Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mileposts & Milestones

I'm not a huge fan of resolutions ~ New Year's or otherwise.  But I wholeheartedly subscribe to the notion of setting goals & benchmarks.  Without them, I've tended to navigate as if taking a road trip to a distant locale without a map. It may be a bit adventurous, but it's fairly certain I'll never reach a desired destination.

This year I hope to be more intentional about setting goals.  It's harder to do now that I've reached the Ranks of the Retired, but it's no less important than it was when I wore a business cap & managed large objectives, dollars and people.  Achieving those goals (or not) was the substance of what my superiors used to assess my performance.  They were essential then; they're essential now.  Besides, why would God advise us to number our days in order to gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12), if not to actually do something intentional with those numbers?

Lest I bore you into a hasty retreat, let me offer you a more relaxed exit right now.  What follows will, no doubt, be of interest to me and me alone.  But before you go, let me just encourage you set some goals of your own.  They're sure to engender a love/hate reaction somewhere along the way, but I can think of no better way to get to where you want to go.

While the following verse emphatically establishes the cost of discipleship, it also does something else:  It reminds me that everything worth doing entails both a plan and a price.  

“... But don’t begin until you count the cost. 
For who would begin without first 
calculating the cost to see 
if there is enough money to finish it? 
Otherwise, you might complete only 
the foundation before running out 
of money, and then everyone 
would laugh at you.  They would say, 
‘There’s the person who started 
that building and couldn’t 
afford to finish it!’
“Or what king would go to war against 
another king without first 
sitting down with his counselors 
to discuss whether his army of 10,000 
could defeat the 20,000 soldiers 
marching against him? 
And if he can’t, he will send a delegation 
to discuss 
terms of peace while the enemy 
is still far away. 
(Luke 14:27-32 ESV)

It appears, in God's economy, that strategy-laying is very much a part of good stewardship.

So, for the record ~ my record ~ here are the key items I'd like to tackle in 2014.  They are not necessarily in the order of importance, & I maintain the freedom to add to and/or alter them as the year unfolds.

The Goal:  Take better care of my health & lose 10 pounds.

  • Exercise more (walking 5 out of 7 days; gym/weights 3 out of 7 days).
  • Eliminate most of the needless carbs from my eating habits.
The Goal:  Affirm the value of family & friends.

  • Finish scanning all my family photos, including those of my mother & father into digital form.
  • Begin compiling a pictorial record of heritage for the family.
  • Continue penning a tribute (book) to my parents to be passed onto my children & extended family.
  • Continue to share home & hearth.
Goal:  Increase my knowledge & understanding of God's word.
  • Devote a minimum of 30 minutes per day in scripture meditation and prayer.
  • Pick one new Bible-related subject per month to research, study & journal about.
The Goal:  Serve others ~ humbly & unselfishly.
  • Look for opportunities to serve other people without self-serving expectations (like getting noticed).
  • Serve the community in which I reside (volunteerism).
  The Goal:  Value Time and God's Favor
  • Intentionally seek to be productive, useful.
  • Watch less T.V.
  • Engage in less social media.
  • Begin & end the day by counting blessings (i.e, opportunities, gains, losses, favor/open doors, protection/shut doors, answered prayer).

A strange thing happens when I commit to something in print & then share it:  accountability takes root.  Things with roots tend to grow ~ and ultimately that's my overriding goal:  To grow to be more like Jesus.

For physical training is of some value, 
but godliness has value for all things, 
holding promise for both the present life 
and the life to come. 
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves 
full acceptance. 
That is why we labor and strive, 
because we have put our hope in 
the living God, who is the Savior of all people, 
and especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things... set an example 
for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, 
in faith and in purity.
Until I come, devote yourself to the public
reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 
Be diligent in these matters; 
give yourself wholly to them, 
so that everyone may see your progress. 
Watch your life and doctrine closely. 
Persevere in them ... 
1 Timothy 4:8-13, 15-16


Rebecca said...

Kathleen, I so agree with the value of writing goals/heart desires down. And it maybe is even MORE important in retirement since we have more discretionary time...

I was a little slow in coming to the New Year "table", but I'm using this snow day to think, pray, and journal some reflections on the past & record some goals for the coming year.

May God grant you those desires of your heart. They sound unselfish and God-honoring. I look forward hearing of how He empowers you to meet each one.


Beth E. said...

I didn't know that you were still blogging, Sassy...what a delightful surprise! I have a lot of reading and catching up to do.

Well, I can tell that you are gonna be one busy lady in 2014...that's a lot of goals you've set for yourself. You're also giving up "needless carbs?" Shew, it's gonna be a long year, too! ;-)

Skoots1moM said...

one reason I continue to facilitate Disciple classes; it keeps me accountable and there HAS to be a plan...otherwise, I'm very lazy.
Great Post.
We had a marvelous time in the mtns., wish I was there now...we just missed the snow by 5 days...

Maryann said...

I come late to the table in setting goals this year, but without them how do you measure progress? Without them you drift aimlessly through your days. So I too, will take stock in the next few days and think of goals that I would like to set this year. You have given me some ideas in formulating my own.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I consider it a great idea to write it all down, the goals and the plans, but you went a step above that all, in sharing yours with those of us in blog land. I suppose that puts more responsibility on you, right? What treasures I glean from you, and what aspirations I take with me. Me, the one day at a time person, finds this planning so very challenging. But, I am continually seeking to learn from those wiser, and you, my friend are one of those who falls in that category. Thanks so much for the inspiration I again gained from my visits here. Learning and leaning are two important facets of my life.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I forgot to mention, that your new blog look is lovely!

Sharon said...

Great goals this year - and many echo the desires of my heart, too. May God enable you to accomplish all that He wants for you this year.

He'll be teaching me about JOY - the rather surprising word He has given me for 2014. I'm wondering how He will work this out in a person who tends to whine...


I just know that He will, though. Just as He will strengthen you for the goals you have set.


Terri Tiffany said...

Your goals are excellent! I write new ones down each year in my journal after first checking how I made out last year. It's encouraging to see growth and also to learn when I didn't grow. You have an exciting year ahead of you for sure!