The beginning of a new year is a logical time to set goals. I recently shared my key word and some of my goals for 2016 on my own blog. Naturally speaking, I'm the type of person who likes the stability and security of routine. God has been pushing me into more and more areas where I'm not totally comfortable. This year I want to continue to S.T.R.E.T.C.H. with God:
S - STEP FORWARD IN FAITH
My life verses are Philippians 3:10-14 (NIV):
T - TRUST GOD
After my second year of Bible School as my best friend and I parted ways for the summer, we claimed Proverbs 18:10 (The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.), agreeing to pray for each other when we felt afraid. This verse still comforts me when I am afraid. I'm thankful we serve a trustworthy God!
R- REACH NEW LEVELS
Lately I've been reminded of the importance of celebrating even small steps in the right direction. It is all too easy to get discouraged. Whether I exercise when I don't feel like it or have a successful book launch, I will choose to celebrate this year. When I take time to celebrate and thank God for working in and through me, I bring Him glory. Psalm 145:3-7 (NIV):
"Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise: his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty - and I will mediate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works - and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness."
E - EVALUATE AND PIVOT
Life is like the first drafts I write - messy, confusing, and a process. I usually don't get it right the first time I try something. Some people refuse to set goals because they don't want to "fail" by not achieving the goals. I see goals as flexible. I try to set realistic goals, but many times I don't achieve what I set out to do. That's where evaluation comes in. What progress did I make? Was the goal realistic? Did I need more time? Can I readjust the goal so that I will be able to achieve it, or should I just scrap it?
"A pivot is powerful because it takes away all of your excuses. It puts you back in control of the game you're playing. Pivoting isn't plan B; it's part of the process. Unexpected things will happen; setbacks do occur. Whether or not you're prepared to pivot will affect how well you weather those storms and find a way to survive...we all face times of irrelevance; of falling on our faces and thinking we have no business doing any of this. But pain is the great teacher and failure a faithful mentor. You can use all of this to your benefit if you are willing... The message of the pivot is that what looks like failure now is preparation for what's to come, as long as you don't give up." (from The Art of Work)
T - TRY NEW THINGS
If I remember I don't have to get it right the first time and I give myself permission to "fail," I will be more likely to try new things. Psalm 40:2-4 (NIV):
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him."
C - COACH OTHERS
One new thing I'm trying this year is offering coaching to other writers. If you're looking for help in your personal life, writing, marketing, technology, branding, or with accountability, contact me for more details.
H - HARVEST RESULTS
Only God knows what lies ahead this year. My job is to be faithful and trust the results to HIM. I'm looking forward to what God will do in and through me this year.
What about you? How are you going to allow God to stretch you in 2016?