Author: Fiona Botha
The New Year ushers in the prospect of starting over with a new, clean slate. We start the year by looking ahead and setting goals for ourselves. Jotting down our ambitions.
The majority of people set new year’s resolutions and by February 80% of them will have failed. How depressing! Why do we even bother setting resolutions if it is so obvious we are going to fail?
As January ticks along I haven’t been able to get myself to write down my own goals for the year. Not because I am afraid of failing, but because I have been questioning the purpose of goals and why we feel the urge to have to set them.
How many times have you promised yourself after the Christmas season I will start eating healthier and I will go to the gym three times a week this year? And most importantly, saying, 'This year I will spend more time reading and meditating on God’s word'.
How long do you manage to keep it up? One week? Two? Maybe a month? But soon enough when the demands of everyday life catch up with us we can’t keep up with these ideals we wanted to achieve.
The biggest reason I am struggling to commit my goals to paper is because it feels like I should be doing it.
The path of ‘should’ is a funny thing.
I should get the latest iPhone. Why? Because that’s what we perceive society or our friends expect of us.
Similarly, I feel like I should set New Year’s resolutions, not because it will necessarily benefit me, but rather because it is something everyone does and everyone talks about and therefore I should do it.
Ridiculous, I know! But we fall into the trap of ‘I should’ so easily.
So, this year instead of setting new goals, I am rather going to focus on the things I didn’t complete last year. And, instead of labeling them goals I am going to view them as long term projects.
So I want to encourage you to STOP.
Seek God first.
Pray some more.
Ask Him for guidance and His will to become clear in your life. Then tune into the Holy Spirit.
The poet Upile Chisala phrases it so well, 'The big signs are God yelling, intuition is God whispering.'
Listen out for that small quiet voice. Be more aware of the feeling of peace that transcends all things when you are on God’s path. Abandon the path of ‘I should’, which is filled with comparison, disappointment, guilt, and the feeling of inadequacy.
Instead, embrace the things you enjoy this year. Follow your heart because God created you uniquely in His image and has chosen your unique purpose long before you were born. Stop worrying about finding and following the ‘should’ path that will lead to God’s purpose and just embrace the dreams and desires God has placed in your heart, which will ultimately lead to your God ordained purpose. Muster up your courage and take a step towards those dreams this year.
Stop focusing on the path and where it will take you.
Our Father promises to provide for your every need, so relax and enjoy the journey. Take in the scenery this year. Relish the company of those who are currently with you on your path. Welcome those who might be new to the journey and support each other during the treacherous crossings that you may come across.
I pray that you may gain a fresh perspective in this year and that you find happiness in the seemingly mundaneness of everyday life.
This is your year!
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