changing budget.
June saw a 58-day escrow close on our old house and the beginning of yet another job.
It’s been a wild ride for us.
…But wait, there’s more!
A couple weeks ago, I received an email from Windows on the Water in Morro Bay offering us free dessert to celebrate our anniversary. As I read it, I felt my stomach drop.
We had celebrated ten anniversaries together. How on earth could I have forgotten the eleventh?! I was even more surprised to discover that both of us had completely forgotten. Wow. Does that happen to anybody else???
Well, here we are in July. It’s been quite the year thus far and it’s not over yet…
Has yours been equally unpredictable?
It’s time to refocus!
I reluctantly pulled out my clipboard today to glance at my list, thinking that I might have to hang my head in shame. Out of the seven goals I had set for myself, I checked two off the list, two are on track to completion, and two are currently being set back in motion now that our life is re-establishing a regular rhythm.
Six out of seven. Not bad!
The last one—memorizing 6 chapters this year—hasn’t been touched since… um… sometime in February… or maybe March… could’ve been April. I was eleven verses into Hebrews 12 when I slipped into survival mode. I have five and a half months to complete this goal. It may be possible if I throw myself back into it!
Establishing and maintaining daily reading and prayer habits has been going very well. I completed my day-to-day reading through the Bible plan about two weeks ago. I read Proverbs and Psalms for a couple days then started the ESV One-Year Bible.
If you are still reading this post, rest assured that my rambling discourse does have a purpose.
When we make goals and do our best to stick to them, we will be closer to attaining our dreams than if we had chosen to “wing it.” My life has been turned inside out and upside down since January, and yet, I haven’t strayed far from my goals for the year. Like budgeting or goal-setting, making a plan is always the best choice. Even when life turns wild, enough vestiges of your work will still be in place in order to carry out plan B.
This has much to do with our walk with God. Consider what Paul wrote to the Philippians:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
~ Philippians 3.13-15, ESV
Paul had a goal, and he pursued it with laser-like focus. We should have the same ultimate goal—becoming more like Christ in order to be united with Him in heaven when this life is over. Achieving macro goals begins with establishing micro goals. Does that mean everything goes according to your plans? No, God usually has a better way to get us from point A to point B. Consider interruptions or disappointments as His divine appointments.
If you haven’t made goals this year, there’s no time like the present!
How are you coming along on your goals/resolutions? Has anybody else been yelling, “plot twist!!” more than once this year?
If you need a starting point for setting goals, check out these posts:
From my blog:
- Setting Goals That Last
- 3 Priorites for Day 1 of your new year3 Priorites for Day 1 of your new year
From Michael Hyatt’s blog:
- 5 MAJOR GOAL-SETTING MYTHS THAT KEEP YOU STUCK
- HOW NOT TO MAKE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: 10 Ways You Might be Sabotaging Your Own Success