Happy New Year!
It’s the big day, New Years Day, the day that people proclaim their New Years Resolutions. Here’s what I want you to do with your new years resolutions…
C’mon, chances are you’re going to do that anyway. These resolutions are by definition things we are going to attempt to do in our own strength, which is usually the reason they don’t make it past January 31. Instead of making resolutions look toward your God-given vision and mission and set some goals… things to work toward with God’s help in the year ahead. These goals should all be things that move you closer to God’s will for your life. Here are some steps toward setting those goals.
Step 1: PRAY!!!!!
Yes I know all caps are shouting, that’s what I’m doing here, because this is the most important step. Without prayer these goals are just another doomed-to-fail resolution. I know it’s a cliche but if God is your co-pilot, switch seats and let God drive. Don’t pray to invite God into your idea, ask God for his idea, His path, His goals.
Step 2. Write them down.
There’s something about writing things down that helps make things a little more real. So write them down and place them somewhere that you will see them every day. Be as specific as possible.
Step 3. Break them down.
It’s okay if your goals are huge. God-given things often are. It’s okay if they’re not going to be complete by December 31. Sometimes God defies our timelines and that’s okay because He’s God and is not bound by timelines. What you don’t want to do though is have something that is so big that you feel you’ll never get there and quit. The way to accomplish a big goal is to break it down into small bites, small steps that you can chip away at until you reach your goal. When Michelangelo sculpted his David, he turned an immensely hard piece of rock into one of the greatest works of art the world has ever seen. He didn’t hit the block once and expect perfection, he took his chisels and chipped away. Your masterpiece life is the same way.
Step 4. Be faithful.
Part of chipping away at something is to keep chipping. When you have a God given vision or goal it’s a journey, the key is to keep making the next right step forward, doing what it takes to reach the goal.
Step 5. Accountability
One of the best ways to stay faithful on goals is to share them with others who will check up on you to see how you’re doing. In my case, this year I am going to post my goals here, so that as I work through them, I can share the progress. In addition I work with a coach, who helps keep me on track. This is someone I respect deeply, who respects me, but is also close enough to me to check me and help me to stay on track. I also have a few other friends who will help me to stay on track (more on that tomorrow).
Step 5. Be flexible.
People often ask me, “How do I know if a goal is from me or from God?” The truthful answer is, sometimes you don’t. It’s be nice if it was always a “bolt from the blue” experience, but that is not always the case. I believe it was the band .38 Special who wrote “Hold on loosely.” It was a song about a romantic relationship, but it also applies to our goals. If we hold on to God tightly and our goals loosely, it allows God to guide is from the stuff that is just us and more deeply into the things that are of Him.
As a sidebar, just because things get tough doesn’t mean God’s not in them. Do all that you do to God’s glory.
There’s one more big part of this that we will touch on tomorrow.
In the mean time here are some of my goals for the coming year.
1. To do 50 creative arts ministry programs this year. (Last year I posted a goal of 15 presentations and Got to do 25.)
2. To develop a new full length art ministry presentation and two workshops.
3. To finish my vacation Bible School presentation (It’s booked in one church already, so it will be done, but I’d also like to try to book it in at least three more places).
4. To work up a secular creativity presentation for schools and businesses.
5. To post a blog post here every day and grow this tribe.
6. To finish the book projects I have underway. (1001: A Sketch Odyssey, Running A.M.O.K. II and God and the Creative Process)
7. To post to BewareofArtists.org each day (most of these have already been worked up).
8. To post a Creachertoon five days a week and discern whether it is being effective enough to continue in 2014.
9. To be one-on-one coaching at least five creative ministry people by the end of the year.
There are a few more that I am still discerning and one or two of these may not make it, but this is where I am headed. I know I want to do a few philanthropic things this year, I’m just not sure what they are yet.
What are your goals for 2013? Share them in the comments section if you feel so led.