Friday, January 01, 2010

Setting up for success over failure

I am a fan of goals. They are vital sign posts on our life road map. No goals, no plan leaves us in debt both physically and emotionally.

Far to often we let the tyranny of the urgent or the power of our weaknesses rule our lives. We want to live for the moment instead of living toward the overall plan. We let circumstances, the emotions and will of others dictate to us.

After high school I dated an FSU man (I know, what was I thinking?) who asked me to marry him. At nineteen, I wasn't ready for marriage even though I loved him. See, I had a plan. College. Career. Living on my own, becoming my own woman.

Marriage was for the "some day" the future would bring 'round. I always had this sense I would be older when I got married. Hubby proposed a few months before my (our) 31st birthday.

I made a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions in my life, but I honestly believe more bad decisions were thwarted by having plans, goals, and dreams.

As a Christian, I always consider the God factor. What is His will? What does He need and want me to do? His Kingdom come, His will be done. Yet, I'm convinced following and surrendering to God does not require me to be a limp rag, kind of muddling through life waiting for "God to speak."

God speaks way more often than we are willing to listen. But far too often, not as much as we'd want. Or in the manner we want. I don't stub my toe and ask, "God, what are you saying?" Beloved, we really need to learn to discern, be lead by the Spirit. Connect with the Spirit of God that lives inside you! Col 1:27.

For me, following God requires complete surrender, but surrender of specifics. My heart and mind, my desire for college, for marriage, for a writing career. I put it all at His feet.

I even surrendered my right to have children. He asked for it. I gave it. And in this life, He didn't return my surrender to Him like he did marriage or writing. But I'm going to live forever (Ecc 3:11) and I can't even imagine what He has in store for me in the realm of motherhood! Can't wait.

This life is a vapor. We can't get to wrapped around the axle of wealth and beauty, fame and acceptance or what others think because the age to come is beyond our comprehension. We need to live for the eternal not the temporal.

So back to goals. How can we make the most of this life so we are prepared for the next? Are you facing 2010 with a realistic view of yourself, of God? Are you like me, tend to want to do everything? After watching the One Thing Conference from Kansas City via the web, I was ready to be a full time intercessor-singer!

But God has called me to write as well as pray.

Most of our soulish eyes are bigger than our soulish stomachs. We bite off too much in January and by March are sliding down the mud hill of failure. I suggest we avoid that this year!

Here are my thoughts on setting goals for 2010.

1. Get before the Lord in prayer. Pray with your Bible open, reading and talking to God. Getting Divine inspiration from the Word.

2. Evaluate what's already on your heart. What do you love? What passions are humming beneath your skin? Answer this question: "Whenever I hear (x) my heart skips or I get glow of excitement." What's (x)? If you don't have the (x) factor, ask the Lord to awaken your heart.

3. Believe God has a destiny in Him for YOU. Believe He has called you, He loves you, He has good for you. If you don't believe it, say it, pray it until you do.

4. When you feel confident about a few things, write down your goals. One or two. I'd say no more than five major goals. Spread them out so you aren't starting all five at once. NOTE: I highly recommend you do not start dieting and exercising at the same time. If you are already doing one, sure, add the other. But if you are a couch potato intent on shedding a few pounds this year, choose one to start out: exercise or diet. Not both. You'll fail at one, then the other and quit. Unless you go on the Biggest Looser. Then you have no choice.

5. Share your goals with one or two other people for the purpose of accountability and encouragement. Cause sooner or later we all stumble along the trail.

So, what are some of your goals for 2010. Be specific. Last year, one of my goals was to complain less. I think I did pretty well. Not perfect. But I did repent a lot of complaining!

This year, I plan to be more intent about prayer and the Word. I am really focusing on being diligent with my time. I don't have TV, and we don't watch a bunch of movies so I have plenty of time to write, read and serve the Body of Christ but I seem to waste time on email and Facebook. Perhaps for me, I need a realistic plan about the part of my writing life that involves communication with readers and maintaining a cyber presence. Food for thought.

Well, there's one from me. What are you all doing?


Pattie said...

My goals: Write something every day, read the Bible through, and downsize in preparation for a cross-country move. :)

Rachel Hauck said...

Good goals, Pattie. Moving will be a huge drainer of time and down sizing is a great goal with a deadline! Always helps.

Were are you moving?

Blessings on your year!


Rachel said...

I loved this post. Loveitloveitloveitloveit.

Funnily enough, I have exactly five goals, having to do with my Bible reading, homeschooling, running, writing, and other reading. I've got a few good disciplines going, but I want some more focus.

I love your blog.

Rachel said...

P.S. I deleted my Facebook account yesterday. I didn't need it like you do, and I certainly frittered away my time there.

Rachel Hauck said...

Rachel, that's smart. If something is eating your time and you don't need it, get rid of it. We don't have Dish for that same reason. :)

Sounds like you have some good disciplines going! Bravo. Here's for a successful 2010.


Jenny B. Jones said...

Loved this post as well. I usually have a word or a verse as a theme for every year, and I just "got" my verse today (while staying home from church because of road blocking snow!! woo! )

Anyway, great reminder to pray over that verse, Bible open, heart open, and let God decide some of those goals and plans. Loved this--thanks, Rachel.

Rachel Hauck said...

Jenny, so, are you going to share your verse. I haven't had a special verse for a few years, I'll have to inquire about that one.

I did read one the other day that jumped out at me. Maybe that one can be my verse.

I love the Word of God. Heb 4:12 is true. It's living and active!

Love, Rachel

Sharon Hayes said...

Rachel this hits me between the eyes - I'm always afraid of setting goals because I'll fail - but I fail if I don't. . . . I really need to break through this. Thank you for writing this.

Love you so much

Rachel Hauck said...

Set simple goals that you might already doing, Mom. Like prayer.

I think it's good to set goals you can manage on your own. Not goals that require others to cooperate. :)

Love you!

Sharon Ball said...

This is going to sound so strange, but I tend to only pray about reaching my goals and not help with setting my goals according to God's divine plans for me. I never thought about it until just now. Wow...I love it when the light comes on like that. Thanks, Rachel, for flipping the switch. You've given me something to ponder.