Once again the holiday season has blown past us and now we all find ourselves looking forward- forward to a new year and the hope we want it to bring.
Hope for an end to the pandemic
Hope for a better financial situation
Hope that this will be the year you finally meet someone special
Hope for an end to student loans (that’s me!)
Hope for weight loss, better health, or just a better body
Hope to know God more
Hope for rest and peace
Hope for personal growth
We hope for so many things. As women, it’s in our DNA. We’re designed to be the encouragers, the nurturers, the cheerleaders, the infusers of optimism. I believe that’s how God created us.
So go ahead and cling to hope, but don’t let the future and a distant “someday” cause you to completely overlook what’s right in front of you. Looking ahead pulls our eyes off the tasks that can be done today and takes our focus off the immediate.
The next thing we know, another year has gone by. Maybe some of the things we hoped for came about, but there were probably a lot that didn’t.
Things are going to be different!
“Intentional” is my word for 2021. This year I want to be a woman who is intentional about today, rather than a woman who hopes for things that may never come. Hope by itself doesn’t really get you anywhere.
Intentional, daily action- that’s a different story.
I like lists. I make them for pretty much everything. If I don’t make a list, bad things happen. Just this week my coworker turned to me on Monday and said, “You remembered that you have chapel this Wednesday, right?”
Uh, no. No I did not.
Chapel wasn’t on the list.
See? I rely heavily on my lists. Without them, chapel messages are forgotten, emails don’t get sent, and bills fail to be paid.
And, of course, hopes get put on the back burner.
So I have a list to help me live with intentionality this year!
Six Intentional Steps to Help You Accomplish Your Goals in 2021:
Life has to start here. Proverbs 16:9 tells us “The heart of a man plans his ways, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Begin by seeking God’s will for all areas of your life. He knows you, your heart, and your hopes and dreams. He also knows what’s the very best for you. Be open to His leading!
Set up a plan. Here’s where my lists come in again- Health and fitness is an area of my life I want to live more intentionally. Before I might have said, “I need to lose weight.” The vagueness of the plan always caused me to fail before I even began. However, this year my goal is to get my waistline under a certain number (you’ll just have to imagine the number. I’ll never tell.). This is a measurable, specific goal.
To be effective your plan should always have measurable goals.
Get everything you need and have it all close at hand. This is another one of my measurable goals. I’m working on it because I realized how much time I was wasting. Take my home exercise routine: I was always hunting for a particular exercise DVD. Then I had to find my water bottle, my headphones, the one hand weight my nephew walked off with, and the tennis shoes I like the best. Twenty minutes later I’m ready to start, but I’m already telling myself exercise is taking up too much time.
Getting organized beforehand will save you time and set you up for success.
Find an ideal place to carry out your goals. Continuing with the exercise theme, this is a tough one for me. With my living situation, space is at a premium. I struggle with exercising at home because there isn’t a really good spot to do it. Carpeting, furniture, and even ceiling fans complicate things. So I’m still working on a better solution for this one…
Be present! Stop dreaming about what you might accomplish one day. Instead, step up, and start today. This day is all we’re guaranteed, so make the most of it. Talking about what you’d like to do when you have more time, money, or opportunities isn’t going to get you anywhere. Be present and start taking small, deliberate steps one day at a time.
Now it’s time to stop talking about it and do it! Start accomplishing those little goals!
“You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
You’re mountain is waiting!
So get on your way!”
Don’t get discouraged! Instead, pray, plan, prepare, choose a place, be present, and then proceed. Come along with me on a journey to start the New Year off right. Let’s actually take steps to become the women we hope to be.
And may you see yourself becoming the amazing woman God intends you to be.
This week, I’m thankful for hopes and dreams, but I’m also thankful for the small steps that lead us toward them. That’s where we really grow. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!